“Please accept our sincere apologies to the Native American people and to anyone who was offended by the reference to an event that is a stain on our nation’s past forever.”In response to the “bust thru” sign used by McAdory High School during the Round 2 State Play-Off game versus Pinson Valley High School, all social studies and history teachers will re-teach and/or review units concerning Native American displacement following the Indian Removal Act of 1830.”
I sure hope so. And I hope they will teach it a little differently, this year. It is so easy to hide behind historical terms such as “Native American displacement.” So easy to talk about it as a government policy and not as an event that shattered people’s lives and essentially made it impossible for them to live the way they had for hundreds of years. They had to relocate (and most of them walked) hundreds of miles to unfamiliar land, which wasn’t the best for growing crops. Suddenly, the buffalo that they depended on for food, shelter, tools and clothing were disappearing, and their rights to hunt and fish were vastly reduced. Native Americans changed within a matter of decades from proud people who lived in peace and plenty to beaten down people who were told they could not speak their own language or worship as they pleased. They became poor because their ability to obtain food was limited, and they were not given the same access to jobs as their new, white neighbors. Time after time, they were cheated out of their land, their cultural inheritance, their spiritual path, and the payments that they had been promised in return for the land they gave up. They began to live in fear from those who misunderstood and feared them. “Native Americans are human just like everyone else!” commented one person on Facebook. Think about it. How do human beings react to change? Not very well. Most of us have to deal with a lot of fear associated with moving to a new area, especially when it is done abruptly. How many of us connect our own feelings about moving with the feelings that the Natives had about suddenly having to leave their ancestral homelands, by force? Why don’t we teach our kids to empathize with them in this way, to better understand their anger and frustration with the system as it has affected their lives, reduced their ability to fend for themselves, and increased their dependence on the government?
- McAdory High School will be ‘disciplined’ for ‘Trail of Tears’ banner, Jeffco Superintendent says (al.com)
- McAdory High School issues apology for ‘Trail of Tears’ banner held up at weekend football game (al.com)