Gary Fife/Radio Specialist
Presidential action, baseball logo, no beer on Oglala border, local battles
OKMULGEE, Okla. — This spring, there was a bit of a flap over the Prez traveling to the home of Andrew Jackson to pay homage to the 9th president of the expanding United States. In March, Trump laid a wreath on Jackson’s grave and gave a hand salute to his statue.
“Old Hickory” had a few nicknames and among them was the phrase “Indian Killer.” In 1830, he signed the Indian Removal Act resulting in the Trail Of Tears for southeastern tribes.
Some folks have made comparisons between the two. Right after assuming office the Prez has signed bills opposing Native American interests. He and his allies have hinted at privatizing Indian lands, in order to ‘free’ natural resources on reservations and other Indian lands.
Out of curiosity (perhaps, somewhat morbid) I once visited the Hermitage, Jackson’s home. After driving up the guitar-shaped driveway, it led to a stately Southern style mansion that had been turned into a museum of Jackson’s life.
During the tour, I asked the girl guide about Jackson’s dealings with Indian tribes. She coughed nervously and said something like Jackson did have many dealings with Indians and proceeded to move on to another part of the mansion.
We have yet to see how the current Prez is going to deal with us, but right now, it doesn’t look good.
Here’s a bit of an update on the Indian mascot issue.
The NBC website sports page reported the commissioner of Major League Baseball has weighed in on the issue. The source said Rob Manfred would have a dialogue with team owner Paul Dolan about the Chief Wahoo caricature.
According to the ‘New York Times,’ ‘ “Baseball, said Manfred, in his talks with the Indians’ owners, had made clear his “desire to transition away from the Chief Wahoo logo. We have specific steps in an identified process and are making progress,’’ Courtney added. “We are confident that a positive resolution will be reached that will be good for the game and the club.’’ ’
Will it happen or won’t it? Diehard defenders of mascot logo did make their views known, sometimes rather profanely, at a group of mascot protesters outside the Cleveland stadium during the April opening day.
On a somewhat related note, the ‘Washington Post’ by way of Indianz.com says the Original Americans Foundation has significantly reduced the amount of money it donates to tribes. The foundation is solely supported by Disneyland-On-The-Potomac R-skins football team owner Dan Snyder.
The amount dropped from $3.7 million to $1.4 million. No word as to why.
The ‘Lincoln (Nebraska) Journal Star’ just reported that the beer stores on the border of the Oglala Sioux reservation will lose their licenses to sell beer.
The town of Whiteclay had been selling millions of cans of beer to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation residents for years. Local tribal officials and Native activists have been trying to close up the four beer stores for years.
Activists and law enforcement officials have said over the years, the stores were a major source of alcohol related problems for the Lakota people there. The decision brought tears of joy to their faces.
The stores must re-apply for their licenses and are expected to appeal the decision Nebraska Liquor Control Commission, according to the ‘Journal Star.’
Locally, there’s going to be a bit of a battle brewing over Muscogee (Creek) Nation citizenship, election rules and the blood quantum issue. Social media has had more than a few comments about the issue.
Some folks want to lower the blood quantum requirements, some don’t. There are many people concerned, but most don’t want to talk publicly about the issue.
In other local news, there will be a stompdance at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Festival in June. That event was the focus of a lot of conjecture after a memo from tribal officials earlier this year stating that there would be no stompdances on tribal property.
That’s good news, since the feature of the Festival was one of the high points and a wonderful way to celebration Mvskoke culture.
See ya at the Festival!