Trail of Tears – 185th Anniversary

Trail of Tears banner
http://www.nps.gov/trte/index.htm

May 28, 1830, The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by Andrew Jackson authorizing the president to grant unsettled lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within existing state borders. A few tribes went peacefully, but many resisted the relocation policy. During the fall and winter of 1838 and 1839, the Cherokees were forcibly moved west by the United States government. Approximately 4,000 Cherokees died on this forced march, which became known as the “Trail of Tears.”

The official logo for the Trail of Tears National Historic Trail was developed from a design by Cherokee artist Gary Allen of Tahlequah, Oklahoma.

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US Government Official Apology to The Native Americans

* April 30, 2009
S.J.RES.14 — To acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf… (Introduced in Senate – IS)

* SJ 14 IS
111th CONGRESS
1st Session
S. J. RES. 14
To acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States.

* IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
April 30, 2009

Mr. BROWNBACK (for himself, Mr. INOUYE, Mr. BAUCUS, Mrs. BOXER, Mr. CRAPO, Ms. CANTWELL, Mr. COBURN, Mr. HARKIN, Mr. LIEBERMAN, and Mr. TESTER) introduced the following joint resolution; which was read twice and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs

JOINT RESOLUTION
To acknowledge a long history of official depredations and ill-conceived policies by the Federal Government regarding Indian tribes and offer an apology to all Native Peoples on behalf of the United States.

Whereas the ancestors of today’s Native Peoples inhabited the land of the present-day United States since time immemorial and for thousands of years before the arrival of people of European descent;

Whereas for millennia, Native Peoples have honored, protected, and stewarded this land we cherish;

Whereas Native Peoples are spiritual people with a deep and abiding belief in the Creator, and for millennia Native Peoples have maintained a powerful spiritual connection to this land, as evidenced by their customs and legends;

Whereas the arrival of Europeans in North America opened a new chapter in the history of Native Peoples;

Whereas while establishment of permanent European settlements in North America did stir conflict with nearby Indian tribes, peaceful and mutually beneficial interactions also took place;

Whereas the foundational English settlements in Jamestown, Virginia, and Plymouth, Massachusetts, owed their survival in large measure to the compassion and aid of Native Peoples in the vicinities of the settlements;

Whereas in the infancy of the United States, the founders of the Republic expressed their desire for a just relationship with the Indian tribes, as evidenced by the Northwest Ordinance enacted by Congress in 1787, which begins with the phrase, `The utmost good faith shall always be observed toward the Indians’;

Whereas Indian tribes provided great assistance to the fledgling Republic as it strengthened and grew, including invaluable help to Meriwether Lewis and William Clark on their epic journey from St. Louis, Missouri, to the Pacific Coast;

Whereas Native Peoples and non-Native settlers engaged in numerous armed conflicts in which unfortunately, both took innocent lives, including those of women and children;

Whereas the Federal Government violated many of the treaties ratified by Congress and other diplomatic agreements with Indian tribes;

Whereas the United States forced Indian tribes and their citizens to move away from their traditional homelands and onto federally established and controlled reservations, in accordance with such Acts as the Act of May 28, 1830 (4 Stat. 411, chapter 148) (commonly known as the `Indian Removal Act’);

Whereas many Native Peoples suffered and perished–

(1) during the execution of the official Federal Government policy of forced removal, including the infamous Trail of Tears and Long Walk;

(2) during bloody armed confrontations and massacres, such as the Sand Creek Massacre in 1864 and the Wounded Knee Massacre in 1890; and

(3) on numerous Indian reservations;

For more: http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c111:S.J.RES.14:

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“Folks in Indian Country didn’t just wake up one day with addiction problems. Poverty and violence didn’t just randomly happen to this community. These issues are the result of a long history of systematic discrimination and abuse.

Let me offer just a few examples from our past, starting with how, back in 1830, we passed a law removing Native Americans from their homes and forcibly re-locating them to barren lands out west. The Trail of Tears was part of this process. Then we began separating children from their families and sending them to boarding schools designed to strip them of all traces of their culture, language and history. And then our government started issuing what were known as “Civilization Regulations” – regulations that outlawed Indian religions, ceremonies and practices – so we literally made their culture illegal.

And these are just a few examples. I could continue on like this for hours.

So given this history, we shouldn’t be surprised at the challenges that kids in Indian Country are facing today. And we should never forget that we played a role in this. Make no mistake about it – we own this.

And we can’t just invest a million here and a million there, or come up with some five year or ten-year plan and think we’re going to make a real impact. This is truly about nation-building, and it will require fresh thinking and a massive infusion of resources over generations. That’s right, not just years, but generations.

But remember, we are talking about a small group of young people, so while the investment needs to be deep, this challenge is not overwhelming, especially given everything we have to work with. I mean, given what these folks have endured, the fact that their culture has survived at all is nothing short of a miracle.

And like many of you, I have witnessed the power of that culture. I saw it at the Pow Wow that my husband and I attended during our visit to Standing Rock. And with each stomping foot – with each song, each dance – I could feel the heartbeat that is still pounding away in Indian Country. And I could feel it in the energy and ambition of those young people who are so hungry for any chance to learn, any chance to broaden their horizons.

Even the smallest opportunity can make such a huge difference for these kids. I saw that firsthand when Barack and I invited the kids we met in Standing Rock to come visit us at the White House.

They arrived one morning last November, and we showed them around, and took them out for pizza and burgers, and spent some time talking and laughing and hanging out. Altogether, their visit to the White House was just one day long, but as we hugged each of those kids goodbye, one young woman said to Barack, “This visit saved my life.”

And given the odds these kids face, I don’t think she was exaggerating. So if we take a chance on these young people, I guarantee you that we will save lives. I guarantee it.

So we all need to work together to invest deeply – and for the long-term – in these young people, both those who are living in their tribal communities like T.C. and those living in urban areas across this country. These kids have so much promise – and we need to ensure that they have every tool, every opportunity they need to fulfill that promise.

So I want to thank you for your commitment to their futures and for everything you have already done for their communities. I want to thank you for coming here today to learn more about Generation Indigenous and how you can help. And I look forward to seeing the extraordinary impact that you all will have in the years ahead.

Thank you so much, and God bless.”

4/8/15 First Lady Michelle Obama for White House Convening on Creating Opportunity for Native Youth

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US Govt & Indigenous Peoples Timeline 1819-2016 (ProPresObama.org Civil Rights Timelines ™)

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21 thoughts on “Trail of Tears – 185th Anniversary

  1. WH

    Wednesday, May 27, 2015

    All Times Eastern

    President Obama receives the presidential daily briefing

    President Obama attends meetings at the White House

    7:00 AM
    8:00 AM
    9:00 AM
    10:00 AM
    11:00 AM
    12:00 PM
    12:15 PM
    Vice President Biden delivers remarks about Russia’s intervention in Ukraine and its implications for European security
    Brookings Institution, Washington, D.C.

    1:00 PM
    1:20 PM
    President Obama departs White House
    South Lawn

    1:35 PM
    President Obama departs Joint Base Andrews

    2:00 PM
    3:00 PM
    4:00 PM
    President Obama arrives Miami
    Miami International Airport, Miami, Florida

    4:45 PM
    President Obama attends a DNC event
    Private Residence, Miami, Florida

    5:00 PM
    6:00 PM
    7:00 PM
    7:05 PM
    President Obama attends a DNC event
    Private Residence, Miami, Florida

    8:00 PM
    9:00 PM
    10:00 PM

    President Obama overnights in Florida

  2. Trail of Tears – 185th Anniversary

    May 28, 1830, The Indian Removal Act was signed into law by Andrew Jackson authorizing the president to grant unsettled lands west of the Mississippi in exchange for Indian lands within existing state borders. A few tribes went peacefully, but many resisted the relocation policy. During the fall and winter of 1838 and 1839, the Cherokees were forcibly moved west by the United States government. Approximately 4,000 Cherokees died on this forced march, which became known as the “Trail of Tears.”

    • “Folks in Indian Country didn’t just wake up one day with addiction problems. Poverty and violence didn’t just randomly happen to this community. These issues are the result of a long history of systematic discrimination and abuse.

      Let me offer just a few examples from our past, starting with how, back in 1830, we passed a law removing Native Americans from their homes and forcibly re-locating them to barren lands out west. The Trail of Tears was part of this process. Then we began separating children from their families and sending them to boarding schools designed to strip them of all traces of their culture, language and history. And then our government started issuing what were known as “Civilization Regulations” – regulations that outlawed Indian religions, ceremonies and practices – so we literally made their culture illegal.

      And these are just a few examples. I could continue on like this for hours.

      So given this history, we shouldn’t be surprised at the challenges that kids in Indian Country are facing today. And we should never forget that we played a role in this. Make no mistake about it – we own this.

      And we can’t just invest a million here and a million there, or come up with some five year or ten-year plan and think we’re going to make a real impact. This is truly about nation-building, and it will require fresh thinking and a massive infusion of resources over generations. That’s right, not just years, but generations.

      But remember, we are talking about a small group of young people, so while the investment needs to be deep, this challenge is not overwhelming, especially given everything we have to work with. I mean, given what these folks have endured, the fact that their culture has survived at all is nothing short of a miracle.

      And like many of you, I have witnessed the power of that culture. I saw it at the Pow Wow that my husband and I attended during our visit to Standing Rock. And with each stomping foot – with each song, each dance – I could feel the heartbeat that is still pounding away in Indian Country. And I could feel it in the energy and ambition of those young people who are so hungry for any chance to learn, any chance to broaden their horizons.

      Even the smallest opportunity can make such a huge difference for these kids. I saw that firsthand when Barack and I invited the kids we met in Standing Rock to come visit us at the White House.

      They arrived one morning last November, and we showed them around, and took them out for pizza and burgers, and spent some time talking and laughing and hanging out. Altogether, their visit to the White House was just one day long, but as we hugged each of those kids goodbye, one young woman said to Barack, “This visit saved my life.”

      And given the odds these kids face, I don’t think she was exaggerating. So if we take a chance on these young people, I guarantee you that we will save lives. I guarantee it.

      So we all need to work together to invest deeply – and for the long-term – in these young people, both those who are living in their tribal communities like T.C. and those living in urban areas across this country. These kids have so much promise – and we need to ensure that they have every tool, every opportunity they need to fulfill that promise.

      So I want to thank you for your commitment to their futures and for everything you have already done for their communities. I want to thank you for coming here today to learn more about Generation Indigenous and how you can help. And I look forward to seeing the extraordinary impact that you all will have in the years ahead.

      Thank you so much, and God bless.”

      4/8/15 First Lady Michelle Obama for White House Convening on Creating Opportunity for Native Youth

  3. Electrifying Indian Country with Solar Energy

    Solar Power Makes Electricity More Accessible On Navajo Reservation

    APRIL 21, 2015 3:57 AM ET npr

    Most people can’t imagine living without smartphones or the Internet, let alone without electricity. But even today — even in the United States — there are still people who live without lights and refrigeration. Many are Native Americans living on tribal reservations.

    For many, electricity is a luxury; it can even be magical. Derrick Terry remembers the first winter when there were lights on at his grandmother’s house.

    “You see the Christmas lights in the distance, it’s like seeing that unicorn,” he says. “It’s an indescribable feeling, I guess, when you first get electricity.”

    Terry grew up on the Navajo Nation. It’s about the size of West Virginia and covers the where Arizona, New Mexico and Utah portions of the Four Corners region. When Terry was a boy, his family used a 12-volt car battery to supply their house with power. He says the battery would get low simply by running the TV or house lights.

    “And then what you would do is you would run back outside and you start the vehicle up so it can charge back up,” he says.

    Terry, who now works as the renewable energy specialist for the Navajo Tribal Utility Authority, says his family was not alone. In fact, the U.S. Department of Energy estimates 18,000 Navajo homes still lack electricity.

    Navajo engineer Sandra Begay-Campbell runs the Tribal Energy Program for Sandia National Laboratories in Albuquerque, N.M., which provides technical assistance to tribes. Begay-Campbell says the main challenge to electrifying Navajo homes is the price of infrastructure — it can cost up to $50,000 to extend the electrical grid by just one mile.

    “If you’re going to put in power poles, you’re going to have to go through really hard dirt roads, lot of rocks, maybe go over a mountain, go through a canyon,” she says.

    Many Navajos live and graze animals in the wide-open spaces far away from the power grid. With more than half of all Navajos living at or below the federal poverty line, Begay-Campbell says it’s an unrealistic expense. But with the help of government grants, some Navajos have experimented with a more affordable option: solar power.

    For the entire article and audio interview: http://www.npr.org/2015/04/21/401000427/solar-power-makes-electricity-more-accessible-on-navajo-reservation

    ———

    * 3/23/15 Tribes Get $6 Million in Federal Funds for Energy Efficiency Projects

    * 2/26/15 Energy Department to Help Tribes Advance Clean Energy Projects and Increase Resiliency

    * 9/8/14 Work begins on $1 billion solar plant in Nevada

    * 4/17/14 LAKOTA HENRY RED CLOUD HONORED BY THE WHITE HOUSE AS “CHAMPIONS OF CHANGE” FOR SOLAR DEPLOYMENT

    * 5/9/14 DOI Secretary Jewell announces $700K in tribal energy grants

    * 5/7/14 DOI Secretary announces solar energy project on trust land

  4. Secretary Jewell Visits Riverside Indian School in Oklahoma

    5/28/15 Suzette Brewer – indiancountrytodaymedianetwork

    On May 27, U.S. Secretary of the Interior Sally Jewell and Assistant Secretary – Indian Affairs Kevin K. Washburn, visited the Riverside Indian School in Anadarko, Oklahoma, to talk with students, faculty and administration on the unique challenges facing Native communities in achieving educational attainment. As a part of the President’s Generation Indigenous (“Gen I”) initiative, the visit continues the 2015 Native Youth Listening Tour which commenced in February with previous visits to Salt River Elementary and the Gila River Crossing Community schools in Arizona.

    Joined by U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-OK), U.S. Representative Tom Cole (R-OK), and Director of the Bureau of Indian Education Dr. Charles “Monty” Roessel, Jewell and Washburn toured the school to assess both the difficulties and the successes of the 144-year-old boarding school located in the Anadarko Basin of southwestern Oklahoma.

    Jewell, who chairs the White House Council on Native American Affairs, said that one of the goals in overhauling the Bureau of Indian Education is to transform the agency into a “capacity builder” and “service provider” among Native communities, many of whom have the lowest educational attainment and highest poverty rates in the country. These initiatives were part of the Blueprint for Reform, which was released in June 2014 by the Administration to address the crisis in Indian education and strengthen the critical education needs of Native students.

    Read more at http://indiancountrytodaymedianetwork.com/2015/05/28/secretary-jewell-visits-riverside-indian-school-oklahoma-160520

  5. Reblogged this on Potano's Garden and commented:
    As the above link shows, today Is the anniversary of the infamous “trail of tears,” the horrendous forced walk of Cherokees out of their ancestral home in Georgia on May 28, 1830. It is a time to remember the cost that native Americans had to pay for the colonization of this continent,, even after they were nearly wiped out by smallpox..
    That cost has never been redressed, not in Canada, not in this country, not in an country in South or Central America. It is past time that it was. The time has come to recognize that native Americans have as much, if not more, right to this country as anyone else and to pay them back. It is time for Whites, particularly fundamentalist Christian and other conservative whites, to stop laying an exclusive claim on our country. Decency and Justice demand it.

  6. 12:45 PM ET
    EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy and Assistant Secretary Jo-Ellen Darcy deliver remarks on the Clean Water Rule. She will be joined by Obama Administration Officials and stakeholders to discuss the importance of clean water to our health, our communities and our economy
    Earth Conservation Corps Facility, Washington, D.C.

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    Come on over to my newest post titled: ”PBO Restoring Protection for US Streams and Wetlands ″

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