September 11, 2007

Official to Mormons:  Stop blaming Paiutes

Indians' role in massacre disputedOn the eve of the 150th anniversary of the Mountain Meadows Massacre, a state official told descendants of massacre victims Monday that the LDS Church needs to stop associating the Paiute Indians with the slaughter of 150 unarmed men, women and children.

Forest Cuch, executive director of the Utah Division of Indian Affairs and a member of the Ute Tribe, praised members of Mountain Meadows Monument Foundation, saying he appreciates how "they won't let the myth (surrounding responsibility for the massacre) die. You are striving for the truth, and it has to come forth sooner or later."

The foundation is one of two groups of massacre victims' descendants seeking federal stewardship of the Mountain Meadows site, owned by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It was local leaders of the church in the Cedar City area who ordered the massacre by LDS militiamen, a fact that has long been discussed by historians but only acknowledged publicly by the church in recent months.

For years, many blamed local Indians as the planners and perpetrators.

No comments: