It’s very sad and disillusioning that the very first people on this continent have been all but forgotten. The same people who still hold such high regard for everything living or dead. The great circle.
History has very little mention of the many atrocities and massacres inflicted upon them — Sand Creek, Washita and Wounded Knee, just to name a few — resulting in the slaughter of thousands of native women, children and elderly. Also the introduction of smallpox, which all but exterminated the Mandan culture, the same tribe that helped the Lewis and Clark expedition.
The original pilgrims and most early settlers would not have survived without the help and guidance of native cultures.
Combat radio communications during World War II had great technology with the help of the “Wind Talkers” using native language to confuse the enemy.
We recognize Columbus Day, the explorer who gave the name “Indians” to the native culture. Upon leaving the continent, he took several for slaves.
Mount Rushmore, our presidential tribute, is in the middle of sacred Lakota Sioux territory, not far from Wounded Knee or the Pine Ridge Reservation.
We are a nation of immigrants, some by choice and some not, a land of many cultures, a great country.
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It would be fitting and proper to give the original people on whose land we walk, live and prosper a day of national recognition.
Patrick E. Peterson