Honoring the Children,

Giving Voice
to the Legacy

Trauma. Triumph. Pain. Resilience. Loss. Survival.

Carlisle by the Numbers

39 years of operation

186 graves of children who died while attending

140+ tribes

Hundreds of boarding schools, both private and government-run, were modeled after Carlisle.

Thousands of Students

Dear Friends of Carlisle Indian School Project:    

Our work on the Carlisle Indian School Project (CISP) continues.  

Join us tonight as we watch the PBS Independent Lens Presentation “Home From School: The Children of Carlisle.”  One of the thousands of stories waiting to be told.  

Donate at this link today and Give Voice to the 10,000 children who attended Carlisle, the first American Indian boarding school and the model for the 26 other Indian Boarding Schools in the country. The place where “kill the Indian, save the man” first became an educational policy.  

Your tax-deductible donations to the 501c3 nonprofit Carlisle Indian School Project will help create a heritage center and living memorial near the original school to remember and honor the children of Carlisle and their families. To learn more, please go to the CISP website.

The Carlisle Indian School Project is collaborating with:

  • US Army War College (occupants of the former Carlisle Indian Industrial School site)
  • Carlisle Indian School Data Resource Center of Dickinson College
  • Cumberland Valley Historical Society
  • Cumberland Area Economic Development Corporation
  • Cumberland County Commissioners
  • Carlisle Office of the Mayor
  • Circle Legacy Center
  • Many descendants of the children of Carlisle School
  • Many of the 146 original tribes who had children at Carlisle School
  • Many of today’s prominent American Indian leaders 

Click here to donate today and watch PBS Independent Lens tonight at 9 p.m. Eastern time or tomorrow on your local PBS station.

Going Home At Last

More or our children are going Home to their families and Tribes


Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, opened in 1879 as the first government-run boarding school for Native American children. The goal? Forced assimilation of Native children into white American society under the belief of “Kill the Indian, Save the Man.”


Carlisle closed in 1918, but its legacy and that of the many boarding schools modeled after it continues to impact Native American families today. From the generational impact of trauma to the loss of cultural identity, many Natives today still feel the pain of Carlisle. Yet many also have powerful stories of triumph, resilience, and survival.


We seek to tell the full story—the tragedy and the triumph—of the boarding school era and its impact on generations of Native peoples. We want to create ongoing opportunities to educate people about Carlisle and other boarding schools while also creating a physical place and location to tell the entire story. We need your help to make this vision a reality.


Thousands of students attended Carlisle during its 39 years of operation as a boarding school for Native students. Their stories live on through their descendants and those who are passionate about educating the public about the boarding school era’s impact.

Going Home At Last

GOING HOME AT LAST May 24, 2023 The Office of Army Cemeteries (OAC) is honoring the requests of the family members to disinter the human remains of five Native American students from the Carlisle Barracks Post Cemetery, Carlisle, Pennsylvania. The decedent names are: Edward Upright from the Spirit Lake Tribe, Amos LaFramboise from the Sisseton

Jesse Paul & Nez Perce

Jesse Paul & Nez Perce As a young child, Jesse Paul (Ka-khun-nee, Black Raven) encountered significant trauma in his life. His father and all five of his siblings died in the Nez Perce War of 1877. After the tribe surrendered, Jesse and his mother were sent to exile camps at Fort Leavenworth, then Baxter Springs,


We want to honor the legacy of the children who attended Carlisle by building a heritage center and museum near the original school site. You can support this vision by donating, by contacting us to arrange a visit, or by sharing our website or social media. Every donation and every piece of information you share helps educate the public and keep these stories alive.

About CISP

We aim to create a collaborative, sustainable legacy honoring the achievements, struggles, and contributions of the students who attended the Carlisle Indian Industrial School.

NEW ADDRESS: P.O. Box 217, Conestoga, PA 17516-0217

Be in the know

Want to know more? Get involved and stay in touch. Hear the latest on construction updates, archive donations, giving opportunities and more.

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…While the white people had much to teach us, we had much to teach them.
-Luther Standing Bear (Ota Kte)

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For 150 years, U.S. policy forced Native American children into boarding schools built to eradicate their culture and assimilate them into White society.

The hidden legacy of Indian boarding schools in the United States