Saturday, May 2, 2009

Good summary of the Black Hills cases and SD's (America's) uncomfortable history

There is a very good piece on Madison, SD blog Madville Times.

As I say in the title of this post, this isn't just a South Dakota story. Indian culture was destroyed before South Dakota was a state, by policies formulated in Washington, DC.

History here can tie anyone's ideology in knots. The destruction of the Native culture involved too much government in some instances, and not enough government in others (Custer was at one time deployed to keep gold miners from encroaching on Tribal lands - a mission to which the government did not commit enough resources to succeed). Entrepreneurial freedom violated Indian land and big government ultimately stole it. Christian missionaries were part of the cultural destruction but also one of the few voices of resistance to White brutality. Journalists were a mixed bag - some sold papers with false stories of "savagery" while some tried to expose the fear mongering.

And for those of us in the White culture, the great conundrum is that this bleeding wound was opened by our efforts to "fix" things and build a better world.

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