By Holly Meyer - June 17, 2010
Related: S.D. senators honor Lakota 'code talker’
Related: Code talker 'true American hero'
Related: Oglala code talker last link to history
When the towers of the World Trade Center fell on Sept. 11, 2001, Clarence Wolf Guts asked his son to call the U.S. Department of Defense to see if the country needed his code talking abilities to find Osama Bin Laden.
Wolf Guts was in his late 70s at the time, so his son, Don Doyle, did not make the call, but said the request personified his father's love of country.
"He still wanted to help. He was trying to still be patriotic," Doyle said.
Wolf Guts, 86, the last surviving Oglala Lakota code talker, died Wednesday afternoon at the South Dakota State Veterans Home in Hot Springs.
A Native American code talker from World War II, Wolf Guts helped defeat Axis forces by transmitting strategic military messages in his native language, which the Japanese and Germans couldn't translate.
"He's the last surviving code talker from the whole (Lakota) nation. It's going to be a little like the passing of an era," Doyle said.
The 450 Navajo code talkers were the most famous group of Native American soldiers to radio messages from the battlefields, but 15 other tribes used their languages to aid the Allied efforts in World War II. Wolf Guts was one of 11 Lakota, Nakota and Dakota Native American code talkers from South Dakota. Wolf Guts, of Wamblee, enlisted in the U.S. Army on June 17, 1942, at age 18. While in basic training, a general asked Wolf Guts if he spoke Sioux. He explained the three dialects to the general and said he spoke Lakota. Wolf Guts helped develop a phonetic alphabet based on Lakota that was later used to develop a Lakota code.
He and three other Sioux code talkers joined the Pacific campaign; Wolf Guts' primary job was transmitting coded messages from a general to his chief of staff in the field.
Pfc. Wolf Guts was honorably discharged on Jan. 13, 1946, but the horrors of war followed him home and he turned to alcohol to forget, Doyle said.
"He tried to keep it all inside," Doyle said.
About a decade ago, Wolf Guts started to share his experiences as a code talker with his son and the public.
Doyle said his father's deeply religious way of life was also a part of the stories. He always thanked God for bringing him home.
With the sharing of his story came recognition of his service and honors, including national acknowledgement through the Code Talkers Recognition Act of 2008 championed by senators Tim Johnson, D-S.D., and John Thune, R-S.D.
Both senators honored Wolf Guts efforts and offered their sympathies on Thursday night.
"I am deeply saddened to hear about the passing of Clarence Wolf Guts. He and his fellow Code Talkers have had a lasting impact on the course of history and helped lead the Allies to success during World War II. He will be greatly missed, but his contributions to our state and nation will live on," said Johnson.
"Clarence Wolf Guts was an American hero; he was courageous and self-sacrificing. I have a great deal of respect for Clarence and for the extraordinary contributions Mr. Wolf Guts made to our country. The efforts of the Lakota Code Talkers saved the lives of many soldiers, and for too long went unrecognized. Kimberley and I wish to express our sympathy to his family during this difficult time," Thune said.
Doyle said his father was humbled by the recognition, but was proud of his service during the war. Wolf Guts' desire to help others continued throughout his life well after the war ended.
"He considered himself just a man, nobody important. A man that tried to make life better for his family and his people. To me that is his legacy, to be able to help people," Doyle said. "To him, that was being warrior."
Visit site for further information: http://www.rapidcityjournal.com/news/article_9668c6fe-7a8a-11df-ab6b-001cc4c002e0.html
Wasco Chief Nelson Wallulatum dies after 50 years of leadership in the tribe
By Julie Sullivan - Monday, June 14, 2010
Nelson Wallulatum, chief of the Wasco Indians who for 50 years defended a river people's sovereignty, fishing rights and way of life, will be buried at sunrise today at the Agency Cemetery at Warm Springs.
Wallulatum died Sunday, said a spokesman with the Confederated Tribes of the Warm Springs. He was 84.
He had served on the Warm Springs tribal council since 1959, overseeing every major tribal undertaking for half a century, including the construction of the Pelton hydro project, 40 years of fishing rights litigation, restoration of 60,000 acres omitted from the reservation and establishment of industry that currently support the tribes."He was the end of an era of the Indian-educated leader who understood how to really work within the dominant society and with the dominant government in an Indian way," said Louie Pitt Jr., director of government affairs and planning for the tribes. "He was the full package."
As one of the three chiefs who serve for life on the 11-member Warm Springs tribal council, Wallulatum was the board's Constitution expert. He last appeared at the May swearing-in of new council members.
"Everybody always wanted to hear what Nelson thought about things because he had such a wealth of knowledge and he knew the tribal constitution absolutely by heart," said Dennis Karnopp, the tribal attorney who worked with him for 40 years. "He was a very bright man."
Wallulatum was a scholar on the 1855 Treaty, which forces the Wasco and Warm Springs tribes onto 6 percent of their original 10 million acres. He would also cite the Northwest Ordinance, the first act by the first Congress dealing with tribes. He took part in United States v. Oregon over Indian fishing rights, the longest running, continuous jurisdiction case in the country.
He teamed with the Warm Springs chief and others to replace the critical fishing access to the Columbia River flooded by construction of the Bonneville and Dalles Dams. They won access to five sites early, but spent 23 years raising the number to 29. Access is tribal members to preserve its ceremonial and practical ties to the river and to salmon.
Wallulatum also was a "repository of the very tribal way of life and government," Karnopp said.
He was a founder of the Museum at Warm Springs, one of those who saw heirlooms being sold and stolen from the reservation until the late 1960s. He worked to create a place to preserve their culture and artifacts and educate people, said Carol Leone, executive director. In 2007, the museum gave him its Lifetime Achievement Award.
"You could feel his strength but he was always very cordial and a very special man," Leone said.
Wallulatum trained younger members in the old ways such as how to make deer hoof rattles for ceremonies. He often offered prayers at inter-tribal events. And he was a longtime advocate of returning condors to Oregon. The Condor, or Thunderbird, is sacred to the Wascos.
The Oregon Zoo condor recovery program staff asked Wallulatum to name its first chick in 2004. He called it, "Kun-wak-shun," according to the Spilyay Tymoo newspaper. In the Kiksht language, this means "Thunder and Lightening." "He knew the unwritten laws, the songs and he loved America," Pitt said. "He was always fighting for the rights of our people."
Wallulatum was born at Warm Springs on Feb. 27, 1926 to Custer and Ida Wallulatum. He served in the U.S. Navy from November 1943 to June 1945. He is survived by his sister, Viola Wallulatum Kalama, (who was married to the late Paiute Chief Nick Kalama) and numerous nieces and nephews, and their children.
Warm Springs Wild Horse Auction Sparks Controversy
By Mackenzie Wilson - June 15, 2010
BEND, Ore. -- On Saturday, dozens of wild horses will be up for auction at the Warm Springs Rodeo Grounds.
Joan Steelhammer, the owner of Equine Outreach, a Bend horse rescue organization, said Tuesday she's upset about the fate of the horses up for sale on Saturday who aren't bought. So she's trying to get the word out about the auction, so more people show up and bid on the horses to give them a new, loving home.
She said the auction stems from an overpopulation problem.
"Birth control is the root issue and will be the ultimate solution," said Steelhammer.
She said birth control is the most humane way to deal with overpopulation, but the auction offers a different method.
"In prior auctions, a large number of the animals were actually sold for slaughter," said Steelhammer.
Scott Beckstead, the Oregon Director for the Humane Society of the United States, attended the auction last year and shares her concerns.
"We were told that any horse that does not receive a bid is killed after the sale is concluded," Beckstead said.
He said putting the horses down should not be an option.
"It's cruel and inhumane to round up horses and kill them just because nobody is there at the auction to bid on them," Beckstead said. Beckstead said last year at the auction, it was mostly young horses that did not receive bids. He bought several young horses that otherwise would have been put down.
Equine Outreach plans to buy as many horses as it can at the auction. From there, they will look for a temporary staging area for the horses until they can find permanent homes for each of them.
Steelhammer said overpopulation is a problem, but her concern is humane herd management.
"I don't want to see animals raised in the Central Oregon area for the meat market," said Steelhammer.
For more information on adopting horses you can contact Joan Steelhammer via this e-mail, email@example.com Several calls to the auction organizers were not returned.
Equine Outreach: http://www.equineoutreach.com/
Open letter to NCAI
June 17, 2010
Dear Ms. Jacqueline Johnson Pata, executive director NCAI,
The Blackfeet Tribe has just become aware of a letter sent by the National Congress of American Indians to the offices of various senators supporting the Barrasso amendment No. 4313 to the American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010. The Blackfeet Tribe is a member of NCAI and yet has not been made privy to such letter.
Please be advised that the Blackfeet Tribe stands 100 percent behind all of the Native American allottees and the Cobell settlement as it now stands. I am very concerned, as a representative member of NCAI, that this organization would press the adoption of an amendment that hurts allottees. What right does NCAI have to support an amendment which goes to the rights of tribes more than to the rights of the individuals in whose name this suit has been instituted and who have stood patiently by for the last 14 years hoping to see that justice is done? How can NCAI make decisions for individual allottees? This present action by NCAI is out of line and not in keeping with the purposes and vision of this organization.
The Blackfeet Tribe strongly supports the Cobell settlement as it now stands and urges the body not to pass any resolution at its upcoming meeting in Rapid City, S.D. that would undermine this settlement. The Blackfeet Tribe wants NCAI to go back to representing the interests of its member tribes and not to interfere in the lives and livelihood of individual Indian people.
Please respond to this letter by writing to me at P.O. Box 850, Browning, MT, 59417 so that I may be assured that NCAI has reconsidered its ill-advised letter supporting the Barrasso amendment.
-Willie A Sharp Jr., chairman
Blackfeet Tribal Business Council
SCAM ARTIST Christino Rosado
Yakama Nation Tribal Members Scammed Into Giving Up Personal Information
By Anna King - June 17, 2010
As many as 500 people from the Yakama Indian Nation in Eastern Washington may have been duped into giving their personal information out.
They were promised high-paying jobs, free meals and lodging in exchange for cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf Coast. Correspondent Anna King explains.
As many as 500 people from the Yakama Indian Nation in Eastern Washington may have been duped into giving their personal information out.
They were promised high-paying jobs, free meals and lodging in exchange for cleaning up the oil spill in the Gulf Coast. Correspondent Anna King explains.
Ryan Craig is a 28-year-old radio DJ for the Yakama Nation. He's pretty mad today for his friends and family.
Many of the people he knows were taken in by a likely scam by a man who promised jobs cleaning up the oil spill on the Gulf Coast for $40 an hour.
Ryan Craig: "He came and he picked up guys and women that needed the job; that needed the money, that didn't have anything going on."
Craig says that Yakama tribal members who signed up for the gig were ready to board a bus early Thursday morning, but the bus didn't show up.
Ryan Craig: "They put stuff in storage, they had going away dinners and you got elders saying oh we wish you the best, do your best and come back. If this don't happen how is our whole community going to feel?"
All those people gave up their name, birthdate, address, social security number and tribal identification.
The scam has been linked to a man calling himself Christino Rosado.
Rosado has also been named in another scam in Oregon City earlier this spring.
There, Rosado claimed he had jobs for people in a new juice plant that was coming to town.
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: Jes Ward
Date: Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 4:59 PM
Subject: Re: Rigoberta Menchu Tum in Boulder for 2012 Revealed Event!
On Wed, Jun 16, 2010 at 11:18 AM, Jes Ward
It would be amazing if you could blast this out to your networks and ask them to do the same.
New 2012 Revelations with Rigoberta Menchú Tum and Revered Mayan Spiritual Elders
Join PeaceJam for a powerful day of blessing and initiation from leading Indigenous Mayan Spiritual Elders and Nobel Peace Prize Winner Rigoberta Menchú Tum.
This truly unique and powerful event will explore the true meaning of 2012 from the Mayan perspective. We've seen Hollywood's skewed interpretation, now hear the true meaning and new revelations about the 2012 prophecy from the Mayan leaders themselves.
Participants will have the opportunity to learn how to be a "Light Bearer" in these trying times of incredible transition as well as the opportunity to attend workshops led by Mayan Spiritual Teachers from Guatemala.
This event is open to all ages and will take place from 8:30am-4:30pm on July 8, 2010 at Naropa University's Nalanda Campus (6287 Arapahoe Ave) in Boulder. General Admission is $195/person and VIP Sponsorship Opportunities, which include a private group audience, a special blessing, and VIP seating for the entire event, are $495/person. All proceeds benefit the PeaceJam Foundation.
Click here to view event details and to register on our website!
Or call us at 303-455-2099 to ORDER YOUR TICKETS TODAY!
Menchú Tum was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1992 in recognition of her work for the rights of the Mayan people in Guatemala and indigenous people around the world. She is the youngest woman and the only Native American individual to ever win the prize and will be sharing new information and unique insight into the true Mayan prophecy about the year 2012.
We look forward to seeing you at this once-in-a-long-calendar event!
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aka Shannon Francis
THE RED EARTH Said a tree to a man, "My roots are in the deep red earth, and I shall give you of my fruit." And the man said to the tree, "How alike we are. My roots are also deep in the red earth. And the red earth gives you power to bestow upon me of your fruit, and the red earth teaches me to receive from you with thanksgiving." by Kahlil Gibran from The Wanderer (1932
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NAPT Production Fund Deadline is One Month Away! Deadline July 14!
June 14, 2010
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Live call June 19th with Grandmothers of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers.
To: Members in 13 Indigenous Grandmothers from all over the world
You're warmly invited to an unprecedented event this Saturday in honor of Summer Solstice - a Virtual Council with members of the 13 Indigenous Grandmothers.
In recent months, it's become clear to me that one of the most important things we can do to accelerate the Shift is to heal the rift between the Western stream of culture and the indigenous peoples of the world.
That's why we decided to invite the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers - a beautiful group of wise and holy elders representing many prayer lineages from across the world - to offer this free public call. Their prayers, wisdom, and calls for healing are essential medicine for our times and need to be accessible to the world. And we are truly honored that they accepted the invitation to offer their first Virtual Council through The Shift Network.
You are invited to be an active participant in the event, adding your prayers, blessings and intentions, as well as participating in smaller council circles with other participants.
We know that the power of intention amplifies with groups, and so our vision is that as many people as possible join together at this auspicious time to send our healing prayers out to the world. The more of us that join, the more powerful the effect.
The Virtual Council will include prayer, blessings, guidance and insight, and whatever Spirit moves them to share. It will be on Saturday, June 19th. However, even if you cannot participate live, you can sign up and get free access to the recording afterward.
Sign up now at www.theshiftcouncil.com
Please do share this invitation with friends and allies - all are warmly welcomed to participate for free.
Stephen picture.jpg Founder and CEO, The Shift Network
P.S. The Solstice Council gives you access to the following leaders:
On the live call: Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim, Grandmother Flordemayo, Grandmother Margaret Behan, Grandmother Julieta Casimiro, Grandmother Aama Bombo, Grandmother Rita Long Visitor, Jyoti (convener of the group)
Present in spirit: Grandmother Tsering Dolma Gyaltong, Grandmother Rita Pitka Blumenstein, Grandmother Maria Alice Campos Freire, Grandmother Mona Polacca, Grandmother Clara Shinobu Iura, Grandmother Bernadette Rebienot, Grandmother Beatrice Long
Sponsoring Partners: Center for Sacred Studies, International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers
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San Manuel Band of Mission Indians, KVCR to launch new TV channel
By Joe Nelson June 15, 2010
The San Manuel Band of Mission Indians on Tuesday announced it is partnering with San Bernardino-based KVCR Television to air the nation's first American Indian channel......
Feds Approve Shinnecock Tribe Recognition
Frank Eltman - June 15, 2010
.....The Shinnecock must now await a 30-day comment period after the announcement is posted in the Federal Register. After that, recognition is expected to become permanent......
Free the Bolsa Chica Mesa Now? Not likely, but there’s always ‘purposeful grading’
The upper Bolsa Chica mesa’s mile-long ridge demonstrates the mixed grandeur of the Surf City region with a wide view of the Santa Ana river basin below, where the largest wetlands restoration project in California is locked between urban sprawl and the Pacific Ocean.
The mesa has changed a lot since its first human settlers arrived over 9,000 years ago to create the Acjahemen Nation. Soon, it will change again by the hands of a more powerful, corporate, nation.
Parts of the mesa have revealed some of the most important archaeological discoveries made in America. More discoveries are sure to come, archeologists say, but their exact locations and how to best preserve them are in dispute. Buried somewhere on its northeast corner, in the area of two undeveloped side by side lots, are the only remaining accessible human records of its mysterious past.
To many Native Americans, the entire area is a holy site that should be left alone out of respect for their ancestors. “That whole area was a major village [with] a high concentration of everyday life activity,” Tongva tribal leader Anthony Morales told the Voice in 2008.
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Cobell v. Salazar: Ask Elouise week of June 13, 2010
June 15, 2010
Dear Indian Country
This is the eleventh letter in a series of open letters that I’m sending to Indian Country. The purpose of this letter is to update you about the settlement and to let you know what you can do to help.
Before the Memorial Day holiday, the House of Representatives voted to pass the “American Jobs and Closing Tax Loopholes Act of 2010” which includes a provision authorizing the Cobell settlement. This is good news and we now await approval in the Senate. I hope that the Senate passes the bill before the July 4 recess, but there is a chance that might not happen.
Individual Indian trust beneficiaries have expressed their overwhelming support for this settlement. Not only does it put $1.4 billion into the hands of individual Indians in a relatively short period of time, but it promises to make another $2 billion available to individual Indians over the next ten years, preserve sacred Indian lands for future generations and create a fund for post-secondary education worth up to $60 million. This is the largest settlement/judgment against the United States since the founding of the Republic and we have a unique opportunity to right an historic injustice. For these reasons I intend to direct our attorneys to work with the government to extend the settlement agreement yet again so that justice may have a chance. However, every extension of time delays the distribution of our settlement funds. Enough is enough. Further, there are a few tribal leaders in Indian Country, some with misguided intentions, who want to terminate the settlement for their own personal purposes.
Senator Barrasso (R – WY), Vice-Chairman, Senator Committee on Indian Affairs, has introduced an amendment that he says would “improve” the settlement agreement. However, the agreement provides that the settlement terminates if there are any changes to its terms. Senator Barrasso knows this and he knows that adoption of his amendment would kill the settlement. Why? He is playing Washington politics because the dirty truth is that he would vote against the current Senate bill even if his amendment is adopted.
Tribal leaders should know better (and most do) than to support a new Senator from Wyoming who rarely, if ever, has supported Indians. Senator Barrasso has made an effort to gain support from certain leaders in Indian Country for his amendment. He argues that his amendment really does not make significant changes to the settlement. Of course, most tribal leaders and individual Indian trust beneficiaries are not buying it. Still, there are a few wrong-headed tribal leaders who support his plan to kill our agreement. If your tribal leaders are voting to change the settlement in any way, they are helping Senator Barrasso kill our settlement and they are depriving you of your money. They do not deserve your vote and should be voted out of office if they stand for re-election. Have your friends and family demand that their tribal representatives support our settlement.
Understanding who is with us and who is against us is important because the National Congress of American Indians says that it will consider a resolution that would help Senator Barrasso kill the Cobell settlement during its conference June 20-23, 2010. If you don’t know whether your representative to NCAI is with you on Cobell, make sure you find out in advance. Any legislative changes to the settlement agreement will terminate the settlement.
Let me also stress that most tribal leaders support our settlement. I thank each of you for resisting the efforts of Senator Barrasso and his staff to undermine what we have achieved.
Will the Native American Bank hold the settlement funds or have any role in distribution? I am the Chair of Native American Bank and I have been asked whether Native American Bank would handle or otherwise be involved in the distribution of our settlement funds. The answer is no. The settlement agreement sets forth standards for selection of a federally insured depository institution that would hold and distribute the settlement funds. Only well capitalized commercial banks with trust powers are eligible for selection (and, the Native American Bank has no trust powers). Only banks with highly rated trust departments and proven experience and skill in the distribution of class action mega-settlements will be considered for this important task. We must be sure that prompt and accurate distributions are made by bankers who understand fully the nature and scope of their fiduciary duties to you. Anything less isn’t good enough.
Does this settlement resolve any future claims? No. The settlement agreement resolves only covered claims through September 30, 2009. It does not resolve any claims that may accrue after September 30, 2009. A list of claims not covered by the settlement agreement (e.g., pre-September 30, 2009 claims that may be brought against the government) can be reviewed here and here. For a complete list of claims, you should consult the settlement agreement.
What does settlement of the Cobell case mean for the tribes and tribal trust cases? Tribes are not parties in our case and would receive no funds from our settlement. Nevertheless, they are beneficiaries of our settlement. We have over 80 published decisions and an encyclopedia of factual findings that have been established in Cobell regarding the government’s trust duties, information technology security, and the destruction of trust records and information. Volumes have been written on the government’s breaches of trust. This material provides a free roadmap to litigation success and it is readily available to tribes in connection with their trust litigation against the government if they decide to actually litigate their cases. On the other hand, I understand that most tribal cases have been dormant (while they have observed our litigation) and their attorneys would prefer a quick settlement so they don’t need to spend the time and resources required to litigate effectively against the United States government. Nonetheless, such tribes and their attorneys are likely to be disappointed because it is also my understanding from conversations with senior Interior and Justice officials and certain tribal attorneys that there will be no settlement with any tribe if Cobell is not settled.
Finally, tribes will benefit directly from the $2 billion land consolidation program which would result in the largest restoration of land to Indian tribes in the history of the United States. It still amazes me that tribal leaders would oppose our multi-billion dollar settlement that so clearly benefits them and their members – even though they, themselves, didn’t do anything to help us. However, this is not the first time in our history that some of our leaders have decided to sacrifice individual Indian interests for their political gain. I am working hard to see that they fail and urge you to do the same.
Prior Ask Elouise letters can be found on the settlement website: http://cobellsettlement.com/class/ask_elouise.php. We also have a “frequently asked questions” section while includes the most common questions we’ve received as well as questions and answers from prior Ask Elouise letters: http://cobellsettlement.com/press/faq.php. With so many members of the class, I can’t answer every question that you send. The Ask Elouise letters will answer as many questions as possible that are relevant to the entire class.
The most common question I receive every week relates to whether a particular person is included in this settlement. Unfortunately, I do not have that information. The settlement agreement provides general guidelines (see also http://cobellsettlement.com/press/faq.php), but I also understand that many of you have unique or unusual circumstances, which make it unclear to me whether you are included in the settlement class. For those of you who still have questions, I recommend that you register to receive all Court-ordered communications to ensure you do not miss important information. There is no need to register if you are receiving a quarterly IIM statement. The Court ultimately will determine who is included in this settlement. Registration information can be found at the end of this and every Ask Elouise letter.
If you are not currently receiving an IIM statement from the government, please remember to register for correspondence over the Internet or by calling the number below.
If you have a question, send an e-mail to: email@example.com. Otherwise you can send me a letter to the address below. To expedite the processing of your letters our contractor has set up a post office box in Ohio, but I assure you this letter is coming from me and I will see your letters.
Ask Elouise Cobell Settlement
PO Box 9577
Dublin, OH 43017-4877
Thank you and keep your questions coming!
American Indian group seeks changes to $3.4B settlement
June 15, 2010
WASHINGTON — The head of the country's most prominent American Indian organization is asking Congress to make last-minute changes to the historic settlement of a class-action lawsuit over federal mismanagement of revenue from the use of tribal lands......
(Any changes to this settlement will make the ruling null & void.
The Ethnic Mix that Launched America
By William Loren Katz
May 28, 2010
Editor’s Note: In Arizona, a harsh new law has been passed mandating that police demand to see the papers of anyone they have reason to suspect might be an “illegal alien.”
The law has been touted by anti-immigrant groups who are making political hay amid economic troubles across the nation, but historian William Loren Katz says this bigotry goes against some of the founding lessons of the American Republic:
For generations, bashing immigrants has been a favorite political tactic of American xenophobes and white racists when they need to augment their time-honored way of rallying their backers – by picking on blacks and other people of color.
There were fears whipped up over waves of immigration in the 1840s, mostly against Irish Catholics; in the l880s, largely against Chinese; and in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, primarily against eastern and southern European Catholics and Jews.
In the 1920s, anti-immigrant fever led Congress to pass two draconian laws closing the gates to "undesirables." In other words, today’s bigotry and fear-mongering about “illegal” Hispanic immigration has a long and ugly history in the United States.
“Super-patriots” and anti-immigrant bigots sometimes trace their distrust of non-natives back to General George Washington and his supposed order as he crossed the Delaware River on Christmas Eve 1776 to “Put none but Americans on guard tonight.”
However, the quotation people at Bartleby.com say there’s no foundation for these purported words from Washington in that context.
“The only basis for this order seems to be found in Washington’s circular letter to regimental commanders, dated April 30, 1777, regarding recruits for his body guard,” the Bartleby experts said, noting that Washington at that time wrote, “You will therefore send me none but natives.”
His reasoning, however, was not that he disdained immigrants but that a few months earlier, a supposed British deserter, Thomas Hickey, had tried to poison Washington and subsequently had been convicted and hanged.
The alleged Delaware crossing quote also makes little sense because Washington’s ragtag Continental Army was filled with non-native-born soldiers, both recent immigrants and Europeans who had joined the cause and were deeply trusted by Washington.
In fact, the British were defeated by a multicultural “rabble,” a self-described “motley crew” that lacked proper uniforms and training and had no respect for the traditional social order that King George III was trying to re-impose on the rebellious colonies.
Who were these rebels? In Carlisle, Pennsylvania, seven of the first nine companies to sign up for the patriot cause were almost entirely Irish and two were largely German. In Charleston, South Carolina, 26 Jews living on King Street joined up to form “The Jews’ Company.”
Irish immigrants not only provided thousands of foot soldiers but also 1,500 officers, including 26 generals. General John Sullivan of Ireland stood with Washington at Valley Forge.
The Valley Forge encampment had so many Irish soldiers that they won the right to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day – after their General warned them to avoid “Rioting and Disorder.”
During that terrible winter, Washington’s soldiers survived because local German immigrant farmers provided food for the ragged troops, and German and Moravian women volunteered to serve as nurses.
And Washington’s freezing soldiers were whipped into an army by General Freidrich von Steuben, a German whose barking orders had to be translated from German to French to English.
Another of Washington’s trusted officers was Christian Febiger, a Danish immigrant. Another was General Johann Kalb, a giant of a man from Germany who served under General Horatio Gates.
Major Cosmo Medici of Italy survived 41 months of battles and 11 months as a prisoner of war. Poland’s Thaddeus Kosciusko became a General, a personal friend of Washington’s, and a war hero. After the war he returned home to lead his own people against Russian tyranny.
Count Casimir Polaski, a Polish nobleman, saved the patriot forces at Brandywine and formed a “Polish Legion” staffed by officers from France, Germany and Poland. Known as “the father of the American cavalry,” Polaski died of wounds suffered in the Battle of Savannah.
Polaski’s chief officer was Colonel Michael Kovats, a Hungarian whose soldiers came mostly from Germany and Hungary. During the siege of Savannah, 700 black soldiers from Haiti helped stem the British assault.
Indeed, a host of “foreigners” bore arms in defense of the new republic -- soldiers and sailors from Spain, Cuba, Mexico, Puerto Rico and, of course, France, which supplied officers such as the Marquis de Lafayette and important naval power.
Louisiana’s Spanish Governor Bernard de Galvez sent food, guns and medicine across his border to the patriots.
Even unwanted “aliens” helped. Of the 29,875 Hessian mercenaries hired by the British, many changed their mind rather than assist the English monarchy crush a revolt on behalf of freedom.
A third of the Hessians failed to show up in Germany, and others surrendered the first chance they had. When Hessian prisoners were taken on a tour of Pennsylvania’s fertile fields many volunteered to stay as farmers. One was Private Kuster, an ancestor of General George Custer.
The British learned to their sorrow that immigrants from many lands were willing to fight and die – along with native-born soldiers from the many ethnic and racial groups already in the colonies – so the fledgling United States of America might live.
Despite the existence of slavery, there were many volunteers of African descent, people like Oliver Cromwell who was in the boat with Washington as he crossed the Delaware. Cromwell also fought bravely at Princeton, Brandywine, Monmouth and Yorktown.
Even earlier in the war, African-Americans helped Ethan Allen capture Fort Ticonderoga, providing the cannons that Washington used to drive the British from Boston.
At Bunker Hill, Peter Salem, a black sharpshooter brought down Major Pitcairn, the British commander, and another, Salem Poor, was cited for battlefield bravery.
Later in the war, African-Americans served heroically alongside whites and Native Americans in Francis Marion’s guerrilla forces in the Carolinas.
“No regiment is to be seen in which there are not negroes in abundance,” reported one captured Hessian soldier.
This unlikely unity of people from so many ethnic, racial and social groupings was a message not lost on the aristocratic Lord Cornwallis when he was forced to surrender to this rabble army at Yorktown in 1781. He ordered his band to play “The World Turned Upside Down.”
It is, however, a lesson that many Americans seem to have forgotten amid today's anti-immigrant fervor.
William Loren Katz is the author of forty U.S. books, including the 8-volume school text, A History of Multicultural America. He has been affiliated with New York University since 1973. His website is WILLIAMLKATZ.COM
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Appeals court rules proposed uranium mine near Navajo town in New Mexico is not on Indian land
By Felicia Fonseca - June 15, 2010
FLAGSTAFF, ARIZ. — A New Mexico-based uranium producer plans to move forward with a mining operation in the western part of the state after that a federal appeals court ruled Tuesday that its land is not part of Indian Country......