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Letters to the Editor

Learn respect

January 31, 2012

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To the editor:

In the summers of 2002 and 2003, I went to many First Nations reserves in Ontario and Quebec. I visited the Woodlands Cultural Centre on the grounds of the Anglican Mohawk Residential School in Brantford, Ontario. Little did I know that, on the grounds of this former Indian boarding school, there would be hundreds of hidden and unmarked burials that would finally be reported in Canadian newspapers in October 2011. A separate website showed numerous boarding schools from British Columbia to Nova Scotia with potential burial areas.

Like the U.S., Canada allowed religious denominations to run these schools. Canadian officials have been dealing with hundreds of abuse cases up into the 1980s. Currently, the Canadian government is in cover-up mode.

In the last decade, indigenous people here have spoken of children lost in the past at Indian boarding schools. They have asserted the existence of dump areas on the campuses of Indian boarding schools in the U.S., including Haskell. It is a shame that bones will most likely be unearthed in the process of road building. Such is the tragedy in a tone-deaf society.

The Klallam people know this all too well. The Washington Department of Transportation desecrated a village site and burial area after the people pleaded for them to stop. The Klallam people recovered their ancestors in boxes at a warehouse. The state of Washington paid millions in damages and land was set aside to rebury the ancestors.

Do some people ever learn respect?

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 years, 10 months ago

Unfortunately for Canada they elected a member of the Bush family of politicians. Things are going down hill fast.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 10 months ago

The role of the Bush family in the Permian Extinction has never been fully explored.

Armstrong 2 years, 10 months ago

Bing Bing Bing Bing. Winner !!! I was wondering how long it would be before a sacred burial ground sprung up from the former farm land. Thanks

tomatogrower 2 years, 10 months ago

I realize life only began when you joined this issue, but there are other realities and memories out there that aren't all about you.
Many Indian children may have died in the wetlands while escaping the school they were forced to attendant.
Also, before you or your grandmother was born, and yes there was a world here then, that area was a wetlands. In fact workers from the Haskell school were "hired" to help drain it for farmers.
Probably before you were born there was no WalMart south of town. Hard for you to believe, I know. But history did not begin with your birth.

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

yes they elected a figurehead in steven harper. he's backed out of years old treaty agreements and represents the redneck prairie area where the tar sand oil comes from. out there it's either rednecks or tribes. what's sad about the school mentioned is that it was right in brantford. you'd never think of mass burials in that area on the southwest side of brantford next to the grand river. the reserve there has like ten tribes on it. the land was awarded to mohawk leader joseph brant after the six nations were left out of the negotiations at the end of the revolutionary war in the us. the british realized loyalty and repaid it with land...unlike the americans. of course they've acted as scandalous at times as the americans since 1783. what's to be expected though.....

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

I'm fully prepared for dumb comments the rest of the day. nothing like intelligence on display...not.

Flap Doodle 2 years, 10 months ago

In Canada, elections have consequences.

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

Nice spin Tuschie. About as believable as the last 4-5 times you have thrown it out there. For the umpteenth time there won't be any bones exposed for two reasons 1) there aren't any to start with and 2)KDOT won't be doing any excavation - just fill. Hard to expose them if you don't do any digging between Louisiana and Haskell. How could you possibly miss that if you were paying attention? Oh, wait.....

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

we've said plenty......you don't listen......you don't have any idea what your government did to get you the land you live on....and you pull the archie bunker and blame the victim. I've said plenty in a couple of environmental impact studies in the past. you believe the actions of an institution that got 572.68 acres of land when the federal law that got them the land said 50 acres. They got it for one dollar.... stealing as american immigrants did up until the Dawes Allotment Act of 1887 was done away with in 1934 by the Indian Reorganization Act of 1934. In turn they receive $8.5 million in mitigation or bribery monies. Back scratching that has been done since the Centropolis Fraud Ring stole from both the US Government and the Sac and Fox tribe now near Stroud Oklahoma in the 1850's. Some people are just beyond educating about the sins of their country.....what is bliss again????

Armstrong 2 years, 10 months ago

Ok so that happened in the late 19th and 20th centuries. What are you going to do besides complain

gudpoynt 2 years, 10 months ago

I dare you to tally and compare peaceful native Americans killed by militaristic whites, versus peaceful whites killed by militaristic natives Americans.

You speak of the U.S. Constitution being a document that does not grant rights to individuals, but rather protects their natural rights.

For how long, and to what magnitude, were the natural rights of native Americans violated in the absence of any analogous document recognized on their behalf?

What is being asked is proper respect. What you are interpreting is an accusation of guilt toward you personally.

Surely you can see the difference.

"what your government did"

Yes. It was our government that did that.

"the sins of our country"

Yes. The sins of violating natural rights. Those natural rights that the U.S. Constitution supposedly protects.

Aren't you the one ever lamenting the Hamiltonian assault on the Jeffersonians? Those battles between white aristocrats happened long before the genocide upon native Americans toward which you now casually "sigh", implying that because of their antiquity, the issue no longer concerns you.

Meanwhile you lambast any and all who do not subscribe to your ideal of Jeffersonian antifederalism as having a poor understanding of that sacred document written and designed to protect natural, inalienable, human rights.

You vehemently defend half of the white aristocracy of the late 18th century, and what you think they meant when writing a document intended to protect the natural rights of human kind.

Then you sigh dismissively at one who reminds us all of our legacy of discrimination against entire races to whom that same document has historically been denied.

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

You can't get the details right - why should anyone believe any of your myths...just because you say so? That isn't the right acreage and Baker never paid one cent yet you keep repeating that they got it for one dollar. Neither of the acts you quote prevented HEW from deeding the land to Baker, only DOI. Get over it.

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

This is according to A Deep Map of Haskell Indian Nations University by Haskell Professor and Kansas Poet Laureate Denise Low Wiso and five students from May 2006. On page 11, it states that tracts 7,6, and parts of 4 and 1, were considered 572.68 acres and that this area is now known as the Haskell wetlands. US law Title 25, Chapter 7, Section 293 a, or the Federal Indian School Surplus lands Act of 1962 added 30 acres of land to the 20 acres permitted in 1953 when part of this law was known as Public Law 47. The land transfer law mentioned above was the combination of public laws 47 and 87. Without this law the land couldn't have been transferred. When 10 or 11 times the land allowed couldn't legally be done through the federal law the land was laundered around the written limitations of the law. The more I've heard the defensiveness in people's voices I honestly wonder what they have to hide. Go to title 25 and Cornell Law Index and look up the law above. Learn something......

tomatogrower 2 years, 10 months ago

It doesn't do any good to present facts to the "profit at any cost" crowd, tuschkahouma. They only think in the present. They don't learn from the past, and they could care less about the generations after they are dead. Me, me, me. That's their only mantra.

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

liberty, I work with the descendants of the Gnadenhutten Massacre.....the massacre of christian Munsee Indian converts by a settler militia in Ohio in 1782. The current tribe descends from two people due to that massacre. I put a face on the travesties of american culture. Save your lack of knowledge and flippant comments.... learn something......

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

why are there so few tribal communities in the east now when compared to the time before the colonies? because people like the Penn family didn't keep their word with the Lenape and others in the fraudulent Walking Purchase of 1737. The Colony of Connecticut siphoned off Pequot and Schagticoke lands from the 18th century to the 20th century. The Shinnecock Hills and the Hamptons were siphoned off in the 1850's by New York State and the Long Island Railroad......you want me to stop there? oh...and the Plimoth Colony gradually stealing land and culture from the Wampanoag and Massasoit and Metacomet in the 17th century leading to the King Philip's War. What little you know.....

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

why are there so few tribal communities in the east now when compared to the time before the colonies? because people like the Penn family didn't keep their word with the Lenape and others in the fraudulent Walking Purchase of 1737. The Colony of Connecticut siphoned off Pequot and Schagticoke lands from the 18th century to the 20th century. The Shinnecock Hills and the Hamptons were siphoned off in the 1850's by New York State and the Long Island Railroad......you want me to stop there? oh...and the Plimoth Colony gradually stealing land and culture from the Wampanoag and Massasoit and Metacomet in the 17th century leading to the King Philip's War. What little you know.....

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

Tuschie, I think the point you missed in your editorial is not "learn respect" but rather it should read "earn respect". I don't think anyone can/will "learn respect". I believe you can only earn it through telling the truth, not fabricating or exaggerating history...or the present. Good luck with that!

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

why don't you learn not to omit any history that is spoken in defiance of the bull hockey in the EIS. Denying who you offend and not even acknowledging the minority viewpoint in this issue is very white of you. Wait until you have a circumstance like that in Brantford at that former boarding school to deal with. Good luck.....

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

Several years ago a friend of mine had an email exchange with several people claiming to be students at HINU at the time and that they had "verified" the locations of 37 unmarked graves. They had identified their locations through the way the vegetation grew, especially trees, the lay of the ground, and contact with spirits. They only talked about locating individual graves. Too bad you weren't in communication with these people at the time...they might have been able to locate that mass grave(s) for you. How come we didn't see you at the National Wetlands Day celebration yesterday morning?

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

Guess what.....student......I work for a living.....just like the poppy fields indicating mass graves in World War One certain plants grow because of the nutrients from the deceased indicating the presence of remains.....ever seen the movie "Bad Day at Black Rock" with Spencer Tracy? how did he know the Japanese American father of his friend was murdered by the white ranchers? he saw the flowers growing on the property near the shallow grave. I talked with a person at the pow wow the other night who see ghosts constantly out there....but you know....white science is the best......don't listen to anyone else......it's superior.....

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

I would imagine that even I could see ghosts in the wetlands if I was using peyote or ayahuasca. I'm glad we have moved past myth and are now using movie plots for our facts. Yes, it is possible that human remains might add some nutrients for plants but it is much more likely that ground disturbance would cause a difference in vegetation type. The problem with that theory in the wetlands is that the timing is wrong. This area was cultivated through the entire time that you and others claim the bodies were being hidden. It points out a huge hole in your theory/myth. This is not just about western science vs indigenous myths...it is also about common sense. The few indigenous people that I know, except for you and Bozo, seem to have a lot of common sense. What happened to you and Bozo?

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

It is so white of you to attack indigenous use of plants in religious ceremonies but then that's what white people do. Your assumptions of hallucinatory drugs is funny because the person I spoke to about this at Haskell last Saturday night was under the influence of no such drug. You sound like Sandra Day O' Connor in the Smith case in Oregon involving peyote. I don't use peyote. Nothing against the indigenous people who do. As a young person who experienced much trauma after my Baker experience and my grandmother dying of leukemia I would drive out in the Flint Hills near Hessdale, Kansas and meditate all night long to clear my mind of trauma. Nothing except open skies and land to clear traumatic pain through the peace of silence. I had to the see the pollution of the Jeffries plant to the north but otherwise the area served it's purpose as it had for Pawnee, Kaw, and Pottawatomi people prior to this lovely mess. What you fail to always acknowledge is the right of free speech and religious beliefs.....you know... the First Amendment. The Native American Religious Freedom Act of 1978 did away with the cultural suppression by the US Government of indigenous religious practices and beliefs that began at place like Haskell in 1886 which drove practioners of their tribal beliefs to the very wetlands that racist in denial people like you fail to acknowledge exist. You know....the medicine men who were put into jail and whose food rations were withheld until they gave up their centuries old connections to specific lands and practices. The medicine men who were beaten. The sundance and potlatch ceremonies that were outlawed by US and Canadian governments well into the 20th century. We are of many different nations and bands and have many different world views tied to where we came from. You do your best to ignore this issue because it's a losing issue for you and others. Mr. Boyd and you all promoted the whole no wetlands only farmland view through the early years of this fight to egg on public sentiment in your favor. When this went against science you backed away. I take pride in making you all backtrack. You all infringe on our First Amendment rights and for that you should be stopped. I've said it before....not all churches have four walls....it's time you admit what you're doing....we have religious beliefs in plurality.....you don't respect them....end of story,,,,

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

You apparently are so full of rage and hatred for almost everyone else that you can't read a simple statement without contorting into your screwed up way of thinking. You read so much into people's statements that aren't there. It is no wonder nobody can stand to communicate with you - believe me it is not because of your superior understanding of indigenous ways but your vile for everyone who doesn't agree with you. That's a demonstration of pure maturity!!

I didn't say you couldn't believe what you want - but if you want to argue your points then there must be proof. I don't know about Indian Law but US Law is based on facts. I tried to explain why it would be impossible for anyone to detect the present of unmarked graves today thru plant growth, that were buried there 100 years ago. Rather than refute my claim you went into a tirade about the law protects your right to believe what you want.

Oh, OK. If you say so, it must then be true.

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

you ignore the facts of equal protection for religious beliefs. you brought up the plant and burial stuff....not me. brockington ignored the religious beliefs and sacred aspect of the land, I've got plenty of people who stand behind what I write and say. I had a person in the grocery store in Baldwin City the other day come up to me and commend me for what I've written. They knew you were wrong and it's all about the money. You all have bad pr that you chose to ignore. Even in Baldwin City. The rage and hatred garbage you speak is invented by you. If you actually knew or acknowledged said history you'd understand. SInce it's about a road and ignoring and offending people....you choose to offend....your problem....not mine....

Mike Ford 2 years, 10 months ago

you do not acknowledge the racist demeaning tone you had concerning the visions of children in the wetlands do you Idahowinds? people that are connected to a sense of humanity can see passed on people without any hallucinatory aids. I lost two relatives in an eight month period in 2008 and 2009. I could not avoid seeing my mom for months after I lost her in July 2009. People have visions. People have a sense of humanity. Would I do to innocent Christians what they have done to innocent indigenous peoples? no. I have a conscience. Where's yours????

IdahoWinds 2 years, 10 months ago

I guess I will concede to you this one. Your arguments are so off the mark and out of touch with any reality that it occurs to me there is no debate. Yes, the law protects your religious beliefs as long as they don't hurt anyone else. But the law is not absolute in the protection of all your beliefs. Maybe its unfair, maybe its not - but I also believe that anyone can make up a statement that there are unmarked graves in a particular location hoping to stop some project that they don't like. But no courts protect your right to stop the project without proof - you have none - so get out of the way for the bulldozers. As I have indicated numerous times without rebuttal from you or others , in all likelihood, if there are unmarked graves, the least likely location for them happens to be exactly where the road will be located. Threats don't stop projects, only proof.

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