Success: Remains of Native American Children Sent Home

Target: Kirby Metoxen, Tribal Councilman for the Oneida Business Committee

Goal: Thank those who brought the remains of three displaced Oneida children home to their tribe.

Three Native American children were successfully exhumed and reburied at their home in the Oneida Indian Reservation. They were forcibly removed from their tribe and sent to a boarding school that had been built to assimilate Native Americans to white American culture. Thank those who worked to bring these children home.

Jemima, Sophia, Ophelia: these three teenage girls were taken from their home at the Oneida Indian Reservation in the late 1800’s and sent on an 850-mile journey to Carlisle, Pennsylvania. There, they and hundreds of other Native American children were admitted to Carlisle Indian Industrial School, America’s solution to the “Indian problem.” The school aimed to assimilate the children by cutting their hair, lightening their skin, and preaching white American values. These three girls, however, did not make it that far. Their journey’s ended in disease and death, meaning they never returned home. Now, thanks to lawmakers and petitions such as this one, that is changing.

More than two dozen descendants of the three girls attended their reburial, which coincided with the 47th annual Oneida Pow-wow. While there are still more displaced remains to be returned, this is a step in the right direction. Sign below and thank those involved in this reunion.


Dear Councilman Metoxen,

Jemima, Sophia, and Ophelia are finally resting in peace at the Oneida Indian Reservation, thanks largely to your dedication to their return. These three Native American girls were kidnapped from their families and thrust into a boarding school where their culture and values were to be erased. Sadly, after they succumbed to disease and died at the Pennsylvania school, their bodies were kept from their families for 377 years.

This act, set in motion by American lawmakers in the 1800’s, is nothing short of despicable, and it should mar the pages of history books forever. Thankfully, there are current lawmakers, such as yourself, who see the importance of bringing these children home and allowing them to rest in peace. Thank you for your dedication to these children and their ancestors.


[Your Name Here]

Photo Credit: Carlisle Indian School Digital Resource Center

One Comment

  1. Evan Jane Kriss says:

    What we have done, and continue to do, to our Native Americans, is disgraceful and unconscionable.

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