Residential school children returned to Sisseton for reburial

Published: Sep. 22, 2023 at 4:15 PM CDT
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SISSETON, S.D. (Dakota News Now) - The Sisseton Wahpeton Tribe is joining with other nearby tribes as part of a four-day mourning process as they bring loved ones home. Two children who were buried at a notorious Indian residential school will now be buried near family.

In the late 1800s, one of those overseeing the Carlisle Indian School in Pennsylvania, R. H. Pratt, spoke at a gathering declaring the goal of children in his care, to “Kill the Indian in him, and save the man.”

Many children from this area were sent to the school, two of them were from the Sisseton area.

Amos La Framboise and Edward Upright not only lived there but died and were buried on the grounds. Leadership and family from the tribe have been working with the military to provide the necessary requirements to allow the children’s remains to be repatriated.

The journey has been filled with many challenges, including finding the required next of kin to complete the application process. It began with a delegation holding ceremonies on the burial grounds at the former residential school and the escort back to South Dakota.

Rep. Tamara St. John recalled a touching moment with the delegation meeting with members of the Army at the school site.

“In one instance, someone on the other side of the line had said, ‘I want you to know I’ve learned so much that I’m going to teach my children about Amos and Edward, and I’m going to teach my children’s children about them as well.’ and that was a huge thing,” St. John explained.

Residents of the Rosebud Sioux Tribe who helped in the repatriation of their loved ones have also gathered for the four days of mourning in Sisseton. The final day will include a private burial service.