Saturday, June 7, 2014

Rapid City churches appropriated Indian land

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.) today welcomed President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to Indian country in North Dakota. The President and First Lady will visit North Dakota's Standing Rock Sioux Reservation on Friday, June 13. Heitkamp will join the President and First Lady during their visit to Standing Rock. Heitkamp played a key role in improving and passing the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act. Heitkamp also helped introduce legislation to preserve and protect Native American languages and culture through education programs. The bill would establish a grant program to support Native language immersion instruction from pre-Kindergarten through college. [Indian Country Today]
As the anniversary of the Rapid City flood approaches, Karin Eagle reminds readers of Native Sun News how christians screwed American Indians in yet another way:
The Rapid City churches played an integral role in the passage of the 1948 legislation authorizing the federal government to “gift” the Indian school lands to the city, school district, and State National Guard. The original version of the legislation (H.R. 5651) authorized grants of Indian school lands to churches. The final version of the Act of May 20, 1948 (the “Act”) allowed purchase of Indian school lands for their “reasonable value,” by “church organizations for religious purposes.” The day after Congress passed this act, but before it was formally signed into law, an article was published in the then Rapid City Daily Journal (May 11, 1948) title, “Sioux Indian School Land Grants to City Approved-National Guard, Schools, City, Catholic Church, other Religious Groups to Benefit.”
It is difficult to trace how much each church sold each parcel of Indian school land for and each of the dates of sales as the six church’s parcels has since been broken up into over one hundred smaller parcels. As such, it is difficult to provide an exact estimate of the value of those lands today.However, the nine churches in total purchased about 183 undeveloped acres of land from 1949 -1958 for approximately $30,000. 1950’s dollar value of $30,000 translates into $300,000 in 2014’s currency value. [Eagle, NSN, posted at Indianz]
President Obama issued a statement to Indian Country ahead of his trip to Cannonball on the Standing Rock:
As I’ve said before, the history of the United States and tribal nations is filled with broken promises. But I believe that during my Administration, we’ve turned a corner together. We’re writing a new chapter in our history—one in which agreements are upheld, tribal sovereignty is respected, and every American Indian and Alaskan Native who works hard has the chance to get ahead. That’s the promise of the American Dream. And that’s what I’m working for every day—in every village, every city, every reservation—for every single American.
It has just recently struck me why the Right is resisting parts of the Common Core standards: they stress human influence in climate change, genocide of indigenous by colonizers, gender equality and social justice.

2 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hello Larry

Lynn from Madville.

Good article and I didn't know about this but sadly it does not surprise me with the government's past attempts of genocide, broken treaties and theft.

You probably already knew about the old insane asylum that used to stand in Canton. http://www.argusleader.com/story/news/2014/05/30/keepers-canton-native-american-asylum-want-people-forget/9778783/

I first read about it a few years ago and it was so painful to imagine what it was like for those victims and their families.

larry kurtz said...

My mom practice-taught at Flandreau Indian School: what she saw and heard there changed her forever. Thanks for sharing the link.