Mark Soldier Wolf (left) and Nelson White Eagle are part of the visiting Northern Arapaho delegation at the former Carlisle Indian Industrial School.
BY JOHN W. COLEMAN
ALL CARLISLE GATHERING PHOTOS TAKEN BY CHARLES FOX / PHILLY.COM PHOTOGRAPHER
At the U.S. Army War College in Carlisle, Pa., hidden behind the tall chain-link fences draped with black cloth and the signs that read, “Cemetery closed, please respect Native American privacy,” history was being made over the past week, and long-deferred dreams were coming true.
Two leaders of the Eastern PA Conference Committee on Native American Ministries (CoNAM) were involved in unprecedented Army efforts to dig up and repatriate buried remains of renamed Native children who died there over 130 years ago as students of the infamous, former Carlisle Indian Industrial School.
The burial there of Little Plume (aka Hayes Vanderbilt Friday), Little Chief (aka Dickens Nor), and Horse (aka Horace Washington), among nearly 200 others, is part of a dark, painful ongoing legacy of abduction, forced assimilation and reported abuse of more than 10,000 Native children and youth from nearly 50 tribes. Many of them were taken from their homes and brought to the former school from its opening in 1879 until its closing in 1918.