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INDIGENOUS PEOPLES LOCKED IN STRUGGLE TO SURVIVE

By       Message Sherwood Ross       (Page 1 of 4 pages)     Permalink

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* While commanding the Continental Army to liberate the colonies from the British yoke, George Washington informed his troops they could "kill every Indian" that had set up a village along the Missouri and Mohawk rivers.


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* The same Thomas Jefferson who earlier wrote the stirring words "all men are created equal," as president called for hunting down Native Americans as they would "a wolf."

* On the day that Abraham Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation he approved the execution of 38 Dakota Native Americans for "stealing" a cow that had wandered onto their reservation.

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* As for Theodore Roosevelt, whose face appears with the above-cited presidents on Mount Rushmore, he created a 52-million-acre National Park system---much of it taken from reservation land that had been officially designated for Native Americans.


If these disturbing stories are not being taught to American schoolchildren today it may be because Tiokasin Ghosthorse, host and producer of "First Voices Indigenous Radio," is not in charge of the curriculum. He makes assertions that would surprise most people raised believing traditional American values---and that omit such charges against our presidents. A native of the Lakota tribe of South Dakota, Ghosthorse is perhaps the world's leading advocate for the viewpoints of some 350 million indigenous people from the rain forests of Brazil to the islands of Polynesia, including the survivors of the European invasion of North America, which Ghosthorse dubs "our First World War."


He says that when Americans next celebrate Thanksgiving Day, it will be regarded by indigenous peoples here as a "National Day of Mourning." Listeners to WBAI Radio at 99.5 FM in New York City at 10 A.M. Thursdays can hear his commentaries, as can those on a dozen other stations that rebroadcast his show.

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With his salt-and-pepper hair hardly contained by his headband, Ghosthorse cut an imposing figure when interviewed on Comcast's "Educational Forum," presented by the Massachusetts School of Law at Andover and the American College of History and Legal Studies of Salem, N.H. Interviewer Kurt Olson, a professor at the law school, said he was immediately struck "by Tiokasin's nobility of spirit and imposing presence."


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Sherwood Ross worked as a reporter for the Chicago Daily News and contributed a regular "Workplace" column for Reuters. He has contributed to national magazines and hosted a talk show on WOL, Washington, D.C. In the Sixties he was active as public (more...)
 

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