Carlisle Indian Industrial School Files Go Digital

Archives and Special Collections, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PAThe caption reads: Graduating Class, 1892. Indian Industrial School, Carlisle, Pa. Thomas Metoxen (Oneida.) Hattie Long Wolf (Sioux.) Reuben Wolfe (Omaha.) Luzena Choteau (Wyandotte.) William Baird (Oneida.) Albert Bishop, (Seneca.) Benajah Miles (Arapahoe.) Joseph Hamilton (Piegan.) Benjamin Caswell (Chippewa.) Frank Everett (Wichita.) Lydia Flint (Shawnee.) Fred Peake (Chippewa.) Photographer: John N. Choate, Carlisle, PA

Archives and Special Collections, Dickinson College, Carlisle, PA
The caption reads: Graduating Class, 1892. Indian Industrial School, Carlisle, Pa. Thomas Metoxen (Oneida.) Hattie Long Wolf (Sioux.) Reuben Wolfe (Omaha.) Luzena Choteau (Wyandotte.) William Baird (Oneida.) Albert Bishop, (Seneca.) Benajah Miles (Arapahoe.) Joseph Hamilton (Piegan.) Benjamin Caswell (Chippewa.) Frank Everett (Wichita.) Lydia Flint (Shawnee.) Fred Peake (Chippewa.) Photographer: John N. Choate, Carlisle, PA

Rick Kearns

1/10/14 ICTMN.com

Want to know more about students who attended Carlisle Indian Industrial School? Now doing just that is far easier.

Stories of Sioux children like Elsie Robertson, or Pueblo children like Bruce Fisher can now be read online, as can parts of the lives of the many thousands of students who attended Carlisle between the years of 1879 and 1918.

Readers can find this information on the Carlisle Indian Industrial School Project page of Dickinson College of Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The college’s Community Studies Center (CSC) and its Archives and Special Collections Department put the project together in 2013 and since August of last year they have been sending teams of researchers to the National Archives to scan and digitize information relating to CIIS.

This week, project directors sent another team to the Archives to continue with the process. One of the directors, College Archivist Jim Gerencser, noted that they had already digitized 1,250 files, comprising about 11,000 pages of text.

“We think that within three years we should be able to capture all the information from the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) files,” Gerencser said.

He also said that they had been in contact with a group of CIIS descendants on Facebook and were hoping to inspire other people with connections to the school to come forward. The first page of the project’s website extends an invitation also.

“Desiring to add to the school’s history beyond the official documentation, we will seek partners among those institutions that hold additional records regarding the school, its many students, and its instructors. Subsequent phases of this project will develop the capability for user interactivity, so that individuals may contribute their own digitized photos, documents, oral histories, and other personal materials to the online collection. The website will also host teaching and learning materials utilizing the digitized content and database, and will support the addition of original scholarly and popular works based on the Carlisle Indian Industrial School Project resources.

Native American Boarding School Project gathers oral histories

Boarding Schools

4/23/2013 8:47:48 AM

BY STAFF REPORTS of CherokeePheonix.org

LOS ANGELES – The Native American Boarding School Visual History Project is gathering oral histories from alumni of boarding schools in an effort to remember and heal.

The nonprofit Cante Sica Foundation is sponsoring the project and calls the Native American boarding school experience a legacy for alumni, their families and communities.

The project will consist of a visual history archive and an interactive website that will educate people about the history of the American Indian boarding school system. The system was a policy of forced assimilation experienced by more than 100,000 Native American children between 1879 and 1975.

Phase 1 of the project will train teams of Native historians and filmmakers to collect visual testimonies from alumni now living in Southern California, including alumni of the Sherman Institute (now Sherman High School) in Riverside.

The majority of boarding school alumni are now in their 60s, 70s and 80s. With each passing year a significant number of alumni are lost and within a decade a majority of them will have passed away. Many have been unable to talk about their experiences until recently, and as they age, many may come to realize the importance of sharing their stories for future generations, reads a Cante Sica Foundation statement.

“For others, their boarding school years were among the best of their lives. Many fall somewhere in the middle. The project provides a forum for alumni to tell their sown stories in their own way,” it states.

The project is also meant to help students understand the persistent and often devastating effects caused by large-scale assimilation efforts, including post-traumatic stress, disappearance of language, cultural displacement, loss of family ties, domestic violence, addiction and suicide. Also, people will learn of positive stories of survival and the ingenuity of boarding school students.

The testimonies will be edited into shorter excerpts that users can access in an immersive multimedia environment. Interactive and downloadable lesson plans will help teachers use the website in their classrooms. Meanwhile, the unedited interviews will become a valuable visual history archive of primary sources for scholars, students and indigenous peoples worldwide.

Phase 2 will expand the archive to include interviews and information about boarding schools and their alumni from across the nation.

If you are a boarding school alumni and want to share your story or know of alumni elders, email DeLanna Studi at delanna@cantesica.org or call 310-528-5352 or Brian Wescott at brian@cantesica.org or call 310-922-6466.

View stories here http://www.storiesfrom.us/#/surviving-assimilation/ Website requires a newer web browser like Google Chrome.