Home from School: The Children of Carlisle

Home from School: The Children of Carlisle

2018

How do you right the wrongs of the past and move forward? 

How do you heal when the damage was done over 100 years ago?

Seeking to heal the historical trauma inflicted by efforts to assimilate Native children into white society, Northern Arapaho tribal members travelled in 2017 to the grounds of the former Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, now a U.S. Army War College, to retrieve the remains of three Arapaho children who were buried there over a century ago.

The Northern Arapaho were among 140 tribes whose children were separated from their families and transported to Carlisle, the flagship Indian boarding school, between 1879 and 1918. Many children never returned home, and lie buried today beneath white headstones in Pennsylvania. When the U.S. Army agreed to disinter the remains three Arapaho children in the school cemet. Through the intimate story of this small delegation from the Wind River Indian Reservation, the film looks at the boarding school system that set out, in the words of founder Capt. Richard Henry Pratt, to “kill the Indian and save the man,” and its ramifications for Native Americans today. ery, a delegation of elders and youth set out to retrieve them, and all of Indian Country tracked their journey. Connecting a critical turning point in American history with contemporary stories and compelling characters, the film raises larger questions about colonization and the assimilation of indigenous cultures. It offers audiences a chance to re-examine a forgotten chapter in America’s history. The conversation about responsibility and healing continues.

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