Sunday, November 23, 2008

Indian Cemetery

I found a ribbit at the cemetery!! But there was no grass, or shade from trees. There was a lovely background of mountains. And many children buried under simple stones at the Sherman Indian School Cemetery. Each grave had artifical flowers on it.
Almost every stone had the symbol of the Sherman Indian School engraved, but not a name. There was a larger monument that listed many names of people associated with the school that died after 1901.
I learned that at one time Indian children were sent (removed from their homes) to this school to assimilate in American society, taught a trade and were expected to behave like the white man. Because of U. S. Bureau Policy and some misunderstandings children that died were not allowed to return home, so it was here that they were buried.
There is a black iron fence that is locked so I could not walk around inside, but my little camera fit nicely between the fence posts and I took some good pictures.
There is a Indian tradition for the Southern California tribes that on May 3rd flowers are placed in all the Indian cemeteries thus all the plastic flowers still there six months later. This is called Indian Flower Day.
It was a short visit but I said a prayer for all the little children and left.


Linda in Lancaster said...

I had no idea there was a Cemetery for the children of that school! I attended Jr. High in Riverside at Chemawa, right down the street from Sherman. I guess I never thought about cemeteries back then!
We "adopted" one of the girls from there and would bring her home on weekends. In later life, my parents would go visit her and her family in New Mexico.
Thanks for the wonderful memories!

travels wright said...

I just discovered it too. everyone would say "have you seen that Indiane cemetery?" No i would answered where is it? But then they couldn't tell me, so I went hunting. How nice of your parents to love a little girl that needed it. Do you ever come this way? Lancaster isn't too too far away. Thanks for the comment

Terry Thornton said...

Travels Wright,

Thank you for this sad look backwards to a time when well-meaning folks thought they knew what was best for Native Americans.

I do hope you can return to this cemetery for a closer look --- and perhaps learn and post more about it.

My prayer for those children has also been offered up.

Terry Thornton
Fulton, Mississippi USA

A Member of The Association of Graveyard Rabbits