To move forward they must heal the past
In 2017, a delegation of Northern Arapaho tribal members traveled from Wyoming to Pennsylvania to retrieve remains of three children who died at Carlisle Indian Industrial school in the 1880s. It’s a journey into the troubled history of Indian boarding schools and a quest to heal generational wounds.
“Kill the Indian in him, and save the man” was the guiding principle of the U.S. government-run Indian boarding school system starting in the late 19th Century. The program removed tens of thousands of Native American children from their tribal homelands, and through brutal assimilation tactics, stripped them of their languages, traditions and culture. The students were forced through a military-style, remedial education. Most children returned emotionally scarred, culturally unrooted with trauma that has echoed down the generations. Many students never returned home, having died at the schools. Home From School: The Children of Carlisle dives into history of the flagship federal boarding school, Carlisle Indian Industrial School, and follows the modern day journey of the Northern Arapaho Tribe as they seek to bring home the remains of three children who died at Carlisle over 100 years ago. To move forward they need to heal from the past, and in doing so they forge the way for other tribes to follow.
who is the film about
Home From School follows the journey of a group of Northern Arapaho elders and youth that travel from the Wind River Reservation in Wyoming to Carlisle, Pennsylvania to retrieve the remains of children that were sent and later died at the Carlisle Industrial Board School in the 1880s. Many of this delegation were also part of the tireless efforts to break through the red tape involved in getting permission from the U.S. Army to access the remains of their ancestors. The Northern Arapaho are the first Tribe in the U.S. to have successfully returned their children’s remains from a U.S. run Indian boarding school.
Little Chief (Dickens Nor)
A Northern Arapaho boy that was part of the first group of 15 students to be sent to Carlisle from the Wind River Reservation. He was Chief Sharp Nose’s son. He died at Carlisle on January 22, 1883, at the age of 16 years old. He was buried in the Carlisle Cemetery and his remains were repatriated back to Wind River in August 2017.
Horse (Horace Washington)
A Northern Arapaho boy that was part of the first group of 15 students to be sent to Carlisle from the Wind River Reservation. He died at Carlisle on June 12, 1882 at the age of 12 years old. He was buried in the Carlisle Cemetery and his remains were repatriated back to Wind River in 2017.
Little Plume (Hayes Vanderbilt Friday)
A Northern Arapaho boy that was part of the first group of 15 students to be sent to Carlisle from the Wind River Reservation. He died at Carlisle on April 15, 1882 at the age of 10 years old. He was buried in the Carlisle Cemetery and his remains were repatriated back to Wind River in June 2018.
The last War Chief of the Northern Arapaho Tribe. Father of Little Chief, who died at Carlisle in 1883.
Richard Henry Pratt
A brigadier general in the U.S. Army who was the founder and superintendent at the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania, which was founded on the principle of “kill the Indian, to save the man”. Carlisle became the model program that the U.S. government replicated around the country and sent tens of thousands of Native American students to as part of a forced assimilation program.
Yufna Soldier Wolf
Former Director of the Northern Arapaho Tribal Historic Preservation Office (NATHPO) and great-granddaughter of Chief Sharp Nose. Yufna is the driving force behind the repatriation efforts highlighted in the film. Her great uncle is Little Chief, Sharp Nose’s son, who died at Carlisle in 1883.
Mark Soldier Wolf
Northern Arapaho Tribal Elder and proud U.S. veteran. Grandson of Chief Sharp Nose and father to Yufna. Mark’s father Scott Dewey attended Carlisle Indian School. His uncle was Little Chief, who died at Carlisle in 1883.
One of the Ceremonial Leaders of the Northern Arapaho Tribe and proud Vietnam veteran, Crawford is part of the delegation that traveled to Carlisle to bring back the three Northern Arapaho boys. As a boy, Crawford attended the St. Stephens boarding school on the Wind River Reservation.
Former Native American Graves Protection and Repatriation Act (NAGPRA) Consultant at NATHPO, Betty has worked on many repatriations for the Tribe, but this repatriation was personal as Little Plume was her husband’s (Hubert Friday) relative. Betty’s grandfather attended Carlisle returning to live on Wind River Reservation. Betty attended St. Elizabeth’s Mission boarding school in South Dakota.
Juwan Willow & Phyllis Gardner
Juwan is a graduating high school student from Wyoming Indian High on the Wind River Reservation. Phyllis is a first year university student at Dartmouth and grew up on the Wind River Reservation. Both are part of the delegation of youth who travelled to Carlisle to bring home the remains of the three Northern Arapaho children.
Caldera Productions is an independent documentary film company based in Wyoming that is uniquely positioned to tell the stories of people, places and history of the American West. Since 2015 the company has produced and distributed award winning documentary features and shorts including The Drift: An American Cattle Drive, Ferret Town, The State of Equality, Home From School and soon to be released Who She Is.
meet the film team
In 2017 when the Northern Arapaho delegation was preparing to go to Carlisle to retrieve their children’s remains, members of the Tribe contacted Caldera Productions to film and document their historic trip. Geoff and Caldera Productions has had a long standing relationship with members of the Tribe and had worked closely with Associate Producer Jordan Dresser on other film projects. As the story developed Vision Maker Media came on as a major funder and then co-producer of the project along with many other granters that made all of the research, archival material collecting, filming and post-production work possible. Over four years, this film has been a passion project of many of the Caldera Production’s team. We are delighted to finally bring its history and story to audiences.
Producer l Writer l Director
Geoff is the President and owner of Caldera Productions, a documentary production company based in Wyoming. For over 20 years, Geoff O’Gara worked for public television as on-camera talent, writer, and documentary producer with Wyoming PBS. His productions have won a variety of prizes, including a Heartland Emmy for best documentary (Will Rogers & American Politics, 2011), the National Educational Television Association (NETA) top prize for documentary (Alan K. Simpson: Nothing Else Matters, 2012), and NETA’s first place award for public affairs series (Wyoming Chronicle, 2010). Geoff is also the author of several books, the former editor of High Country News, and has written for publications including National Geographic books and Traveler magazine, The New York Times, The Washington Post, American Heritage, The Los Angeles Times, Newsweek, National Wildlife, Sierra, and others. Geoff splits his time between Lander, Wyoming and the Washington, D.C. area.
Sophie joined Caldera Productions in 2016, having relocated from Australia. Her career in arts administration has made her an all-rounder with particular expertise in project management. Passions for storytelling through film and for travel have resulted in an international career in the film industry. Over the past 12 years, she has worked for the Bord Scannan na hEireann/the Irish Film Board and on film festivals in Australia, Ireland and the US, as well as for one of Australia’s premier cultural institutions, The National Gallery of Victoria. She brings a wide range of experience to Caldera, having worked in production, promotion, human resources, venue and event management. Her documentary experience with Caldera includes work on The Drift: An American Cattle Drive (2018 -2019), FerretTown (2019) and she co-produced the recently released The State of Equality (2019) about the birth of women’s suffrage in Wyoming. Sophie is currently co-directing and producing Who She Is, an animated documentary short series about the MMIW/P epidemic in Wyoming (2022).
Jordan is currently the Chairman of the Northern Arapaho Tribe located on the Wind River Indian Reservation in central Wyoming. He graduated from the University of Wyoming with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism. He has worked as a reporter for the Lincoln Journal Star, the Salt Lake Tribune, the Forum, and the Denver Post. Questions of who owns tribal artifacts and the role tribal members play in these decisions prompted Dresser to leave Wind River and enroll into a Museum Studies Graduate Program at the University of San Francisco. In 2016, he co-produced the documentary What Was Ours (Alpheus Media/ITVS) followed by The Art of Home: a Wind River Story (Wyoming PBS). Prior to becoming the Chairman of the Tribe, Jordan served as the Collections Manager for the Northern Arapaho Tribal Historic Preservation Office. Jordan describes himself as a storyteller who uses words, images and objects to paint an accurate picture of tribal nations. Jordan is currently directing and co-producing Who She Is, an animated documentary short series about the MMIW/P epidemic in Wyoming (2022).
Jerod Impichchaachaaha' Tate
Jerod Impichchaachaaha’ Tate was born in 1968 in Norman, Oklahoma, is a citizen of the Chickasaw Nation and a 2011 Emmy Award Winner. Tate received his BM in Piano Performance from Northwestern University and a MM in Piano Performance and Composition at the Cleveland Institute of Music. Tate has dedicated his composing career to the development of American Indian classical composition. Tate has received numerous commissions and his works have been performed by the National Symphony Orchestra, Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Minnesota Orchestra, Buffalo Philharmonic Orchestra, Colorado Ballet, The New Mexico Symphony, Santa Fe Chamber Music Festival, Dale Warland Singers, the New Jersey Chamber Music Society and the Philadelphia Classical Symphony, to name a few. Tate is Artistic Director for the Chickasaw Chamber Music Festival and Composer-in-Residence for the Chickasaw Summer Arts Academy. In 2008, he was appointed Cultural Ambassador for the State of Oklahoma. Tate’s middle name, Impichchaachaaha’, means “high corncrib” and is his inherited traditional Chickasaw house name.
For over 25 years, Kyle has worked for Wyoming PBS as a director of photography, editor, and documentary producer, as well as serving as Production Manager. His productions have won a variety of awards, including four Regional Emmys including 100 Years on the Lincoln Highway (2014) and Glaciers of the Winds (2018), plus several Public Media Awards and numerous other awards and recognitions. Kyle has worked closely with Geoff O’Gara and Caldera Productions on several productions including Washakie: Last Chief of the Eastern Shoshone (Wyoming PBS, 1998), Alan K. Simpson: Nothing Else Matters (Wyoming PBS, 2012) and The State of Equality (Caldera Productions/Wyoming PBS, 2019). Prior to his work in Wyoming, Kyle spent 9 years in the production and engineering departments of the ABC affiliate in Columbus, Ohio.
Director of Photography l Offline Editor
Nathan Schucker has always had an interest in film and storytelling. In 2015 he closed his construction business to pursue film & video full time. For several years he worked on a number of short and feature films and documentaries. This led to a position at Wyoming PBS where he started as a production specialist and quickly moved into producing and editing a short form series for the station. He left the station in 2018 but was retained as a freelance editor, recently completing The Bozeman Trail: A Rush to Montana’s Gold (2019) which was aired nationally and nominated for a Heartland Emmy Award.
Virginia has worked in the independent and broadcast documentary film industry for over 10 years, in various roles including series producer, associate producer, production manager, grant writer, field producer, editor, and videographer. Virginia developed an interest in wildlife film during her time in Alberta, Canada, producing wildlife productions such as the series Wild Canada (BBC, CBC, Terra Mater, 2014), The Nature of Things: Wolverine (CBC, 2016), and Killer Quest (National Geographic Television, 2011). Her documentary experience includes work on What Was Ours (Alpheus Media/ITVS, 2016), Dick Cheney: A Heartbeat Away (Wyoming PBS/The Content Lab, 2015), and The Drift: An American Cattledrive (Caldera Productions, 2019). Ferret Town (Caldera Productions, 2019) was Virginia’s directorial debut and the short film was nominated for a Heartland Emmy and won best conservation short at the 2020 Nature Track Film Festival. Virginia currently lives in the French Alps where she is also a notable landscape painter.
Caldera Productions is based in Lander, Wyoming on the ancestral territory of the Apsaalooke (Crow), Eastern Shoshone, Northern Arapaho and Cheyenne People. We would like to thank the Northern Arapaho Tribe for entrusting us with your story and thank all of the known and unknown indigenous Tribes and Peoples that allowed us to film on your ancestral territories and unceded lands.