Pat M., 86, from Brookdale’s Palma Sola in Bradenton, FL, is described by those who care for her as “an amazing woman who always has everyone’s interest at hand.” Pat grew up as an only child with strong connections with her parents. She is very proud of her Chippewa blood that was passed down from her grandfather and mother. Pat recalls her mother telling her stories about her days living on the reservation, and ever since Pat has wanted to go and visit part of her ancestor’s past. Pat’s wish to visit the remains of the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in PA stems from her wish to “walk a mile in the moccasins” of her loved ones. Having had 8 family members who attended the Carlisle Indian Industrial School, Pat wished to visit the remains of the school and the graveyard to pay her respects to the members of her tribe.
Over the course of her life, Pat has been involved in education. She worked as a teacher for 40 years teaching third through seventh grade in various schools in the U.S., and throughout the world by working in the Department of Defense schools overseas. Pat has also served as a Red Cross volunteer and as a hospital volunteer for 10 years at the Brandon Regional Hospital. In addition, Pat has sponsored a child in Africa for several years, and made financial contributions to St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital. Currently, Pat remains involved in her Brookdale community by serving as the President of the Residents Council, member on the greeting committee, and as a store staff assistant in her Brookdale community.
On May 31st, thanks to Brookdale, Wish of a Lifetime, the Cumberland County Historical Society, Dickinson College and the Army War College, Pat’s wish to visit the Carlisle Industrial School was granted. Pat and her caregiver, Craig, traveled from Bradenton, FL to Carlisle, PA where they were guided by Barb Landis, Cumberland County Historical Society’s Carlisle Indian Industrial School (CIIS) research Specialist for a day filled with great excitement and learning.
Photography Credit: Heather Shelley ‘Dreaming Tree Studios’