Archive for Thursday, July 12, 2001

Education gap

July 12, 2001


To the editor:

On July 3 and 5, there were articles or questions concerning the lack of knowledge that today's students have about the founding of this country in the paper. One student went as far as to say, "that this was reflective of the quality of education we're getting." I sort of agree with him because there is more emphasis put on test scores than actually learning something. Not to mention the fact that these students are having problems learning the historically "cleansed" version of this nation's founding and traditions. Tragedies like the real reason for Thanksgiving having to do with the murder of Massasoit and the attempted destruction of the Wampanoeg people, and the name "Village Destroyer" given to George Washington during his Fort Pitt days during the French and Indian War, aren't even mentioned.

When one looks at George Washington, do they see the man whom tribes such as the Delawares, Ottawas, Wyandot and Mission Iroquois, referred to as the "Village Burner?" Do they see the man who was aloof as the State of New York violated the Indian Non-Intercourse and Trade Act of 1790, usurping lands from the Iroquois Confederacy, that have resulted in 25-year-old cases with the Oneida and Cayuga Nations suing the State of New York over this theft that took place in the time between the writing of the U.S. Constitution, based somewhat on the Iroquois Confederacy's "Sachem" representation system, and George Washington becoming president in 1789?

In conclusion, I check out books on the 25-30 tribes that inhabited Kansas since the 1500s for my mom's school where she's a librarian. The teachers want research material for their students to use. As I was doing this two years ago, a local teacher was also looking for books for the same reason. Yet, she looked right past a book on the Wyandots, who lived here from 1842 to 1867. Some Wyandots still live in Kansas City, Kan. Yet this teacher looked dumbfounded even though I told her about Wyandotte County being named after them, along with Quindaro. Ironically, I didn't learn any of this in school.

Mike Ford,


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