On March 11th and 12th 39 people traveled together on a history exploration trip to
Carlisle PA. While there we heard lectures, saw a slide show, explored a museum and toured the grounds of the former Carlisle Indian Industrial School. We spent the night at The Iron Masters’ Mansion Hostel in Pine Grove State Park.
The trip was funded through SBU’s Center for Community Based Learning and the School of Education, Salamanca High School field trip fund, Seneca Nation of Indians Education Department and a great amount was earned by students fundraising efforts. With the help of the SNI Education Department, the students hosted an Indian Taco lunch, a spaghetti lunch and a couple of raffles.
The group that traveled together consisted of students and teachers from Salamanca High School and Alternative Ed, Faith Keepers School, St. Bonaventure University and Gowanda High School. The mix of adults and students was especially educational as we
shared in a wonderful experience of education by researching family lineage history and finding family that attended the Carlisle Indian industrial school. It was a great way of finding lost family members or forgotten family or friends to rekindle the lost ties of knowing who and what they had done. There were students who went on the trip already knowing some prior knowledge of their ancestors who attended the Carlisle Boarding School but along the way those students found more information then their own parents knew.
Students enjoyed the trip because it was both fun along with informational, but also rather sad for those who did have family members who attended Carlisle that had passed away. For any student who had an ancestor who attended Carlisle left knowing what their relatives went through, the troubles and obstacles they had to strive through, the pain and the tears they faced, and the jobs and tasks they dealt with everyday. Although they are saddened by the fact that their ancestors were treated less than equal, they feel a sense of pride with the strength they contained. They took advantage of the information the school handed them to help them in the world outside Carlisle. The students are proud to say where they came from and are very thankful for the wonderful opportunity they were given.
It is beyond words to describe the value of our spending time knowing more about ourselves and each other.
I have a great appreciation for my parents and what they’ve given in life, after experiencing the trip Carlisle I have more of an appreciation not only to my parents but my elders as well.