A New Perspective on the Carlisle Indian Industrial Boarding School

Share Article

Author Roberta Capasso details U.S. government attempts to wipeout Native culture through forced assimilation

News Image
What actually happened to my great-grandmother did not match with Carlisle’s records. The number of discrepancies were disturbing.

Films like Burt Lancaster’s “Jim Thorpe, All American” and Steven Spielberg’s “Into the West,” do not conjure up their intended warm and hopeful feelings for author Roberta Capasso.

In her new book, “Sky Woman Lives in Me” she illuminates the heartbreaking events that occurred at the Carlisle Indian industrial Boarding School. Her great-grandmother was physically and emotionally abused at the institution becoming a victim of the US Government’s attempt to assimilate Native American children into the Euro-American White culture.

Capasso is one of many Native American descendants who have, are, or will struggle to deal with the tragic aftermath of a governmental experiment to destroy Native American cultures during the 19th and early 20th centuries. During this time, many children were forcefully taken from their families and abused to the point that many died, unable to ever return to their homes.

Combining personal stories, archival research, and direct accounts of her great-grandmother’s Carlisle experience, Capasso creates an emotional, but detailed snapshot of a tainted moment in our Nation’s history.

“What actually happened to my great-grandmother did not match with Carlisle’s records. The number of discrepancies were disturbing,” Capasso said.

In addressing her own painful acculturation generations after Carlisle closed its doors, Capasso hopes to inspire others to do the same and face their own histories.

“People need to know what happened to me and my family, so they can begin to understand the Native American plight,” Capasso said. “Indigenous and non-indigenous people need to reconcile with their past.”

For more information, please visit http://www.robertacapasso.com

“Sky Woman Lives in Me”
By: Roberta Capasso
SC-ISBN: 978-1-4834-4348-5
SC-Retail price: $16.99
Available at barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com LuLu.com, http://www.robertacapasso.com

About the author
Roberta Capasso is an Oneida Indian from Wisconsin. She has a BS degree in Elementary Education from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. A wife and mother of two sons, she has two years training in classical voice and is a former marathoner.


EDITORS: For review copies or interview requests, contact:
Spencer Hotz | 317.602.7137| shotz(at)bohlsengroup(dot)com
(When requesting a review copy, please provide street address.)

Share article on social media or email:

View article via:

Pdf Print

Contact Author

Spencer Hotz
Bohlsen Group
+1 317-602-7137
Email >

Spencer Hotz
Visit website