GUEST POST by J Glenn Evans
Another gross injustice has been committed by the leaders of our country. We who believe the dream of America is to stand up for justice, a sacred commitment not to be brushed aside. What our forebears have done we cannot help, but what we do today is within our power to change. When we become aware of these injustices, we must act even if our power is limited to speaking out with our own small voice.
We will never have a better world until we start addressing the injustices that exist in our present world. An injustice to one is an injustice to all of us. That includes correcting the long suffering injustices that have come forward from the past.
A good example of these long suffering injustices is the Duwamish Tribe on whose land all of Seattle rests. The well-known Chief of the Duwamish Indian Tribe, Sealth or Seattle, befriended the early pioneers instead of putting them to the spear that he could easily have done.
As their numbers in Seattle grew, the invaders got the upper hand. They passed laws that said no Indian could live in Seattle. All were forced to move out of Seattle, with the exception of Princess Angeline, daughter of Chief Seattle. She was tolerated a few years until her death on May 31, 1896. The Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs claiming responsibility for the Indians allowed the city of Seattle to get away with this gross injustice of forcing the remaining members of the tribe to seek shelter with other tribes.
The same Federal Bureau continues to deny the Duwamish official recognition because they claim the Duwamish have not been a continuous tribe with an unbroken line of leadership. This problem was created when Seattle forced the Duwamish to leave their homeland without providing them the promised reservation.
The present members of the tribe are blood descendants of the original Duwamish who lived here thousands of years and they include the great-great grandson of Chief Seattle, Ken Workman, and the great-great-grandniece, Cecile Hansen, who has been the chairman of the tribe for over 40 years. The tribe has built a longhouse, with the help of descendants of the early pioneers replacing the one previously burned by the Whites.
President Clinton’s administration had granted recognition to the Duwamish. Then Little Boots (Bush) withdrew the recognition. Now Obama’s administration has gone along with Little Boots and again denied the Duwamish Federal recognition. We the people, especially the people of Seattle, should be outraged at this injustice. To help rectify the past injustices done to the Duwamish people, the City of Seattle should by proclamation grant recognition to the Duwamish and perhaps even better grant them one of the major parks as a reservation, actually a postage stamp compared to what was taken from them with no compensation. This could be a prelude to further efforts to get the Federal Bureau of Indian Affairs to grant them recognition.
Let’s quit being hypocrites and start demanding that the injustices perpetrated by our government and our criminal justice system be corrected. Recognition of the Duwamish is a good place to start. If the bureaucrats say the present law ties their hands, then change the law. That’s what we pay our representatives for—to make laws that provide justice for all.
About 2,000 years of going without a land base and central national leadership certainly did not keep the Jews from reconstituting themselves as a country fully recognized on the international scene. Therefore through with no fault of their own with less than 150 without a land base and central leadership, the Duwamish should not be denied recognition after they have reconstituted themselves.
Please write to your Congressional representatives and have your friends in other states do the same to rectify this injustice now by granting recognition to the Duwamish and to stand up for Indian rights in their own state.
Copyleft 2015 J. Glenn Evans
(Feel free to copy and distribute as broadly as possible)
About J. Glenn Evans. Founder of PoetsWest and Activists for a Better World, hosts PoetsWest at KSER 90.7FM, a nationally syndicated weekly radio show, and is author of four books of poetry: Deadly Mistress, Window in the Sky, Seattle Poems and Buffalo Tracks, author of three novels, Broker Jim, Zeke’s Revenge and Wayfarers with The Last Lumber Baron as a works in process. Evans is a former stockbroker-investment banker. Part Cherokee, native of Oklahoma. Lived in Seattle 54 years and since December of 2014 has resided in Olympia, Washington. Worked in a lumber mill, operated a mining company and co-produced a movie, Christmas Mountain The Story of a Cowboy Angel, with Mark Miller and co-starring Slim Pickens. Evans, an award-wining poet and in addition to poetry books and novels, has written numerous political essays and is the author of several local community histories including a history of Seattle’s Pike Place Market. Has been published in many literary Journals. Listed in Who’s Who in America and Who’s Who in the World.
Books by J. Glenn Evans
http://www.youtube.com/poetswest1 (On this link you can enjoy a program hosted by the Duwamish Tribe honoring indigenous people on Columbus Day)
PoetsWest Radio Programs
LET US NOT FORGET TO CELEBRATE INDIGENOUS PEOPLES’ DAY, 12 OCTOBER 2015, WHO GAVE THEIR LIVES DEFENDING THEIR HOMELAND AND WHOSE SURVIVORS’ CULTURE, PARTNERSHIP WITH MOTHER EARTH, IS VITALLY NEEDED TODAY TO SAVE US ALL
My earlier post on the Duwamish