June 12, 2013

"Free dirt" offered from burial ground

Tribe Outraged at City's 'Free Dirt' Offer

By June WilliamsThe tribe claims the defendants offered the "free dirt" for landscaping projects, though state law requires stopping construction if grave goods or remains are found. But the city has a "financial incentive" to complete the project, according to the complaint.

The tribe claims that city officials knew the road project would traverse the site of an ancient village that had existed "for hundreds if not thousands of years."

The Swinomish left the village, called Tequcid, to move to their reservation in 1855, "leaving behind generations of their ancestors who were buried there," according to the complaint.

"The location and nature of Tequcid is well known and well documented," the complaint states. "Archaeologists or anthropologists documented the village and burial ground in the 1920s, 1950s, and 1980s. In 1953, the site was formally registered as a state archaeological site. In 1988, an updated state archaeological site form was prepared. Firsthand or press accounts of the presence of Indian burials at the site were made in the 1850s, 1910s, 1920s, 1940s, 1960s, and 1980s. In 1983, the Whidbey News Times published pictures of Indian burials being removed from the site after construction work along SE Pioneer Way had disturbed them."
Comment:  Free dirt from Indian burial ground! Bones and relics included at no extra cost! This offer is too good to pass up, so hurry while it lasts!

I call this stereotypical because of the implication that Indian burial grounds are different from Euro-American burial grounds. That they're nothing but dirt that we can give away freely.

If you don't like the reality of thousands of Indian burial sites disrupting "progress," too bad. Don't conquer an inhabited land and expect it to be empty.

For more on burial grounds, see Indians Won't Build on Catholic Graveyard and Blame Burial Grounds for Economy?

1 comment:

dmarks said...

"Don't conquer an inhabited land and expect it to be empty...."

I know. I've seen "Poltergeist"!