CARLISLE, Pa. (WHTM) — The U.S. Army is continuing its commitment to reuniting Native American families with their loved ones by conducting the fourth disinterment at the Carlisle Barracks Post Cemetery. The goal is to bring closure to families whose children died while attending the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and were buried at the cemetery more than 100 years ago.
“Typically, they died of tuberculosis and pneumonia, those were probably the two biggest killers,” said Jim Gerencser, an archivist at Dickinson College and Co-Director of the Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center.
In 1879, the Carlisle Barracks became the site of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School. The school educated more than 10,000 Native Americans.
“The concept of the school was to take young Native American children and young adults out of their home environment and to bring them to an isolated location where they could be assimilated into the dominant white culture of that era,” said Gerencser.
The Office of Army Cemeteries will disinter and transfer custody of the remains to families so they can put them to rest at cemeteries of their choice.