June 20, 2008

Bike ride better than apology?

Native Groups Not Waiting for Apology[W]hile some are hopeful the apology will get passed and lead to reconciliation between Native people and the U.S. government, others aren't waiting.

Starting in May 2009, Native riders will cross the country on bicycles to raise awareness of the government's abuse of Native people in boarding schools. The two coast-to-coast bicycle relays will be part of a national education campaign called the 2009 Way Home Tour.

Two Colorado nonprofit groups—White Bison Inc. and and the Ancient Ways of Knowing Foundation—are sponsoring the campaign, which will lead riders to Indian school sites in 17 states.

The groups hope the campaign will bring light to the intergenerational trauma inflicted on Indian people after the first boarding school was opened in Carlisle, Penn., in 1879.
Comment:  I'm not convinced the 2009 Way Home Tour or the Longest Walk 2 will lead to any more awareness and reconciliation than an apology would.

If you want to get the boarding-school story (or any Indian story) out, do a movie like Georgina Lightning's Older than America. Write a novel, TV show, comic book, or pop song on the subject. I'd say people learn more through the popular culture, especially the entertainment media, than through the news.

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