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Posted by Rich/Mohican Press on March 07, 1999 at 08:12:33:

Good Morning, Mohicanites!

We took a week off (Ha Ha) from the Web Site, so only a few minor alterations were done around here. But, that won't keep me from talkin'!

Chris' suggestion about a Native American Heritage Month is an excellent one, I thought. Now Darla says that there IS one already! One of the best kept secrets in America, no doubt! Established or not, the American Indian certainly has not attained the same type of minority "status" as ANY other group does. The mere fact that when people, even those of other minority groups, discuss minority "issues," the Indian is rarely mentioned. It is a sad commentary on our Nation that STILL, the problems that face Indian Country today are usually spoken of in terms of yesterday. "It was really bad what we did to the Indians." Awareness that WE STILL ARE DOING is essential. If you've been to some of the reservations - and there are exceptions, to be sure - around the country, you know the plight many Indians find themselves in. So often, I have heard people make comments like this: "They are all drunks. Why don't they just pick themselves up." Surely, there is truth in there, in that ultimately everyone has to improve themselves from within. HOWEVER, one must heavily consider ... Many Indian tribes are not that far removed from the days that they lived the culture of their forefathers. It wasn't that long ago. Can you imagine, one day being a proud hunter/warrior free on the Plains, rich in all you need, the next day being confined to a reservation, stripped of all dignity, name changed, way of life outlawed, children shipped off to "Indian" schools, hair shorn off, dependent in every way. No wonder many turned to drink. The next generation, "confined" to reservations, had hopelessness & despair as role models. It's been a vicious cycle through the years, breaking ever so slowly. Agencies like The BIA help to perpetuate this ... Awareness is critical.

European-American culture is intimately intertwined with that of the Indian-American. Yet, we hear of the need for emphasis on Black contributions, women's contributions. The people here, who frequent places like this Web Site, are exceptions, but out there outside the confines of MohicanLand, who REALLY knows who Crazy Horse was? And he's one of the more famous American Indians. Our country is dotted with Indian place names. How many people who live in "Massapequa," Long Island ever give the origin of their town's name a second thought?

To me, the Indian is the REAL minority of this country. Displaced & conquered (and not so much in the military sense - that would have been more acceptable, to my way of thinking) - but through coercion, deceit, broken treaties, lies & immorality. It is the saddest story these shores have seen, yet in comparison to other "minorities" we see or hear little. It's been swept under the rug.

Native American Heritage Month needs a BIG kick in the ass. It needs to be honest, potent & positive! These are the opinions of RichFed, and do not necessarily represent the opinions of Mohican Press. And, that's my soap boxing for this week.

Almost .... You may have wondered what I thought The Alamo had to do with this Web Site. It was on the Frontier. There was a clash of cultures. And, like "The Last of the Mohicans" heroism was everywhere. The saga of the Alamo is one of those stories that can bring tears to your eyes. The kind of stand we all wish, or hope, we are capable of. Few of us will ever know!

We are absolutely thrilled over the prospect of having the continued efforts of the CCCC collaborations come to light on our Web Site. We heartfully thank She-Who Tracks, The English Trader, & Pilgrim Penny for what promises to be a stellar tribute to the man without whom there would be no "The Last of the Mohicans," James Fenimore Cooper. We can't wait! Did I put enough pressure on you, ladies?? :)

Regarding the dress at The Gathering ... the four people I mentioned in another post who DID wear period costume at last year's bonanza, Eric, John E., John H. & Susan are all returning again this year (well, it looks pretty good for Susan, anyway. The other three are definite), so, if you choose to go that route, you won't be alone. Chingachgook chokers & '98 Gathering T-shirts are perfectly acceptable, however! There might be a real treat in store, as well. I can't give the details, but we put one Gatherer in touch with Mark Baker for some historical advice. If time permits and everything goes right, there'll be a little something special amongst our displays ...

And, speaking of T-Shirts, last year's designer & a '98 Gatherer, Myrrh, has finally (or, is that FINALLY!!!) had her site evolve into the planned LOTM theme. Still has work to do, but the concept and design are exquisite. We have linked to it, of course, on our Links To Other Sites Page. Enjoy.

Happy Trails!

PS - How about an on-Board update from MMMM (CRP coordination), The Three Piggies Plus One Or Two (Program Guide Editors), and The Dutch Trader ('99 T-Shirts)? Inquiring minds, and blubbering idiots, want to know!

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