Operated from 1879 to 1918 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania, the Carlisle Indian Industrial School was the first U.S. government-run off-reservation school for American Indian children. As noted by the Carlisle Journeys website, the school’s “legendary athletic teams and rigorous training programs influenced the complex legacies that used sports as a kind of propaganda tool and at the same time modeled the success of the track and football teams for other off-reservation boarding schools.”
The 2016 Carlisle Journeys: Celebrating the American Indian Sports Legacy conference will provide a forum to explore these tensions and achievements of Native American athletes. It will be held from October 7 to 9 in Carlisle, Pennsylvania.
After having issued a call for papers, the committee has drawn from a wide variety of experts, academics and descendants of Carlisle students. Events during the conference will be held at the Cumberland County Historical Society, Dickinson College, and the 1st United Church of Christ.
Olympic gold medalist Billy Mills, Oglala Sioux, will serve as the event’s keynote speaker. Other speakers include Sally Jenkins, a columnist for the Washington Post, and award-winning author of 12 books; Amanda Blackhorse, Diné, an activist and contributor for Indian Country Today Media Network; Ray Halbritter, Oneida Nation representative and CEO of Nation Enterprises, parent company of ICTMN; Ben Nuvamsa, former chairman of the Hopi Tribe; John Bloom; associate professor at Shippensburg University of Pennsylvania; Shoni and Jude Schimmel, former high school basketball players; Sid Jamieson, Cayuga Nation, who has been coaching lacrosse at Bucknell University for decades; and Neal J. Powless, Onondaga, is a Ph.D. fellow at Syracuse University’s S.I. Newhouse School of Public Communications.