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Remains of children at former Pennsylvania boarding school to be returned to Fort Belknap

The students at Carlisle came from more than 100 Native American tribes, from Florida to Alaska and nearly every state in between.
Posted at 6:05 AM, Apr 11, 2024

HELENA — The U.S. Army announced Wednesday that the remains of 11 children, including three from a north-central Montana tribe, will be disinterred and returned to family.

This is the seventh year the Army has exhumed the remains of Native American children buried at Carlisle Barracks in Pennsylvania and returned them to family.

The 11 children are from six different tribes and are identified as:

  • Almeda Heavy Hair, Gros Ventre Tribe of the Fort Belknap Indian Community
  • Bishop L. Shield, Gros Ventre Tribe of the Fort Belknap Indian Community
  • John Bull, Gros Ventre Tribe of the Fort Belknap Indian Community
  • Fanny Chargingshield, Oglala Sioux Tribe
  • James Cornman, Oglala Sioux Tribe
  • Samuel Flying Horse, Oglala Sioux Tribe
  • Leonidas Chawa, Pechanga Band
  • Albert Mekko, Seminole Nation of Oklahoma
  • Alfred Charko, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes
  • Kati Rosskidwits, Wichita and Affiliated Tribes
  • William Norkok, Eastern Shoshone Tribe

According to the Army, all the children were buried more than 100 years ago.
The Office of Army Cemeteries will begin disinterment in September. The Army Corps of Engineers will provide forensic archaeological and anthropological expertise.

Office of Army Cemeteries
Carlisle Barracks Main Post Cemetery

Families and tribes will choose the final resting place for these children. The Army covers the cost of family traveling to witness the disinterment, transport of the remains and reinterment.

The Carlisle Indian Industrial School operated between 1879 and 1918. During that period more than 10,000 Native American children were enrolled there, representing some 50 tribal nations.

In September of 2023, a Blackfeet child who died at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School was disinterred. The U.S. Army returned Launey Short's remains to their family in a dignified transfer.

In January the Fort Peck Tribes signed claims requesting two members of the tribe taken to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School be disinterred and returned to the reservation.

Peter Howe died at the age of 16 from tuberculosis at the Carlisle School in June of 1896. Christine Redstone, who was taken to Carlisle at age 6, died of tuberculosis at the age of 24 in July of 1899.

According to the Fort Peck Tribes, the earliest these remains may be disinterred and repatriated is September of 2026.