Tribes open talks to repatriate relatives buried at boarding school

A grave marker for a student who died at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania. Photo from RST DCI Sicangu Youth Council / Facebook

Three tribes are opening talks with federal and military officials in hopes of repatriating the remains of relatives who died at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, the Northern Arapaho Tribe and the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe have been documenting relatives who are buried in the cemetery at the former boarding school. But the Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act doesn't apply to the site because it's under the control of the U.S. military, South Dakota Public Radio reported in February.

That's why the tribes are meeting on the Rosebud Sioux Reservation to discuss options, PennLive reported. The U.S. Army is characterizing the talks as a formal government-to-government consultation.

"It is the Army's desire to work with these leaders, work (a) successful resolution, and bring the young men and women home," a statement provided to the Associated Press read.

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe's youth council started pushing for repatriation last summer. The youth visited Carlisle as part of their trip to Washington, D.C., for the White House Tribal Youth Gathering and the United National Indian Tribal Youth (UNITY) conference.

Get the Story:
Sioux voices speak of prophecy and spirituality: Efforts to return ancestors buried in Carlisle (PennLive 5/10)
South Dakota Tribe Seeks Children's Century-Old Remains (AP 5/9)

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