Plans to demolish the farmhouse at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School (CIIS) in Carlisle, Pennsylvania are “…on hold indefinitely” according to a statement published October 9 in the U.S. Army War College Community Banner, the facility’s newsletter.
The Army had planned to raze the farmhouse to make way for new military housing, but the Coalition of Carlisle Indian School Descendants, Relatives and Friends waged a campaign to have the War College keep the historic residence, the only building at CIS where Native American students lived and attended classes.
In the recent newsletter piece, the Army acknowledged the importance of the coalition’s points.
“New information offered by several Native American nations and a coalition of descendents of Indian School students has prompted the pause in order to address their concerns and questions about the cultural connections between the building and the Carlisle Indian School.”
“Carlisle Barracks has a one-of-a-kind relationship with Native American nations across North America and it’s a matter of pride for the Army to honor the memory of the Native people who lived here during the Carlisle Indian School years,” said Maj. Gen. Tony Cucolo, commanding general of Carlisle Barracks in the newsletter article.
The Army announced that it has hired a team of historians to conduct a study of the farmhouse to determine its eligibility for placement on the National Register of Historic Places.
Cucolo also asserted that they would “reach out to every Indian nation and we will consult with all interested parties” regarding the farmhouse.
Coalition spokesperson, Dr. Louellyn White, Mohawk, stated that the group had a “productive meeting with War College personnel” last week. She did however, sound a note of caution regarding the future of the farmhouse.
“We still have a long way to go, and the farmhouse is still not out of danger,” she said.