Gary Fife/Radio Specialist
Artifacts returned, names change, water is on
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma — There is more news regarding the return of tribal artifacts taken from tribes during the early colonial period of this country.
This time, it’s the Brits at the British Museum sending home an ancient collection of items to the Confederated Tribes of the Grande Ronde, in Oregon. About 16 various items were ‘collected’ during the late 1800’s and were sent to overseas.
The down side of the deal for the tribe is that the items are ‘on loan’ and it took an Act of Parliament to even get that.
The Native American journalist who was arrested for covering the story of the Standing Rock Sioux water protectors against the DAPL—Dakota Access Pipeline, has been found not guilty.
In early June, national and local news sources, including ‘Indian Country Today’ reported Jenni Monet (Laguna Pueblo) had been arrested in the early days of the resistance in North Dakota.
But, South Central Judicial District Judge Thomas Schneider said he feels Monet cooperated with law enforcement while doing her job as a journalist and that, “he didn’t think prosecutors proved that Monet knowingly trespassed.”
That’s one for our side, both as a Native and a journalist.
The White Wolf Pack website says 55 cities gave Columbus Day the heave-ho and changed that holiday to Indigenous People’s Day.
Four cities in Oklahoma (the “Home of the Red Man”): Anadarko, Norman, Tulsa and Tahlequah have made the change. The states of Minnesota, Vermont, Alaska and South Dakota have also made such declarations.
C’mon Oklahoma, get with it!
Speaking of names, we’re still waiting on word from the Tulsa School District about changing the name of Columbus Elementary School. They have made other school name changes but as of mid-June, they hadn’t said what they’re going to do about that school.
Here’s an idea.
There are still some arguments over the Robert E. Lee School. The TSD merely dropped the Robert E. part. It’s now just Lee School. But, that name change is under review, again.
Or like the Brady Arts District. That name was changed from the name ‘Wyatt Tate Brady’ a former member of the Ku Klux Klan, to ‘Mathew Brady,’ the Civil War photographer.
So following that logic, will the school board try some name that is neutral? Maybe ‘Mathew Columbus?’ Just so long as they remove ‘Columbus.’
It’s too bad about the Splash Pad at the Muscogee (Creek) Nation Festival grounds being shelved for so long, but there may be some relief. The tribe had filed suit against the people who built the thing in the first place.
Problems with water pipes and haphazard work in laying the concrete down resulted in having to close down the much-needed water playground. Our reporters found that the tribe was successful in obtaining judgments against those responsible and full repayment is in the works.
When it opened last year, the look on the faces of the kids enjoying the cool water was well worth the effort.
SPECIAL BREAKING NEWS!
Here, in the week just before the Festival, the Tourism and Recreation folks made this delightful announcement: The Splash Pad located near the dome is now open.
Good going team! So, there’s a place for the kids to cool down, especially with the summer heat already here.
Hope you got your fill of taklik sakmorke (fry bread) during the festival!
Hvtvm cehecares (I’ll see you again).