Uncracking local his-story

By LT

Hey everyone…

We made it through Native American Heritage Month and National Adoption Awareness Month.  Whew.  If you watch twitter or facebook, there was plenty to see and read.

 

I gave a talk about the new anthology STOLEN GENERATIONS at the college here on Nov. 16.  There were many people who sincerely want to understand what is truth, what really happened around here, what they didn’t learn in school… from an Indigenous perspective. I told the audience my talk should have been titled: “We’re not supposed to know.”

His-story – that is the division we are seeing everywhere. There is plenty we are not supposed to know.

So, what is truth?

I sent a letter to the Turners Falls Mascot Committee so they might reconsider its use:

Dear School Board:

I have just a few things about the Turners Falls mascot issue and local history.

This issue is not a surprise. The community near Great Falls doesn’t know the history. Who exactly wrote the account of what happened in Turners Falls?  Let’s be clear. It was not the Pocumtuck or Wampanoag or any of the other tribes who lost their lives on that fateful day.

Time after time, war after war, history is told (or not told) by the victor, the winner of the conflict.

When I interviewed leaders of the Eastern Pequot years back, I wanted Connecticut to know its own history, largely unwritten, hidden. Marcia Flowers said, “we’ve been cleaning people’s houses for the past 300+ years.”

Indian people knew it was best to be invisible.  Many still feel this way: invisible.

Pequot scalps? The bounty was $100 in colonial times. $100 is like a million dollars today, right?

Why don’t we all know this?

We’re not supposed to know.

This issue over mascots makes it clear. We argue over history. If it creates conflict, this is exactly how the oppressor and oppression works.

We in North America are literally educated to be ignorant of the true history. It’s a blood-soaked path in the pioneer valley and westward.  Fictions were crafted by the nation builders who used war/massacre/colonization on the First Nations Indian People yet these facts were diminished or erased.  Hiding truth and history only perpetuates continued racism and intolerance.  Your Indian mascot doesn’t honor anyone but reveals our ignorance.

OPEN FORUM: School Board Meetings on mascot issue
OPEN FORUM: School Board Meetings on the mascot issue in Turners Falls, Massachusetts

P.S.

I understand people here think that their Indian mascot is their version of honoring the past or a sincere form of loving Indians.  Your mascot offends us? It does… deeply.

for more on the Dakota Access PipeLine and #NoDAPL for more on the water protectors… go to twitter or watch Facebook

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