Army to disinter remains of six Native Americans at Carlisle Barracks

CARLISLE, PA  —   The U.S. Army plans to disinter the remains of six Native American children buried at the Carlisle Barracks this summer. This is the third straight year for this disinterment project.

The children died after being sent to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School and were buried there more than 100 years ago. The decedent names are Ophelia Powless (aka Ophelia Powias), Sophia Caulon (aka Sophy Coulon), Jamima Metoxen (aka Jemima Meloxen), Henry Jones, Alice Springer, and Adam McCarty (aka Adam McCarthy).

The Carlisle Barracks Post Cemetery will be closed to visitors starting June 10 when set-up begins until completion of actions, tentatively July 7.  In respect for the families and tribes, and consistent with Army cemetery protocol, the entire cemetery area will be enclosed with privacy fencing.  Access to the cemetery will be restricted to the Army National Military Cemetery staff, tribal members, and their families. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers will lend archeological and anthropological expertise to the project.

“The Army’s commitment remains steadfast to these six Native American families whose sacrifice is known to only a few. Our objective is to reunite the families with their children in a manner of utmost dignity and respect,” said Karen Durham-Aguilera, Executive Director of Army National Military Cemeteries.

In 1879, Carlisle Barracks became the site of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, operated by the Department of the Interior until 1918.  The school educated more than 10,000 Native American children, with representation from approximately 50 Native American Tribes across the Nation.

Custody of the remains will be transferred to the families able to establish the closest family link between the decedent and requestor, according to a press release issued by the Office of Army Cemeteries.  The transfer will enable families to return the children to cemeteries of their choice.  The Army will reimburse the families for transport and re-interment of the deceased.

SOURCE: Office of Army Cemeteries press release

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