To the editor:
As I’ve read recently, everyone is acting like it’s all systems go for the South Lawrence Trafficway along the 32nd Street route. All of this exuberance is based on a couple of weekends of archaeological study a decade ago by a Denver professor and his graduate students and the HNTB engineering firm. I actually remember a Saturday when I saw these people working. What’s bothered me over the years is that they didn’t sound as if they were empirically looking for evidence. They wanted to arrive at the predetermined outcome and make their findings vague enough for the highway proponents.
This area is dry or wet or field or pond that has been inhabited since the Dalton Era as evidenced by material collected during the Clinton Lake Construction Archaeological salvage of the late 1970s in the Wakarusa River Valley now inundated just to the west of the wetlands.
There is a price to pay for not listening to the people your decisions affect. There is a price to pay for destroying an area where the U.S. government basically operated a punitive boarding school where indigenous children were taken from their parents by force and drilled to be white people with fatal results. Parts of the Lawrence community deserve kudos for being culturally tone deaf. This tone deafness is nothing to be proud of. What progress comes out of disrespect and destruction?
And what will be the attitude when remains are encountered? Will indigenous people be treated as just another bump in the road?