To the editor:
Construction on the South Lawrence Trafficway has begun. Recently, a 90-year-old acquaintance of mine passed on. She was taken away from her parents to three different Indian boarding schools, including Haskell, as a child in the 1930s.
She was at the tail end of the bad times. The students who built the levees and laid the tiles now destroyed were here during the bad times. Thousands of Indian children had their hair cut, names changed and culture banned in this time. Thousands of Indian people had their voices silenced in a supposed democracy when their testimony on paper and in person were ignored in the last decade.
The federal court in Denver was no different than the U.S. Supreme Court in Lone Wolf v. Hitchcock, sanctifying the theft of millions of acres of Kiowa land by abrogating treaties. Baker University’s theft and subsequent destruction is no different than the outcomes in the drowning of Celilo Falls in Oregon and the flooding of Seneca lands with the Kinzua Dam. It reminds me of when I saw the Medicine Wheel in the Wyoming Tetons with the fence around it because some people didn’t know to leave a 4,000-year-old site there alone either, nor did they realize they should respect other cultures that were here before them.
When a historical center is finished near the new wetlands will the people there tell the truth? Probably not. It would not be in their best interest to do so.