News From Terre Haute, Indiana


December 13, 2013

Readers’ Forum: Dec. 14, 2013

The treatment of American Indians was unjust

The early missionaries failed to recognize and embrace the intrinsic God-given value of the people of this land, a blindness which still prevails. The Indians were tagged as the “white man’s burden” and the popular thought was to “civilize” us by making us appear white.

Our children were stolen from us. Their hair was cut to a proper European length and they were uniformed and uninformed from their tribal cultures and language. Indians could only become Christians if they appeared to be un-red. The white man saw himself as superior, a supposition not necessarily based on truth, but on the “progress” of industry, science and commerce.

The missionaries believed that Europe was civilized and the rest of the world was primitive, so they set up programs to transform Christian Indians into English Puritans. From the inception of government-sponsored and church-run schools, missionaries made a practice of prepping children by cutting their hair in a uniform style, a custom that continued until the early 1900’s. As much as anything, these haircuts symbolized an attempt to civilize Indians and turn them into good little Englishmen.

Bad haircuts were but one example of forced changes and the replacement of traditional clothing, language and culture, changes which denied the First Nation’s God-given identity and existence. It was cultural genocide.

Estimates of the pre-Columbus Indian population range from 1 million to 30 million, depending upon the criteria used. Many historians use a conservative figure of 10-12 million. If this is true, then the following facts are most disturbing:

n By 1900 only 237,000 Indians were left in the United States.

n In 1800 California was home to an estimated 260,000 Indians. By 1900, there were 20,000.

n There are 337 federally recognized tribes or nations in North America. Approximately 200 tribes have become extinct.

n The federal government recognized 300 reservations, which take up less than 4 percent of the land in the continental United States.

Contrary to common belief, the European colonial practice of importing slaves to North America did not begin with the importation of African tribal people, but in fact began with the enslavement of the host people of this land.

As early as 1502, Indians were captured and sold into slavery. John Smith himself advocated deception and intimidation toward Indians, recommending unrestrained violence to keep the tribes in line.

In Virginia in 1676, the assembly legalized the enslavement of Indians. The accepted “political correctness” of the time was that the Indians were less than human, barbarous infidels whose population needed to be thinned out. This is the same perception of the Muslim nations toward Christianity. Now we have become the hunted.

The injustice imposed upon the Indian nations far outweighs that of the black race. I was in Montana last week and was proudly informed that if three or more Indians approach on horseback, in war paint, it is legal to kill them.

The late President John F. Kennedy, in 1963, said: “It seems a basic requirement to study the history of our Indian People. America has much to learn about the heritage of the American Indian. Only through this study can we as a nation do what must be done if our treatment of the American Indian is not to be marked down for all time as a national disgrace.”

— Barbara Lidster

Terre Haute

Thanks for help

I would like to thank Capt. Bob Sivertson of the Terre Haute Fire Department and his guys for their help recently. My husband had fallen and I needed help. They were here in less than five minutes.

The first responders were courteous and kind. It’s reassuring to know that they are there when I need them. Thanks, guys.

— Patty Cottom

Terre Haute

Text Only | Photo Reprints
Latest News Poll
AP Video
Raw: 2 Shells Hit Fuel Tank at Gaza Power Plant Looming Demand Could Undercut Flight Safety Giant Ketchup Bottle Water Tower Up for Sale Raw: Massive Explosions From Airstrikes in Gaza Easier Nuclear Construction Promises Fall Short Judge OKs Record-setting $2B Sale of Clipper Kerry: Humanitarian Cease-fire Efforts Continue Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating Mother of 2 Makes NFL Cheerleading Squad at 40 UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Trial Begins Over OKC Bombing Video The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming Fish Oil Plant Blast Kills One Suspect Dead, Marshals and Cop Wounded in NYC Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Today in History for July 29th Two Huge Fires Burning in Northern California Raw: Airstrike Shatters Fragile Calm in Gaza
NDN Video
'Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1' Sneak Peek NOW TRENDING: Peyton Manning dancing at practice Chapter Two: Designing for Naomi Watts "The Bachelorette" Makes Her Decision Thieves pick the wrong gas station to rob Golden Sisters on '50 Shades' trailer: 'Look At That Chest!' Staten Island Man's Emotional Dunk Over NYPD Car - @TheBuzzeronFOX GMA: Dog passes out from excitment to see owner Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Florida Keys Webcam Captures Turtles Hatching Morgan Freeman Sucks Down Helium on 'Tonight Show' Robin Wright Can Dance! (WATCH) She's Back! See Paris Hilton's New Carl's Jr. Ad Big Weekend For Atlanta Braves In Cooperstown - @TheBuzzeronFox Chapter Two: Becoming a first-time director What's Got Jack Black Freaking Out at Comic-Con? Doctors Remove 232 Teeth From Teen's Mouth Bradley Cooper Explains His Voice in 'Guardians of the Galaxy' Deja vu: Another NYPD officer choke-holding a suspect 'Fifty Shades of Grey': Watch the Super Sexy First Trailer Now!

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
  • -


    March 12, 2010