Latest Revisions - must be submitted by Thursday, April 10, 2003. These messages flow chronologically from newest to oldest.  The introductions flow from oldest to newest.



From Barb: OK everybody...based on the input below, here is what I'm posting as the collaborated marker text from this group. This is what I'll email to Carrie at the State, first thing tomorrow morning.   Thanks, Alana, for putting this into a coherent structure for us: 



This school was the model for boarding schools across the nation intended to assimilate American Indians into mainstream culture. Over 10,000 indigenous children from almost every Indian nation, Alaska & Puerto Rico attended Carlisle between 1879 & 1918.  Creating opportunity for some students & conflicted identities for others, the school left a mixed and lasting legacy.  In this cemetery are 186 graves of students who died while at Carlisle.

NOTE:  This text JUST exceeds the allotted space, if my calculations are correct.... Alana.

Ampersands are OK, and I think we'll need them to fit the text on the marker.  If my count was right, we are about two words over, but we'll see if the state can suggest where to trim it.

Greetings All: 

Sorry it has taken me so long to put my oar into the water regarding this project. I have enjoyed reading all the comments and apologize for not writing sooner. I agree with the majority of the wording, but believe there could be some confusion with the words, "almost every Indian nation". To some persons this could include Central and South America Indians and of course from our neighbor to the north, Canada (North America). I don't have any suggestions for changes except maybe <almost every U.S. Indian nation>. 

(Note from Barb: I cut and pasted this portion of Dovie's message to the marker text side of the page, and included her bio on the other side.) 
"As to the marker: 

The latest sample work-in-progress on the website, I think posted by Susan, seems almost perfect to me.  I do prefer the earlier wording (though it is longer) which said "left a mixed and controversial legacy of oppoortunity for some and conflicted identity for many" (over the "creating opportunity for some, it left a controversial legacy")  Responding to Charles' recent post, I agree wholly that there is not really "controversy" as, in it's inception and practice, Carlisle did not "enroll", but rather "captured or took" their first "charges" as prisoners of war or hostages for good behavior of their families.  I just think it IS a "State Marker" and there will be other markers and memorials and sites and books that tell the complex and more honest story of the school.  Here, we will probably have to have compromised langauge--unlikely to see the words "genocidal policy" on a State Marker, just yet...! 

So, I also prefer the wording in Susan and Alana's samples that says "Over 10,000  students from almost every American Indian/indigenous (prefer either of these over Native American, which makes indigenous people just another kind of American, rather than sovereign nations)nation attended Carlisle..."  This is better than the "Carlisle enrolled" of the State sample, which sounds vague and benign.... 

I also agree with Ory and Susan and others about no mention of names on this marker.  It is a memorial of the school and the prototype born there..and all it's students.  There will be other events and markers to commemorate those achievements and both sacrifices and successes----and it should avoid the lengthy discussion about what "success" meant or means--mainstream or traditional??  This would be a great conference, but would make a HUGE marker!!  Besides, the attitude of individualism would be a very "mainstream" notion.... 

So, in summary...I'd certainly agree with the latest version, though I'd use the longer phrase about the "legacy".. I think from Alana's?? "left a mixed and controversial legacy, opportunity for some and conflicted identity for many"  rather than the shorter one in the last sample.  Unless word count is becoming an issue. 

August 30 works great for me and, hopefully the VWWF who helped collect the donations and cosponsored the proposal.  I am also happy to work with the group who designs the program and dedication.  I am fairly near to Carlisle so can "run" when Barb needs help and won't be traveling far that weekend so can always help cook!!  I love the idea of descendents reading their relatives "stories" from Indian Helper letters! 

Thank you for the chance to speak...sorry I got so 
Dovie Thomason Sickles
April 8, 2003

Note from Barb, in response to some of the issues brought up in these most recent messages: 
  •    There are no known Puerto Ricans buried at Carlisle.
  •   The known numbers of Indians who died at Carilsle is 190.  I'm calling Thomas Marshall a "student" because he was a student at Dickinson College. The three Apache babies were not students, they were the infants of 3 sets of married couples (who were students, and I might add - prisoners of war).

        The purpose of the marker is to remember the school, and those who attended.  Notable as well and nonpublic figures, and those who survived as well as those who did not. 
Dwight - April 7, 2003

        I was not aware that there were any Puerto Ricans not African Americans buried at Carlisle until now.  But we need to keep in mind that this was a typical school who's only purpose was to educate, and also at the same time, erase the Indian from the Indian.  I'm sure in all the Indian schools there are a few persons here and there than were not Indian or Alaskan Natives.  But the schools are about only those two groups and directed at those two groups. 
Dwight - April 7, 2003

I really like the condensed version of your sentence.  I think it is very effective. The reference to "they were not buried with their people" was intended to speak between the lines, per the great importance the burial ceremony and burial was and still is to all Indian tribes.  However, your point is well taken that it is implied and not needed. 
Sammie Harmon, April 7, 2003

      In the interests of cutting words to make it say much with few words, how about "Buried here are 190 children who died while students  rather than "In this cemetery are 190 graves of children  who died at the school and were not buried with their people." If they are buried at Carlisle, it's understood that they were not buried with their people. 
Dwight, April 7, 2003

I'm late getting into this as I was out of town.  But I don't think any individual should be mentioned in the text.  The marker is about the school and it's effects. There are historical markers and publicity elsewhere for the notable public figures such as Jim Thorpe (no disrespect intended). Most of the students were run of the mill, not public figures. 
Dwight, April 7, 2003

I agree, I thought it was to honor the fact that Carlisle Indian school was once located there not to honor just those in the cemetary.  I thought the cemetary was chosen because it was easier to get the marker approved for there than on the grounds of the old school.   I mean it's nice if there's one on a building there, but unless you go on there, you aren't going to see it. 
Michael, April 5, 2003

 Hi Again,  (to Ory, thank you for pointing out my error.  It is good  to see all of the responses and suggestions.  I just hope that we can  keep the wording simple and not put acronyms (specifically CIS)  because the school was called "Carlisle".  Also remember that although  there were students who went to school there and became well known in  later life, we are planning the marker for those who went to school at  Carlisle and those who died and are buried there and most of them were  children.  My main point was that we are talking about the children in 
 that time and place. 
Velma, April 5, 2003

I thought the marker was to commemorate the fact that Carlisle Indian School was once located there, not to honor just those individuals in the cemetery.  I believe that the original application for the marker stated that it was to commemorate the school and the years of operation. 
Ory, April 4, 2003

It is good to see all of the responses and suggestions.  I just hope that we can keep the wording simple and not put acronyms (specifically CIS) because the school was called  "Carlisle".  Also remember that although there      were students who went to school there and became well known in later life, the marker is to honor those who died and were buried there while the school was in operation and most of  them were children. 
Velma, April 4, 2003

 my latest thoughts : 




Carlisle Indian School was the model for boarding schools across the United States intended to assimilate indigenous children into mainstream culture. Over 10,000 students from almost every Indian nation attended CIS between 1879 and 1918.   Creating opportunity for some, the school left a controversial legacy. In this cemetery are 186 graves of students who died while at Carlisle.

 Note:    indigenous peoples of alaska went from becoming "eskimo" tribes to becoming  "corporations"   technically, they are not nations as are those sovereign groups in the lower 48. 
Susan, April 4, 2003

I guess that all depends on what you call success.   My view is that the greatest success is that there were so many that survived as Indians and  did not become brown white people like they were trying to make them. 
Michael, April 4, 2003

  I agree with the idea that more emphasis should be included about  sucessful students from Carlisle-----Jim Thorpe, Chauncey Yellow Robe,   and Henry Standing Bear, to name just a few.   Their success stories  reflect the best that Carlisle education had to offer.  These  outstanding people retained their culture and returned to help their  tribesman in very difficult times. 
Marjorie WB, April 3, 2003

my latest comments: 
"American Indian" was the usage at the time of the school..  and we need to recognize Alaskan Natives--but there were also Puerto Rican and African American (Sylvester Long Lance) students at CIS.  We could just use "Indigenous" ??   the vast majority of the graves are children of Carlisle--can't we just say that?  any one visiting will find out about Thomas Marshall...and his story will be public very soon anyway. 

I definitely agree change "many" to "others" 

NO NAMES .....   this is not the place for names.  That is what the web site and the brochure we will design will be for.  YES I will help take on that project as soon as I finish my federal indian policy comprehensive exam next weekend.  we'll just put it on the list. 

if my memory serves me correctly from my visit to the cemetary in Oct 01 this is just the first of several markers yet to come. 
Susan, April 3, 2003

Oh Doug, I think you just said all that needs to be said. That's beautiful! 
Carol, April 3, 2003

There is no doubt that Jim Thorpe, Chancey Yellow Robe and Henry Standing Bear were very prominent and successful students of Carlisle. However, my, feeling is that the importance of this marker stands on its own. 
It need not be defined by the names of some of the better known students. 

The beauty of this marker is that it gives voice to all the students, including the tender souls who permanently rest on the grounds. 
Doug, April 3, 2003

Yep, gotta agree, Ory. They all went there and left with "something", be it success or just an education. There's a picture on the epix site of Tom ????? and shows him when he came there and after a few weeks. Transformation was amazing. Although I gotta admit, I sure liked the original Indian dress! 
Carol, April 3, 2003

I don't think it is appropriate to pick out a handful of former students and call them a success, what does that say about the rest of the 10,000+ former students?  ................(unsuccessful?) 
Ory, April 3, 2003

Hello everyone, 
 Barb asked me to forward my comments on the draft text to the rest of you,  as well  as explain who I am.  My name is Alana Bubnis, I met Barbara while  working as the curator at the Cumberland County Historical Society, where  she and I worked on the museum collections related to CIS together.  I also  recently worked on a project that involved the state historical markers, and  pestered her to nominate the Indian School.  FYI- as someone who has seen  dozens of marker texts, it is always a process, and you should work to make  it what you want (although the state will have final approval, they will  redraft a number of texts until you are happy). 

 Here were the comments I sent: 

Barb- The draft that came in with your nomination was better. Do you still  have a copy? I vote for American Indians, plus the representation of  nations/tribes is missing (if you know the exact number, that would be  good). Number of kids buried needs to be here- I do like the mixed and  controversial legacy part. The first sentence is rather wieldy. No Jim  Thorpe? Doesn't bother me, but I remember it in your original nomination. 

Don't agree to this one. I would suggest back something like: 



This school was a model for boarding schools across the country intended to assimilate American Indians into mainstream white culture. Over 10,000 students from almost every nation attended CIS between its founding in 1879 and its closing in 1918. The school left a mixed and controversial legacy, creating opportunity for some and conflicted identity for many. In this cemetery are 186 graves of students who died and were buried at the school.

Alana, April 3, 2003

I agree with Ory's suggestion to change the wording to a more neutral stance by replacing "many" with "others". I also agree with Ory and Kate that 
the highlighting of some people and not others who attended the school is not fitting for the cemetery. And finally I agree with Sammie for replacing the words "at home" with "with their people" if we use the wording in Barbara's first email. But I also liked the wording of the last sentence from Alana's email, which reads "In this cemetery are 186 graves of students who died and were buried at the school." But looking at Barbara's earlier email, I think the correct number is 190 graves. 

As another suggestion, and correct me if I am wrong, but is it marked any where that the cemetery was moved to its current location? If not, then maybe a sentence about that is appropriate to document on the marker. 

So I can get all this straight, it would look something like this now: 



This school served as a model for a nation-wide system of boarding schools intended to assimilate American Indians and Alaskan Natives into U.S. mainstream culture. Founded in 1879, Carlisle enrolled over
10,000 students by its closing in 1918. The school left a mixed and controversial legacy, creating opportunity for some and conflicted identity for others. Students who died and were not buried with their people rest in this cemetery.

In this cemetery are 190 graves of children who died at the school and were not buried with their people.
John Wigle April 3, 2003

Regarding the wording of the marker....I have a couple of comments: 
1.  Third line of text.  I suggest that the term "Native Americans" be changed to "American Indians", as I recall the term "Native Americans" wasn't psudo fashionable back in the operational days of the Carlisle Indian School. (otherwise we would know it as the Carlisle Native American School.) 
2.  Eighth and ninth line of text.  The term "many" conveys a judgemental opinion, "..creating     opportunity for some and conflicted identity for many".  Suggest the word "many" be changed 
to "others". The text would then read, ""..creating opportunity for some and conflicted identity for others". 

I think it is important for this permanent marker to be as accurate as possible and convey a 
non-judgemental tone. 

The text looks good, although ditto on Susan's grammatical note.  (Hi, Susan!) 
Alice, April 1, 2003

     I have 3 comments: 
     1. Is there debate over "Native American" vs. "American Indian"  ?? 
     2. grammatical suggestion:  delete  [had]  line 5. 
     3. should CIS or the name of the school be somewhere?? 
Susan, April 1, 2003.

Suits me. 
Carlyle, April 1, 2003 

    What do you think about the text?  I would hope to add a paragraph stating that many students became successful contributors not only to their own people but to the greater American Community as well. (Jim Thorpe, Chauncey Yellow Robe and Henry Standing Bear). 
Margie, April 1, 2003

         It's different from we started with from what I remember, but I like it.  And it's much better than what they might have come up with.  I say go for it!  But what do YOU think of it?  I'd like to have you opinion in case I missed something. 
Dwight, April 1, 2003


Here is the recommended marker text for your nomination. Please respond with your approval or 
suggestions by April 10th. 


Carrie Curtis 
PHMC, Historical Marker Program 



This school served as a model for a nation-wide system of boarding schools intended to assimilate Native Americans into U.S. mainstream culture. Founded in 1879, Carlisle had enrolled over 10,000 students by its closing in 1918. The school left a mixed and controversial legacy, creating opportunity for some and conflicted identity for many. Students who died and were not buried at home rest in this cemetery.

Carrie, April 1, 2003




I paint a lot of Indian portraits and never tire of their faces. It would be interesting to 
know how all the people on this list is connected with the Indians.

Hal Sherman 

My connection to the Indians, is that I am working on a biography of Jim Thorpe, to be published by Alfred A. Knopf. As a result, I have spent a lot of time with Barb at the Cumberland County Historical Society and in Oklahoma and Texas with the Thorpe family. I am not Native-American, but have found this entire process of researching the Native-American aspect of this book one of the most remarkable experiences of my life. There was -- and is and always will be -- so much I did not know and, therefore, so much I did not understand. 

It would be great to hear from everyone how they are connected to this project, so we have some background before we all meet. 
Kate Buford
Irvington-on-Hudson, New York 

I would enjoy knowing everyone's connection to the students. I read the Helpers and would recognize the names mentioned.  Plus, there is the list of students. 

My grandmother was Minnie Adeline Kennedy. She, and her sister Carrie, attended Carlisle in 1882.  They were original allottees on the Osage Indian Roll. I am writing a fact based historical novel of my grandmother's life and the history of the Osage Indians.
Sammie Harmon

I too think it would be interesting to know how everyone on this list is connected with the Carlisle Indian School.

Here is my connection.....My Dad, his three brothers and a sister attended Carlisle, in addition the wife of one of my Dad's brothers also graduated from Carlisle.  I have also had the privilege to meet two other women who went to Carlisle.   My father's sister died before I was born, the others I knew.   I am an enrolled member of the Absentee-Shawnee tribe.
Ory  Cuellar

Well Hal, I'm not NA but was married to one (seneca) for 30+ years. He passed away in January of 2002. We had two children. It was my mother-in-law who attended Carlisle, I think 1914-1916 or thereabouts.
Carol Jimerson

To all the relatives and friends, with respect,

I'm responding to Hal (and others) request for "introductions" to people on the list, as well as the final hours of this decision-making.  I am not a Carlisle descendent, though my husband's family, the Sickles (Oneida) had many relatives who went there, especially in the early days.  Also, as a Lakota (maternal--Oglala) and Kiowa Apache (paternal, also Scot)-- I have tried to learn about Carlisle and the stories of the students there.  I am a storyteller and have also taught Native cultures and literature in high school and college.  The lives and writings of Gertrude Bonnin (Zitkala Sa), Eastman, Standing Bear, Yellow Robe, Montezuma and others have drawn me deeper and deeper into this for much of my adult life---25+ years,
anyway....I wanted to speak, with respect, for my in-laws and those unheard voices that still are little part of our classrooms and society....
Dovie Thomason Sickles

This is Juanita Echo-Hawk Neconie.  I am Pawnee/Otoe-Missouria. Many members of our Pawnee Tribe attended Carlisle and one became a teacher there Chauncy Matlock. I supported the Carlisle 2000 Pow Wow because Barbara Landis made presentations to the Indian Health Service in Rockville, Maryland, during our Heritage month activities; I wanted to reciprocate her effort. 

Additionally, I coordinate the American Indian Festival held in Rockville, Maryland in the middle of November (Nov. 15 this year).  It is a one day cultural awareness event, part of which are historical displays on Jim Thorpe and the Carlisle Indian School.  I would be very pleased if some of you would like to share your pictures for the Carlisle Indian School display for the event.  I was also responsible for getting the Bureau of Indian Affairs to prepare a plaque honoring Ory Cuellar's
dad for the Carlisle 2000 Pow wow, which was later given to him at his residence.  At the time he was 104 years old.
Juanita Echo-Hawk Neconie.

I got interested in the Carlisle Indian School in 1990 when I started working as a library assistant at the Cumberland County Historical Society (CCHS), I quickly fell into the role of Indian School biographer as I took on the task of answering the inquiries coming to the CCHS from descendants of Carlisle students.  After collaborating with Genevieve Bell, she and I made a pact to spend as much time as possible
getting the Carlisle names to the nations.  That's how my web pages began to be developed, responding to a need to disseminate the history. My interest grew from focusing strictly on the family names to
transcribing and distributing the weekly school newspapers, which I have taken from the collections of the Library of Congress since the CCHS does not allow distribution of their collections in any format without permission.  As of this writing there are over 750 recipients of these newspapers.  They are CIIS students' descendants, writers, filmmakers, historians, academics and just plain old regular people fascinated by a history that's been swept under the carpet for years.  This marker project is the outgrowth of the expressed wish of a young Penobscot woman who just happened to mention a need.
Barb Landis
Carlisle, PA

My name is Scott Gendron. My granfather, Alfred "Freddie", and his brother George Gendron were both at Carlisle. They were enrolled members of the Colville Tribe in Eastern Washington State. I am not an enrolled member, but am trying to find the
necessary information/documents to become enrolled. Before my granfather passed away in 1972, he occasionally, but very briefly, mentioned being at Carlisle and how he lived in the same dormitory as Jim Thorpe. This was all I knew. From that time I had many questions about the school and how it affected my grandfather. Then four years
ago, I started working on my family tree and with the help of an uncle was able to piece together a few facts about my grandfather's
"stay" at Carlisle. My uncle has told me that my grandfather kept every letter he recieved from former classmates at Carlisle, but unfortunately he (my uncle) didn't think they were worth keeping and has destroyed all of them. About a year ago, I took a Native American Studies class and "discovered" Barb's fantastic website regarding Carlisle. 

Thank you all for keeping an important piece of history alive and especially for keeping the memory of those who were at CIS alive.
Scott Gendron

I'm Karin Wishner.  It seems that I have been interested in indigenous people all of my life.  I have no Native American background and never knew of anyone who attended Carlisle.  In fact, I wasn't aware of the school until a few years ago.  I attended a
presentation by a woman named Ruth Spack at a conference in Seattle.  The title "English as the Second Language of America" caught my attention.  She gave some information about Carlisle.  I wanted to know more and I had a feeling that kept nagging at me.  I knew there was something in Carlisle that I was
supposed to learn.  I finally drove there in the summer of 2001, met Barb at the Cumberland Historical Society, and felt frustrated about not having enough time to read everything I wanted to in the time I had.  I went to the grounds, saw some of the old buildings, and wondered how many other schools in this country have a graveyard for their students and why this one has some markers that have the word "unknown". When I heard about the project, I was very interested in it. It addresses a part of our history that needs to be acknowledged.
Karin Wishner
Cleveland, OH

I'm overjoyed how you've gone from answering inquiries to where you are now as part of the CIS, as well as, your dedication to our legacy
(though I am Dine Indian with your direct ties to the school). I remember the afternoon you comforted me after I saw the children's cemetery. The place does have a special spirit. It still reverberates. Thanks to you, this
part of history will stand as a reminder to us and others, however that is perceived.
Evelyn Begody
Fort Defiance, AZ

All right I guess I can write a bit.  I first got introduced to Carlisle after having a dream of a beautifully manicured lawn with woods at the
edge.  Moving swiftly from tree to tree was a shadow that was mumbling something.  It was only after the 3rd dream that I understood what the shadow was saying.  The male voice was saying "Find Me".  My great-grandfather Leander Gansworth had passed 5 years prior to my birth so I really only had a minimal amount of tales from my great-grandmother
and my grandmother.  As time went on and mor and more research I have found many family members still living on the Tuscarora Reservation and of course found Barb and Carlisle.  Both my great-grandfather (by the way became clearer and clearer the more information I found out about him and his
family) and his siblings (Howard and Alberta) were taken and sent to Carlisle.  My great-grandfather was affiliated with the Red Man writings and even continued on with his printing (which he learned at Carlisle) for
a newspaper in Davenport, Iowa.  Howard went onto college but unfortunately Alberta passed away prior to excelling in her life. 
I want to say it is my pleasure to get to know everyone here, and want to thank you for all the input regarding the marker.  Thank you to Barb again from the bottom of my heart.  My great-grandfather isn't buried at Carlisle, but I'm certain there is a part of his spirit that still
lingers as does his siblings.
Have a wonderful day!

             My name is Dwight Price, and I live in Columbia, South Carolina, where I have worked for the Department of Justice for over 20 years.  I don't have ancestors who attended Carlisle.  My father's mother, from Pennsylvania, had Indian blood but I didn't find out until long after she was gone, and I don't know what tribe it was.  Regardless, it is much diluted by now, and I was raised middle class white which I really am.
             Even when I was a child, I always liked Indian stories.  In the late 1980s, I was working in Greenville, South Carolina, and was able to spend my spare time on the reservation in Cherokee, North Carolina.  I purchased a mask and a small basket.  There started the romance with Indian peoples.
             Now I go up to Cherokee about every other month for a weekend.  In the past, I have been fortunate enough to attend the inauguration of the last two Principal Chiefs, and was a judge for about 5 years for the art work during the Indian Fair which is held each October.  I attended the ceremony for Louise Maney when she was made "Beloved Woman" by the tribe, and other cultural things and fundraisers.
             I read primarily non fiction Indian works, and most of my vacations are Indian in one way or another.
             Several years ago, I became acquainted with Barb and she thereafter gave a tour to me, my sister and brother-in-law of the Carlisle grounds.  It was Christmas week, and bitterly cold.  Thereafter, my family and I attended the Powwow held at Carlisle in 2000.  And the rest of the story you know.

Hello Everyone:

My name is Doug Gomez. I was born and live in New York City and the son of Puerto Rican parents.

I have been a collector of 19th and early 20th century photographs and historic ephemera (postcards, documents, letters, books, etc.) for many years. The primary focus of my collection has been the photographic imagery of Native American "history" (not Edward Curtis type pretty pictures) from the Civil War through World War II.  A number of years ago I acquired an 1875 photograph of the Plains Indian prisoners who were confined in the charge of Captain Richard Pratt, in Fort Marion, Florida. From that point forward, I decided to focus my collecting and research of images, on the educational and social assimilation from 1875 through Hampton, Carlisle and many of the off-reservation boarding schools that sprouted after 1879. 

The social assimilation elements of the collection include Sports, Military, Religious, Advertising, Wild West Shows and several other areas.

My long term plans are to share materials from the collection through some collaborative endeavor or publication. Barbara has been very helpful whenever I have researched a Carlisle photograph. 

I have visited Carlisle, Chilocco, Phoenix and Santa Fe Indian Schools.


Hi everyone,

I am a member of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska.  I was born and lived on
the Winnebago Reservation until I went away to Haskell Institute to learn a trade.  After receiving a certificate as a stenographer I worked for three years at the Winnebago Indian Hospital in Winnebago, Nebraska, then joined
the Army.  At the end of my tour of duty in Washington DC, I met my husband and we raised our family in Maryland.

My father was a student at Carlisle and I grew up hearing the stories about his days there.  I have always believed  that he went there willingly and really enjoyed it and got most of his work ethic and education there. He returned home and spent his life farming in Nebraska.  Both of my parents spoke our Winnebago language as well as English at home and they believed that education was very important.

It was while I was doing some genealogical research there at Carlisle that I was referred to the Cumberland County Historical Society where I met Barb and found out that there were 163 Winnebago students enrolled during the Carlisle years most of whom are probably relatives of mine.  This is my connection to Carlisle.

Velma "Sunbird" (Ha-da-sha a-na-shee) Standing on Light

My connection to Native peoples began as a little girl taking my grandmother in Wisconsin to watch her "Indian cousins" dance in the southern edge of Menomonee territory.

As an adult, I have been studying for 9 years with the grandson of George Tibbets  (Annishnaabe) who attended Carlisle in the years before WWI and became one of the Carlisle ford boys in Detroit.  I am working on my doctorate in American Indian Studies at Michigan State University where I have the privilege of working with  seven Native professors---

I am writing the biography (in historical context) of Ihanktanwon Sioux Zitkala-Sa (Gertrude Bonnin) who worked at Carlisle from 1897-98 and was the "female" star of Dennison Wheelock's band that toured the east coast in 1900.

Now residing in Ohio, I  had the honor of being adopted into the Northern band of Absentee Shawnee last winter.  I purposely do not mention names here without permission.

I first visited the Carlisle cemetery in October of 1901--when the front gate was sealed off with a giant cement thing and all visitors entered through the "back"--where the cemetery is--which is now the front.  I asked Barb where the markers were....and have been on board this project since.

with respect,

Hello,  My computer has been "down", so I'm late getting to this. I would like to introduce myself.  My name is Gordon Short.  I live in 
Lynnwood, Washington.  (about 15 miles north of Seattle.)  I am a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes in Northeastern Washington.  My Mother, Phoebe Mc Donald and her sister, Flora attended Carlisle around 
1909-1911. My Mother died while I was away in the Service and before I was really interested in finding out about that part of her life.  Several years ago my wife, Carol and I stopped at Carlisle Barracks on our way home from a trip to the East coast.   We did some research in the library there and were sent to the Historical Society where we met Barb.  Everyone there was so helpful to us and gathered information for  us.  We purchased  Linda Witmer's book and found it a helpful source of information.  We had planned on driving back there for the dedication, but we have since decided that we won't be able to go.  It would be  about five days each way.  Since we won't be there, we would like to 
purchase a video of the dedication if there will be one available.  I feel that Carlisle gave my Mother and Aunt a chance for an education 
that would not have been available to them on the reservation.  They were both bright confident individuals.  They raised their families to be responsible citizens.  I finally caught up with the reading of the correspondence.  I enjoyed reading all of your e-mail.     
Gordon and Carol Short



Messages received in response to Carlisle Indian School Historic Marker Dedication Plans:

Good news.
The state approved the funding for the Carlisle Indian School marker, and sent the check for $750 matching funds to the Viola White Water Foundation and we are in business!  You are all wonderful.

Onward and upward!!!!


This message is from Dwight Price, one of the Marker contributors.

        Sun, 3 Nov 2002 14:35:17 EST

    In regard to the dedication for the sign about the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, I spoke with Barb Landis to see what the tentative dates were.  She has asked that those who raised the money do the planning for the dedication.  It is anticipated that the earliest the sign will be ready to put up will be summer, 2003.  I think that a date that was important to the school would be
most appropriate as a date to dedicate the sign.
            The school opened on October 6, 1879, and the students arrived in Carlisle around midnight.  October 6, 2003, is a Monday.  When the school was closed, the closing/transfer ceremony was held on September 1, 1918, and the property was transferred from the Indian Bureau to the War Department.  September 1, 2003, is on a Monday also.
            I personally feel that the most appropriate date for the dedication would be the closing date of the school.  It would remember and honor those Indian people who attended and died here, and, in a sense, would celebrate the end of such institutions, and the beginning of another chapter in Indian history.  My choices are the following dates: Saturday, August 30, or Sunday, August 31, 2003.  These are the closest weekend dates to the actual date.  And it would allow a quiet, solemn time on campus on the following day which would be the actual anniversary of the closing.
             Second choices would be Saturday, October 4, or Sunday, October 5, 2003.
             Please e-mail your response to the entire group by replying to all members listed in this e-mail with your ideas or choices.

            Re: Planning a dedication.
            Thu, 7 Nov 2002 21:13:13 -0500
            "Vicky" <>

Either date would be fine with me.  I'm just so thrilled that this is coming about and that our families will be honored with this marker.

Thank you Barbara  from the bottom of my heart for all the hard work that you have put into this endeavor.

And thank you to all you wonderful people who have contributed to this great cause.

Vicky Harris
North Carolina
(Representing Leander Gansworth, Howard Gansworth and Alberta Gansworth)

Subject:  Re: Planning a dedication.
            Thu, 7 Nov 2002 21:15:41 -0500
      From:  "Hal Sherman" <>

August 30, 2003 has my vote Barbara, and thanks for all your hard work in making this project happen.

Hal Sherman

Subject:  Re: Planning a dedication.
            Thu, 07 Nov 2002 20:19:59 -0600
      From:  Carlyle Hinshaw <>


That would be a Labor Day and it is fitting to have the closing a labor of love.

Carlyle Hinshaw, grandson of Gertrude Renfrow, (Renfrew).  She and her first cousin, Pearl Tecumsah Bluejacket, both attended 1893-96. Shawnees. See Gertie at:
and Pearl at:

Subject:  Re: Planning a dedication.
          Thu, 07 Nov 2002 21:33:43 -0500
   From:  Susan Dominguez <>

barbara and marker group:

great news!   I think labor day weekend is not a good time for travelling. October is beautiful, cooler, hints of color; changing seasons for changing times. also--gives a bit more time for planning!


Subject:  Re: Planning a dedication.
             Thu, 7 Nov 2002 21:37:38 -0500
       From:  "SunBird" <>

I think August 30th or 3lst would be a good time.  I assume that there will be other planning to be done also and I would like to help with that. (My father attended Carlisle and spoke very fondly of it; he got most of his education there) Velma T. Alaniz

Subject:  Re: Planning a dedication.
             Thu, 07 Nov 2002 22:37:15 -0500
      From:  Alice Nash <

I also like the idea of Aug 30/31, Labor Day, to mark the closing of the school.

I am not related to anyone who went to Carlisle but I teach about it in my classes and all of my students agree that this aspect of our history, and the students who attended Carlisle, should not be forgotten.  Thanks, Barb, for bringing this to fruition.

Would it be appropriate to include a reading of letters written by Carlisle students, or something similar?

All the best,
Alice Nash

Subject:  Planning a dedication.
        Thu, 7 Nov 2002 22:42:37 EST

Congratulations, ALL!! This is wonderful news and I am proud to be a part of this long overdue dedication.

The weekend of August 30/31st, 2003 sounds like a good time to me. I also think that it might be appropriate to give voice to the Carlisle students by all of us reading letters written by them as part of the dedication.

Thank you Barb, for all the hard work you have put into this.

Doug Gomez

Subject: Re: We got our funding!
             Fri, 08 Nov 2002 09:18:06 -0500
      From:  "Evelyn Begody" <>


Thanks for the update and the great news. When is the special occasion?


Subject: Re: Planning a dedication.
         Fri, 8 Nov 2002 06:45:03 -0800 (PST)
        From:   Karin Wishner <>

I think that having the dedication at the time of the closing of the school is appropriate.  Barb, thank you for all of your hard work.
Karin Wishner

Subject:  RE: Planning a dedication.
  Fri, 8 Nov 2002 09:07:22 -0600
  From: Sammie Harmon <>

Barbara, the weekend of August 30/31 seems appropriate.  However; either is fine with me.  Thank you so much for your dedication and inspiration in bringing this all about. I can't even imagine how frightened these children must have been so far from home and family.  We should never forget their suffering to instill better qualities of humanity in us all.

It is a wonderful idea to read the letters of students.  I have a reply letter my grandmother, Minnie Adeline Kennedy, wrote to Carlisle.  I was surprised to discover in the correspondence, that Colonel Pratt had a nickname for her . . . Thrifty.  She attended the school in 1882.

 I will look forward to the dedication. My nephew and his wife who you met on my visit to Carlisle will be attending with me.

God bless you,


Subject:  Re: Planning a dedication.
        Fri, 8 Nov 2002 12:02:48 EST

    I like the August 30, 31st dates.  Please let me know what date is chosen as soon as it is decided upon.  Nest summer will be here before you know it!
    Marjorie WB

Subject:  RE: Planning a dedication.
        Fri, 8 Nov 2002 12:26:00 -0500
   From:  "Cuellar, Ory" <OCuellar@HQE.IHS.GOV>

Great news!!!  Thanks Barb for your leadership.

My preference for the marker dedication is Saturday, August 30, 2003, the following day is my second choice.  I am very interested in being a part of the planning committee.  There is enough lead time to plan an event....if we begin planning (or planning to plan) fairly soon.  We can accomplish a quality dedication and, given the busy schedules of people, there will be adequate time for everyone to have input.  Also, if the word got out in the spring of '03, folks from around the country will have time to plan a personal trip to include the dedication and to learn more about the school.

Ory Cuellar

Subject: Carlisle - Planning a dedication
             Fri, 8 Nov 2002 12:41:10 -0500
       From:  "SunBird" <>

That is wonderful news.  Are we planning a pow-wow? I think that would be a great way to celebrate.  Just a get-together, not the kind where there are contests and other events.  Will we be able to have our dedication there on the grounds?  Or am I asking some premature questions?  I shall settle down now and wait to hear from you next.
Velma Alaniz (Maryland)

Subject:  Re: Carlisle - Planning a dedication
         Fri, 8 Nov 2002 09:59:27 -0800 (PST)
   From:  carol jimerson <>

Thanks, Barb for all you've done. My son says to tell you that his birthday is October 5th so he'd love that. Seriously, it doesn't matter I guess. It is warmer the end of August usually.

Subject: RE: We got our funding!
        Fri, 8 Nov 2002 16:16:22 -0500
   From:  "Neconie, Juanita J." <JNeconie@HQE.IHS.GOV>

Barbara, thanks again and again for all your do keep keep Carlisle History alive.  Our people have much to thank you for.

Subject:  Re: Planning a dedication.
        Fri, 8 Nov 2002 17:33:59 EST

Labor Day weekend in August sounds like an appropriate time -- I will follow suit of those who have family members who attended Carlisle.

A suggestion: the National Museum of the American Indian in NYC had an exhibit this summer, which included a digital image, "My grandmother was calling me home," 1999 by Melanie Printup Hope, which it might be good to use, somehow. It is a collage of Carlisle images: names of attendees with nation; view of the girls' dormitory; the historic marker (Carlisle Indian Industrial School 1879-1918). Very moving. Maybe the artist could come to the dedication. Some of you probably know much more about her and her work.

Kate Buford

Subject: More marker response.........
         Mon, 11 Nov 2002 23:47:15 -0500
   From:  Barbara Landis <>

Chuck Penoi agreed to let me pass this along to all of you. When I read it, it stopped me in my enthusiastic tracks, and brought me back to reality.  I would very much like to include some of the sentiment (questions) expressed in this email, in any dedication you all come up with.  - Barb L.

Subject:  Re: We got our funding!
      Fri, 08 Nov 2002 02:14:43 -0500
      From:  Charles Penoi <>

For me, Carlisle is not something that I can think about every day. The truths of the place are not at home in today's world.  Those Indian children should not have had to be there.   Yet in a strange way, the  little papers that were printed there make it seem as if it were the white people who were lost - wanting to believe that they had a way of life to demonstrate to children who were animated by none of the wants and concerns that plagued their teachers.    How could a people, who had only their individuality, educate children with a sense of belonging that the educators would never know?    Who can stand and speak now about how things should be?  There are no social issues any longer. All failure is ultimately personnel.   If you fail a person and wound their life, you have become a source of sorrow.   In the end, it is how dismally wrong they all were there - the people that ran the place, that stands out.  Have our voices become more clear in pointing up the danger from those who bring sorrow?    It is the failure to imagine Democracy fully that we have to be careful of.   Who is watching, watching, for the weak minded who would speak with the words of the strong and create a sorrow that lasts for generations.  That is my question.

Best Regards,

Chuck Penoi

Subject:   Re: More marker response.........
      Mon, 11 Nov 2002 06:47:53 -0600
      From:  "Anne M. Dunn" <>

I agree. It is a truth that cannot be ignored and should have a place in the dedication remarks.
Anne M. Dunn

Subject:  RE: More marker response.........
         Tue, 12 Nov 2002 13:28:32 -0500
         From: "Cuellar, Ory" <OCuellar@HQE.IHS.GOV>

Hi Barbara,

Everyone is entitled to their opinions.  Based on conversations I have had with my father, uncles and other attendees of the Carlisle Indian School, I do not share the opinion that "children should not have been there".  Not every situation is ideal, not 100+ years ago, not today.  Absolute judgement should take into consideration the context of the times... free of our personal biases (unless we were in the situation and then had sufficient time to put it in the perspective of our lives).  I recall each of the individuals spoke fondly of Carlisle and when asked, not one of them would not condem the earlier years of the school, since they were not personally there and said that it wasn't their experience.

I am sure that every adult can recall a few instances in which they were in situations which were unpleasant, i.e. school, home, relationships, marriages and work situations for example. Sometimes in retrospect the situations weren't quite as unpleasant....sometimes they were, what is important is whether the individual allowed themselves mentally to be victims or victors.

Sorry to get on my soap box.


Subject:  Re: More marker response.........
          Wed, 13 Nov 2002 10:24:21 EST

      Dear Barb,
           It is easy to look backward and decide now, that Carlisle was terrible.  I, for one, know that many successful Indian children went on to make a contribution to their people and to the general population BECAUSE of the education they recieved at Carlisle.  As you know, I have been researching the life of Chauncey Yellow Robe, who not only attended Carlisle for many years, but later returned to teach and then went on to adminstrative work at the non-reservation Indian School in Rapid City, South Dakota for 25 years.  He NEVER LOST HIS LAKOTA LANGUAGE OR HIS CULTURE.
       It is easy to retrospectivly denounce Carlisle.  All programs have their successes and failures.  Let us remember both.

Subject:  Re: More marker response.........
          Wed, 13 Nov 2002 22:05:51 EST

Hi Barb
   bad as the boarding schools were, they were not all bad.  Many of the students say that, and many are thankful for the education.  I think the bad thing was the reason they wanted to educate the Indian people as much as how they did it.
            But as solemn as this dedication should be, I think it should also be a dignified celebration of sorts .........the sign is finally going up!  And it is a tribute to all those who attended there, so who passed on while attending!  But a tribute nevertheless to all.
           My personal opinion is that while you have to remember the past and tell it like it is, it's important not to dwell on and on about it, but to learn from it so that history does not repeat itself. What's done is done, and it can't be undone.  None of us who will be in attendance at the dedication personally attended the Carlisle school, and none of us are responsible for Carlisle. But we can learn from the past and influence, improve, and change the future.
           Hope the above does not sound crass or crude as I don't mean it to.  It;s just my opinion and belief in life.

Subject: RE: We got our funding!
        Wed, 13 Nov 2002 12:09:13 -0500
   From:  Carolyn Rittenhouse <>

Hello Barb:  Yes, I too want to thank you for all your hard work and efforts in making this happen! If you need another volunteer for the planning committee, count me in.  I look forward to working on this special project and to be able to work with you again. Thanks again, your awesome!
Carolyn Rittenhouse
Cheyenne River Sioux (Lakota)

Subject:  Re: We got our funding!
          Wed, 13 Nov 2002 17:01:05 -0800
          From:  Gordon I Short <>

Dear Barbara,  Gordon and I want to thank you for your hard work and dedication which  made this all possible.  Great Job!  It is exciting to think that the planning can now take place for a dedication ceremony. We will do our best to be there no matter when it will take place.  We are enjoying reading everyone's comments.  Gordon's Mother and Aunt attended Carlisle some time between 1909-11.  We are pleased to take part in this in memory of Phoebe and Aunt Flora McDonald of the Colville
Confederated Tribes in Washington state.


Gordon and Carol Short

Subject:  Setting the date for the marker.
  Thu, 19 Dec 2002 00:27:01 -0500
   From:  Barbara Landis <>

I haven't forgotten you all.  It's been about six weeks since the last message regarding a marker dedication came across my email inbox.

I took the liberty of copying all of our messages to a web page so that we might be reminded of the sentiments expressed by so many involved in this endeavour so they might be included in whatever ceremony you all decide upon.

 It's my hope that we might come to consensus on a date - and then proceed with planning a ceremony.  It's time to meet with the Carlisle Barracks' logistics people to get cooperation for the actual installation of the marker.  We had applied to have it placed outside the back gate along the cemetery fence, however, security at the barracks might dictate a more interior placement of the marker.  Before I call the barracks people, I think we need to agree on a date.  Looks like most people prefer Labor Day weekend.  Should I make the assumption that this will work for everybody?

Help me out again, here.

Please, please reply to everybody and give me permission to post your responses publicly so we are all working together on this.  Thanks,


Subject: Setting the date
        Thu, 19 Dec 2002 04:56:48 -0600
   From:  Carlyle Hinshaw <>

Labor Day Weekend it is.

Subject: Re: Setting the date for the marker.
            Thu, 19 Dec 2002 08:36:21 -0500
      From:  Alice Nash <>

Labor Day weekend is good for me.  And please feel free to post any of my remarks.  Thanks for all your work!

Happy Holidays to all!!!

Alice Nash

Subject: Setting the date for the marker.
        Thu, 19 Dec 2002 18:56:52 EST

Hi Barb:

Labor Day weekend sounds good to me.... Feel free to post my remarks.

Happy Holidays All!

Doug Gomez

Subject: Re: Setting the date for the marker.
        Thu, 19 Dec 2002 19:50:12 -0500
        Susan Dominguez <>

another comment on the date
labor Day weekend might be good for local people to attend--and it is a 3 day weekend. BUT  if anyone has ever traveled the interstate highways or turnpikes on labor day weekend--it is the worst.  it is usually very HOT.
we need to think of the comfort of the elders travelling.

However, if the elders involved prefer that weekend--then go for it.   That will not prevent some kind of gathering in the future at another time of the year.

Oneida Comedian Charlie Hill (grandson of Carlisle student) recently had a heart attack==so travelling for him will be difficult.  Jay Leno hosted a benefit for him in Los Angeles.