On July 17 2021, a photograph described as showing “Hundreds of cars … lined up along Hwy 18 into Mission, South Dakota as the remains of Native children were returned to their homelands” was posted to Facebook, echoing a tweet from the previous day with the same image and text:
Today hundreds of cars lined up along Hwy 18 into Mission, South Dakota as the remains of Native children were returned to their homelands. pic.twitter.com/OqwA2t2UEK
— Reesus Patriot (@ResusCGMedia) July 17, 2021
First posted on July 16 2021, the tweet read:
Today hundreds of cars lined up along Hwy 18 into Mission, South Dakota as the remains of Native children were returned to their homelands.
part II pic.twitter.com/d2ZwiOidyz
— Reesus Patriot (@ResusCGMedia) July 17, 2021
A reverse image search returned results crawled no later than July 17 2021, indicating that if the image had been shared before, it was not widely shared and then repurposed:
In addition to several widely circulated social media posts, news organizations covered the caravan locally, nationally, and internationally. Sioux Falls’ KELO-TV reported:
The remains of nine Native American children who died more than 100 years ago at the Carlisle Boarding School will return home to South Dakota today [July 16 2021].
A ceremony was held in Sioux City Thursday night [July 15 2021] marking the journey home to the Rosebud Sioux Tribe. The remains left the site of the former government run school in Pennsylvania earlier this week [in July 2021] … The children’s remains will return to Rosebud on Friday [July 16 2021], making several stops along the way, including on the Yankton Sioux Reservation.
On July 16 2021, a KELO-TV reporter tweeted additional footage of the caravan:
The children's caravan arrives. pic.twitter.com/sSvPZ5iYN6
— Dan Santella (@KELODanS) July 16, 2021
On July 14 2021, the Sioux City Journal reported that a caravan “bringing home the remains of nine Rosebud Sioux children, who died at a Pennsylvania boarding school more than a century ago, [would] stop in Sioux City” on July 15 2021. A July 16 2021 IndianCountryToday.com article also covered the ceremony, providing names for all nine of the children.
That story explained that the July 2021 caravan was the fourth time since 2017 that the remains of indigenous children were repatriated from the same place:
Nine ancestors taken from the Sicangu Lakota to attend the Carlisle Indian Industrial School in Pennsylvania were brought home Friday [July 16 2021] with prayer and ceremony.
The children departed from Whetstone Bay more than 140 years ago, forcibly removed from their families and stripped of their language, culture and traditions to attend the government-run boarding school with new European names.
They returned to the Sicangu this week after being disinterred from unmarked graves for a final journey home: Dennis Strikes First (Blue Tomahawk); Rose Long Face (Little Hawk); Lucy Take The Tail (Pretty Eagle); Warren Painter (Bear Paints Dirt); Ernest Knocks Off (White Thunder); Maud Little Girl (Swift Bear); Friend Hollow Horn Bear; Dora Her Pipe (Brave Bull); and Alvan (Roaster), who was also called Kills Seven Horses and One That Kills Seven Horses.
The children were among more than 100 who died while attending the notorious boarding school, and marked the fourth time since 2017 that remains found at Carlisle have returned to their homelands.
On the same day, the Grand Forks Herald reported:
The remains of nine Lakota children who died at a boarding school in Carlisle, Penn., were returned after 140 years to their home on the Rosebud Sioux Indian Reservation in South Dakota on Friday, July 16 .
On Friday morning [July 16 2021], a tribal delegation, including ancestors and a tribal motorcycle group, crossed the Missouri River via the Chief Standing Bear Bridge from Nebraska into South Dakota with the children, arriving on the Yankton Sioux tribal lands. The group was to be greeted at Whetstone Landing, a historic river port for the tribe, and later travel to Sinte Gleska tribal college for an evening ceremony …
“These spirits will be able to join up with their families and won’t have that lost-soul feeling, like there’s a disconnect,” [Rep. Shawn Bordeaux] said Friday [July 16 2021]. “Now, there’s a re-connect.”
A viral Facebook post and viral tweet described an image as a caravan escorting the remains of Native American children who died at a residential school back to their ancestors. That ceremony was widely covered by local outlets, as well as some national sources. The caravan was met by a tribal delegation on July 16 2021, following a ceremony the night prior in Sioux City. The descriptions are accurate.