January 28, 2008

Paiutes call Miwoks liars

New Yosemite Indian war:  Tribes fight over place in history

Paiutes call Miwoks' park legacy 'a lie'The Miwok already play too prominently in a replica Indian village outside the park museum, the Paiute say.

For 50 cents, visitors can buy a brochure called "The Miwok in Yosemite." There are few references to the Paiutes, who archaeologists say came from the Eastern Sierra more than 10,000 years ago and fought, traded and married Miwok from the west.

The new Yosemite Indian war pits cousin against cousin. At stake is the recorded history of the national park, the fate of native remains and who ultimately gets federally recognized as the true stewards of Yosemite.

Yosemite's 3.6 million visitors a year--many of whom tour the Indian museum and village--are being "taught a lie," said David Andrews, a Sacramento Indian activist from the Walker River Paiute reservation in northern Nevada.
Below:A statue of "Chief Lemee," who was actually an Indian park employee who danced in Miwok and Plains Indian regalia for visitors, occupies a place at the Yosemite park museum, as does a photo showing the ceremony. Members of the Paiute tribe contend the display, as well as others, are historically inaccurate.


Anonymous said...

Paiute aren't calling Miwoks liars.

Some Paiutes are calling the Yosemite National Park history a lie.

There is a big difference.

The Park is teaching the wrong history of the Yosemite Native people. Which anyone can see on the Yosemite National Park websites, interpretative signs in the park, and the new Yosemite visitor center and so on.

Chief Tenaya was born at Mono Lake and not in Yosemite Valley.

Rob said...

Okay, the Paiutes are calling the current park history a lie. That means they're implicitly calling the people who promote the current park history liars. The people who promote the current park history include the Park Service and the 800-member band of Southern Sierra Miwok.

The implications are pretty clear, if you ask me. Hence the message title. But if no Paiute has ever accused a Miwok of promoting a false version of Yosemite history, I apologize.