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Letters to the Editor

Letter: ‘The bad times’

March 25, 2014

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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.

Comments

Bob Smith 9 months ago

Can LJW get a new designated scold? This one's gotten most repetitive.

Fred Mertz 9 months ago

There is a lesson to be learned in this. When you, as a people are weak, fail to keep your military strong, you are vulnerable to the aggression a of stronger countries.

The native Americans were defeated and as such suffered the consequences of it. Not right perhaps, but it is the harsh reality of the world.

The lesson to be learned? America wake up, the world hasn't changed. There are threats looming that would attack us if they perceive us as weak.

Jeanette Kekahbah 9 months ago

you have no idea...about lessons or learnings...sad for you

Fred Mertz 9 months ago

Tell me where I am wrong.

Is it not a fact that compared to the white settlers and US government the Indians were weaker and primitive in their warfare?

Is it not a fact that they were defeated and conquerors do not have a history of treating the conquered well?

Is it not a fact that the US government treated the Indians poorly?

Is it not a fact that Russia, Iran and even China do not attack us because they perceive us as being strong enough to ward of their attacks, but if that perception changes they might? Doubt me then ask the Ukraine.

Seth Peterson 9 months ago

Is it not a fact that compared to the white settlers and US government the Indians were weaker and primitive in their warfare? - correct, this is not a fact.

Fred Mertz 9 months ago

If not a fact then why were they conquered?

So you're saying despite being stronger and more advanced the US government was able to defeat the American Indians?

Do you realize how foolish that sounds? But hey, go ahead and defend it if you'd like?

Seth Peterson 9 months ago

So you're saying despite being stronger and more advanced the US government was able to defeat the American Indians? - False, this was not what was stated, please go back and try again. Use reading comprehension this time.

Fred Mertz 9 months ago

Sure it is Seth, man up and admit you're wrong.

Come on explain how if the Indians were not weaker and more primitive in their warfare they were able to be defeated? Come on just man up my friend.

Seth Peterson 9 months ago

Develop critical thinking skills - the world is not dichotomous, not everything is either one thing, or another.

After you do that, begin studying the history of the battles and wars between the Native American nations and the United States.

If you maintain your opinion (not fact) after that, you can come back as an adult and have this discussion.

Fred Mertz 9 months ago

Seth, I find you almost troll-like with your snide remarks and insults.

You can't defend your statement or prove me wrong so you try to insult me.

I don't engage with trolls so goodbye.

Seth Peterson 9 months ago

The world is not dichotomous, not everything is either one thing, or another. Begin studying the history of the battles and wars between the Native American Nations and the United States.

These are not insults, these are actual refutations of your claims being so far off-base that you wouldn't be able to see that you are being proven wrong, and an idea for you on how you can educate yourself on the matter.

With the depth of how incorrect you are, there is not enough space to "prove you wrong", your first two comments on this particular thread show you deserve nothing but to be insulted, that you come to the table with the mind of an uneducated individual, yet fastidious in your (terrible) opinions.

"I don't engage with trolls" - Irony coming from one the longest standing trolls on the LJWorld who has spent years spewing the same filth while continuing to refuse to learn.

Seth Peterson 9 months ago

Is it not a fact that they were defeated and conquerors do not have a history of treating the conquered well? Is it not a fact that the US government treated the Indians poorly?

These are both true...now here is the learning part for you - stop using past tense. This is currently happening. Perhaps it's time you started trying to do something about it, rather than complain when others are.

Seth Peterson 9 months ago

I suddenly feel so very sorry for you. I had no idea.

Mike Ford 9 months ago

messages always need to hijacked by those who haven't learned that their country caused boarding schools and the their general disinterest in their environment led to the action at hand.

Fred Mertz 9 months ago

What is the message? Native Americans were conquered and treated badly by our government. We get it. My government did it but not my ancestors. Maybe your ancestors but not mine.

What is the solution - give all the land back?

Seth Peterson 9 months ago

Your government IS, not your ancestors - YOU.

Bart Johnson 9 months ago

Perpetual victimhood isn't good for you. When you're always the victim you've given up control over your life. Taking responsibility for your failures is the only way to change anything. It's amazing how different you act when, instead of blaming others for things not going your way, you admit that what you tried didn't work.

Trying to say that the SLT is like some evils of the past against Native Americans has failed, Mr. Ford. It didn't work. No one is buying it, and blaming people for not buying it won't change anything. What you tried didn't work. Try something else.

Kevin Elliott 9 months ago

How very ..uhmm..disgusting of you.

Telling american indians you know they were lied to, cheated, killed, and had their oppotunities taken from them and left with an inequality that still percists to this day....making so they have to work twice as hard to get half as much as the rest of us..

And your response is basically suck it up and it is their fault and they should work 3 times as hard.

I would prefer to fix the problem over blaming the victim for being a victim.

I also think if a woman walks down the street naked she still does not deserve rape and that we should spend more time telling men not to rape instead of telling women not to be raped.

Both concepts are the same.

Fred Mertz 9 months ago

How many of the native Americans living today were lied to or cheated by the government? How many get benefits other races do not?

What proof do you have that they have to work twice as hard to get half? None.

You're right a woman walking down the street doesn't deserve to be raped but who offers better advice, you who says you go ahead because it is your right or the person that says, don't walk down the street naked, you are more vulnerable to attack. Put clothes on.

What is your solution to the "problem?"

Seth Peterson 9 months ago

How many of the native Americans living today were lied to or cheated by the government? - Almost all.

Jeanette Kekahbah 9 months ago

educate yourself brock...i gave you some things to start with

Jeanette Kekahbah 9 months ago

um hey google Cobell settlement...dare you to see the scope of lying & cheating in that example alone.

benefits?? google TREATY LAW...read what the US Constitution says...

proof? there's plenty.

https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=2&cad=rja&uact=8&ved=0CDEQtwIwAQ&url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.ted.com%2Ftalks%2Faaron_huey&ei=erMxU6LnBs2bqAH06IGoBA&usg=AFQjCNEpp1RScqm-CJKFfaJ_lFgYdW6zvA&bvm=bv.63587204,d.aWM

ignorance and arrogance are the problem. "kill the indian, save the man" was the old solution.

Fred Mertz 9 months ago

I will watch your movie when I have time.

Bart Johnson 9 months ago

"Telling american indians you know they were lied to, cheated, killed, and had their oppotunities taken from them and left with an inequality that still percists to this day....making so they have to work twice as hard to get half as much as the rest of us."

What does that have to do with the SLT?

Jeanette Kekahbah 9 months ago

perpetual victimizing isn't good for you either. we're survivors, what you tried didn't work. try something else. mitakuye oyasin.

Seth Peterson 9 months ago

How very ignorant, and ironic, coming from someone who portrays one of the largest victims on the boards. THE ENTIRE GOVERNMENT IS USING PHYSICAL VIOLENCE TO OPPRESS ME!!

Jeanne Swearingen 9 months ago

So, once again the Native Americans in Lawrence are insulted in the comments. The history of what happened to them in this country is shameful, as is the horrible reality of life on the reservations today. The legacy of the past is there today.

Government doesn't do anything. It is the individuals who write the laws who are responsible for them.

We are not guilty of what those who came before us did, but we should be informed and knowledgeable about history.

Fred Mertz 9 months ago

I am not seeing any insults. Care to point out what you perceive to be one?

And no, it isn't just the people who write the laws who are responsible, but also the people who elect them or don't speak out against them.

No one is forced to live on a reservation. It is a choice.

Jeanette Kekahbah 9 months ago

no one is forced to live on a rez? explain that.

Fred Mertz 9 months ago

Who forces anyone to live on a reservation? Native Americans live both on and off reservations. If the conditions on the reservations are bad then don't accept them. Change them or move to a place that is better.

Seth Peterson 9 months ago

So very sad.

You cannot even comprehend what you are talking about, it's depressing to know your five-year-old's arguments sound good in your head and you think they are reasonable.

Fred Mertz 9 months ago

There he goes just trolling along. Lol

Fred Mertz 9 months ago

Jeanette I had an open mind to what you said and was willing to consider the sources you provided but then you had to stoop to Seth's level and get nasty.

You just lost my respect and willingness to consider what you offered.

Here is the deal. Yes, I have my opinions but I am open to being wrong and considering new information when presented to me. But simply insulting me without offering an alternative point of view or facts is laughable and troll like.

It is unfortunate Jeanette that you had to go down that path because while I doubt we would have seen eye to eye on everything I was was willing to view what you provided and perhaps allowed it to reshape my opinion.

Mike Ford 8 months, 4 weeks ago

guess what officer masters.....Jeanette's children are native and federally enrolled. her extended family includes people who live on trust land in Oklahoma. I think she knows more about this than you do. the land you live was occupied by these peoples ancestors and this state is named after them. do you know much now?

Seth Peterson 9 months ago

and you think this trolling, rather than taking the advice that your arguments are bad and that you simply have no idea what you are talking about to such a degree that you are massively offensive and show your ignorance with each post.

Bart Johnson 9 months ago

Mr. Peterson:

Pot, kettle, black.

Seth Peterson 9 months ago

Mr. Jonhson: ignorance, continued.

Jeanette Kekahbah 9 months ago

you willing to put up the money? to advocate? to contribute toward change?

Mike Ford 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Again it's so much fun to deal with Lawrence's version of SE Cupp. None of this history has anything to do with yeoman work or who gets benefits or who doesn't. I'm so tired of this hybrid George Will/Rush Limbaugh quasi intellectualism. In this arena of discussion there will be facts.

Fact One: over 700 indigenous nations were here at the time of contact (1492), There are now 573 federally recognized Tribes, Nations, Alaska Native villages, and California Rancherias. There are 1.5 million federally recognized tribal members and a couple of million indigenous descendants in the US. There are 275 tribal languages still spoken here.

Fact Two: The US Government entered into it's first treaty with the Delaware Nation in 1778. Treaty-making ended in 1871 and agreements were made from then on between the US and tribal nations. The US Congress has plenary power over Indians in the Commerce Clause. Article One, Section Eight, Part Three, states that Congress shall regulate the commerce between the foreign nations, several states, and Indian tribes. The Indian Non Intercourse Act of 1790 prescribes the power of Congress to treaty lands away from tribes, but not states. Numerous eastern colonies treatied with tribes illegally and had to settle land claims in the 1970's and 1980's. What our resident George Will conveniently ignores is that all lands here were Indian land and his government took it through treaty and did such a bad job of paying for taken land that the Indian Claims Commission was still settling Indian lands issues from the early 19th century in the 1970's. The US Government passed the Civilization Act of 1819 promising tribal education in return for the cession of tribal lands. The US Government and the Treasury Department took monies from the sales of tribal lands and set them aside to pay for the education of tribal children in the early 19th century. I always laugh when I hear some uninformed conservative complain about Indians getting free education without realizing that the land that Lawrence is on was treatied away by the Kaw, Shawnee, and Delaware Nations between 1825 and 1867, and the monies from this sale of tribal lands paid for Indian education amongst other things. Funds from the US Indian Treasury funds paid for the lands now being desecrated in the late 19th and early 20th century. You may claim that you have nothing to do with this in your naivety but you're a willing beneficiary of theft.

Mike Ford 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Furthermore the US Government attacked tribal and cultural connections to lands occupied by these tribes for millennia. The first Indian boarding schools were ran by western religious denominations. If one reads the old Kansas History textbook they read about how Protestant and Catholic denominations fighting over which tribes they were assigned to in the 1820's in Kansas. Presbyterians were assigned to the Sac and Fox, Ioway, and Kickapoo tribes. Methodists were assigned to the Kaw, Shawnee, and Wyandotte tribes. Baptists were assigned to the Odawa, Delaware, and Mission Potawatomi. The Catholic faith was assigned to the Osage, Peoria, Kickapoo, Miami, and the Mission and Prairie Band Potawatomi Nations. The Church of the Brethren worked amongst the Munsee or Christian Indians.

All of these denominations did the dirty work of the US Government underminding tribal government and function and culture. The religious denominations worked with the tribal agents to undermine traditional tribal leadership and create "Government Chiefs" by proxy to make it easier to destabilize tribal governments and steal tribal lands through fraudulent treaties. This situation occurred frequently in territorial Kansas.

Indian Boarding Schools began as the plan of US Colonel Richard Pratt created as he dealt with Indian POW's from the Kiowa, Comanche, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Apache Nations from the Plains Indian Wars in the 1870's at Fort Marion, Florida, on the Atlantic Coast. The plan was a military style cultural drill school meant to destroy Indian culture and assimilate people into being culturally White. In the mid 1880's the US Government passed laws forbidding tribal languages and faiths tied to specific lands being practiced at Indian boarding schools. These laws and the threat of being put into a campus jail cell drove Indian students to the Haskell wetlands now being destroyed by historically naïve non Indians. Students went to the edge of the Chilocco campus in Indian Territory for the same reason. This was repeated over and over in the last decade and few White officials listened. This SLT road to me would be like building a street through the Auschwitz site as it nothing happened and many uninformed Americans act like nothing happened which is why other countries in this world look down at America.

In 2002 and 2003 I went to pow wows in Ontario and Quebec. Near the Grand River Reserve was the Brantford Episcopal Residential School where nearby Mohawk and other Six Nations students were taken to be religiously reprogrammed. I visited the Woodlands Cultural Centre on the former Indian school grounds both times. A couple of years ago numerous remains of missing Indian children were discovered unmarked on this campus. There were signs of abuse. A UN tribunal came about since this was in Canada and the religious denominations were based in Europe. Meanwhile the US is in the dark ages with deniers and misleading history.

Lawrence Morgan 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Thanks, Mike, for your great comments and letter. These are very helpful and extremely well thought out.

Richard Heckler 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Yes Mike thanks for never giving up. This SLT choice is a $300 million pork barrel project for the "local white collar 1%" within the real estate industry.

This SLT choice is not a good decision regarding our native American brothers and sisters,for taxpayers, for traffic relief for natural flood control nor the wild life that will killed.

In the end drivers will still be complaining about too much traffic and 18 wheelers driving too fast and tailgating.

This left Lawrence,Kansas without a bypass out around the city which would have been more efficient spending.

Scott Burkhart 8 months, 4 weeks ago

To Richard from ALEC: We are watching you.

Jeanne Swearingen 8 months, 4 weeks ago

"A toxic collection of pathologies — poverty, unemployment, domestic violence, sexual assault, alcoholism and drug addiction — has seeped into the lives of young people among the nation’s 566 tribes. Reversing their crushing hopelessness, Indian experts say, is one of the biggest challenges for these communities."

http://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/the-hard-lives--and-high-suicide-rate--of-native-american-children/2014/03/09/6e0ad9b2-9f03-11e3-b8d8-94577ff66b28_story.html

Mike Ford 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Washington post is right wing anti Indian and pro redskin mascot name. not a good source.

Andrew Stahmer 8 months, 4 weeks ago

Wow...no mention of Indian casinos...?? ('JUST SAYIN...')

Mike Ford 8 months, 4 weeks ago

you know there's the land you live on and stole. the languages you clown. and yet smart? people always troll with casinos.....so smart.

Mike Ford 8 months, 3 weeks ago

Baker operating a cultural center on the wetlands.....really......look at what they allowed the Old Castle Museum to become.....a mess. I remember going across the street from my grandparent's home of Fifth Street amazed at this museum in the 1970's. It's now a total mess with money issues. Baker needs to realize history is more than what's taught by homogenous book lecture. What a shame.

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