PCI Film Series: The Lost Ones Long Journey Home
Introduced by Prof. Susan Rose (Dickinson College, USA)
The Lost Ones: Long Journey Home is a documentary film that weaves together Native American oral histories and historical, archival research as it pieces together the story of two Lipan Apache children captured along the Texas-Mexican border in 1877.
After the massacre of their village known, as Remolino or the “Day of Screams,” the children rode from fort to fort with the U.S. Calvary for three years before being taken to the Carlisle Indian Industrial School (CIIS) in Pennsylvania – thousands of miles from their home. Carlisle, established in 1879 at the end of the “Indian wars,” served as the model for off-reservation boarding schools across the United States and Canada. Its goal was to “civilize” and assimilate Indian children to Euro-American culture: “education for extinction.” The children’s ties with their family were completely severed; the only legacy the children left was Kesetta’s three-year-old son who became the youngest child ever to be enrolled at CIIS. While the family remembered the Lost Ones every year, they never knew what had happened to the children or where they were buried until two centuries later.
This documentary reveals the mystery of how on the 132th anniversary of Remolino, Lipan Apache descendants from California, Texas, and New Mexico came to Carlisle to offer blessings so the children could be sent home. The film demonstrates the power of collective memory, the impact of intergenerational trauma, and the ways in which photographs can be used as a form of both erasure and reclamation.