Prayers offered in Sioux City as remains of Native children return to their native lands

A national Indian Residential School Crisis Line has been set up to provide support for residential school survivors and others affected. People can access emotional and crisis referral services by calling the 24-hour national crisis line: 1-866-925-4419.

Prayers were offered at the War Eagle Park in Sioux City this morning as the nine children of the Sicangu Oyate continue on their journey home from the Carlisle Boarding School in the land called Pennsylvania. They arrived around 1:30 am.

My friend Sikowis (Christine Nobiss) thanked those who helped and those who were bringing the children home.

Then Manape LaMere spoke. He mentioned how triggering the findings of the remains of many Native children at residential/boarding schools have been and continue to be. He mentioned having a family member who was a survivor one of those schools. Someone in the crowd was a family member of one of the nine children. Manape thanked his young nephew who sang the flag song yesterday. He traces many behaviors today back to the traumas of the residential schools. At the end he asked the cameras to be stilled as he sang the four directions song.

SIOUX CITY — After more than 140 years, the remains of nine Rosebud Sioux children are nearly home.

A caravan carrying the remains of the children, who died at Pennsylvania boarding school, left Sioux City Friday morning after a ceremony at the Tyson Events Center parking lot. The caravan was scheduled to arrive later Friday at the Rosebud Sioux reservation in western South Dakota.

“This is a very emotional time,” Trisha Etringer, of the Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, said Friday at the Tyson parking lot. “We are sad that it took so long for our Native children to return. But we are happy that their journey is nearly over.”

All together, ten Native children — nine from the Rosebud Sioux tribe and one from the Alaskan Aleut Tribe — were recently disinterred from a cemetery on the grounds of the Carlisle Barracks, which was also home to the U.S. Army War college. 

The Rosebud Sioux Tribe, also known as Sicangu Lakota, had spent the past six years negotiating the reparation of the children’s remains.

Prayers offered in Sioux City as remains of Native children return to their native lands by Earl Horlyk, Sioux City Journal, Jul 16, 2021

Meskwaki Nation

In 1879 many children from the Rosebud Sioux Nation and many others were taken from their families and forced to attend the Carlisle Boarding School in what is known as the state of Pennsylvania today. For over 140 years all efforts on behalf of the Tribe to reclaim the remains of 9 of their children have been denied. This week these children are finally being brought home to rest following recent efforts led by 11 Rosebud Sioux youth council members supported by their Tribe.

On July 15th, 2021 the Meskwaki Nation welcomed these youth and members from the Rosebud Sioux Nation with a meal, song, and prayers to take with them on their journey home. Our Great Plains Action Society collective is extremely grateful for the actions of these youth and the Rosebud Sioux Tribe that have led to the widespread recognition of the atrocities committed at boarding schools across the United States. While repatriations have been taking place across Canada, many investigations have yet to take place here in the United States. Now, Deb Halaand (Secretary of the Interior) is launching a Federal Boarding School Initiative here in the US.

The strength and actions of the Rosebud Sioux Nation and their youth today will allow for numerous other Tribal Nations around the country to soon reunited with their loved ones who were lost at these assimilation schools. “…when one rises, we all rise” – Christopher Eagle Bear, Rosebud Sioux youth

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