Thursday, August 21, 2008

Mato Nunpa challenging censorship of genocide

Chris Mato Nunpa, Dakota and retired professor of Indigenous Nations and Dakota Studies, challenges the censorship of a previous letter to the editor by the Granite Falls Tribune Mato Nunpa's daughter and granddaughter were arrested last Saturday protesting Minnesota's genocide:
Hi Dave,
I noticed that my letter was edited and my statement re: "I come from a people who were the victims of genocide. Terri comes from a people who perpetrated the genocide of Indigenous Peoples" was omitted. Also, my statement re: Terri's "white supremacist attitude" will work well with most white people" which was after I had said that "Terri should resign and be transferred elsewhere in the DNR system, preferably, where she can work with white people only."
Most U.S. Euro-Americans shy away from the term "Genocide" especially when it's connected to genocide of the Indigenous Peoples of the U.S, even U.S. Euro-American genocide scholars shy away from the term. My friend and strongest supporter of my program and of me at SMSU was Dr. Eric Markusen, a genocide scholars. For several years, he talked about the "mistreatment" of Indigenous Peoples. However, even he had to succumb to the overwhelming documentation that it was more than just "mistreatment." It was GENOCIDE!
I talk about the topic of "Genocide and the Indigenous Peoples of the U.S." around the world: Kigali, Rwanda; Galway, Ireland; Copenhagen, Denmark; Mumbai, Indian; Sydney, Australia; Buenos Aires, Argentina; etc. as well as at universities in the U.S.: Yale University, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY; University of Minnesota; University of Kansas; Arizona State University; Worcester College, Worcester, MA; etc.
However, I do understand the U.S. Euro-Americans' reluctance to talk about genocide of the Indigenous Peoples of the U.S., or specifically, the genocide of the Dakota People of Minnesota perpetrated by the Euro-Minnesotan citizenry. No one wants to be considered a "bad person." People who perpetrate genocide are "bad people." So, in order to silence the talk, the perpetrator uses various techniques; suppress the talk of genocide (so, it's not mentioned in the Minnesota History Textbooks or in the U.S. History textbooks); don't give the victims a forum (e.g., Terri's USASP program, letters to the editor, etc.) to talk about the genocide. And, if these don't work, the perpetrator resorts to more drastic and lethal measures to suppress the talk of genocide, like arresting the individual, or killing the individual. All of these techniques that are employed by the perpetrator of genocide or of a crime against humanity, etc. are mentioned in Judith Herman's book TRAUMA AND RECOVERY.
Bounties, concentration camps (2 or them in Minensota), mass executions (the hanging of the 38 Dakota in Mankato, MN on December 26, 2008); forced marches (the 150 mile forced march of 1,000 Dakota women, children, and elders; forced removal, or ethnic cleansing, of the Dakota People from their ancient homaland, Minnesota; cries of "extermination or removal" from Govern Ramsey right on down to the common white man on the street; the term "extermination" used by General Pope, Govern Ramsey, and soldiers, legislators, the Euro-Minnesota citizenry, and in the newspapers of the day the ads for bounties on the scalps of Dakota People: in Winona, Red Wing, St. Paul, Farribault, St. Cloud, Mankato, etc. I will send you an ad for bounties on Dakota scalps from one of the Minnesota newspapers, the Winona Republican, September 23, 1863.
Also, I will send to you a picture of the scalp of Little Crow for whom the State of Minnesota paid the killer $500. The remains of Little Crow were kept and displayed at the Minnesota Historical Society for 108 years before Little Crow was finally buried in 1971 in Flandrea, South Dakota. What I have mentioned above is just a smattering of the documentation of the GENOCIDE of the Indigenous Peoples by the United States government and by its Euro-American citizenry (or white people).
When U.S. Euro-Americans apply the terms such as "butcher," or "murderer," or "criminal," to Hitler, or to Saddam, or to Stalin, or to Milasovic (sp.?), et. al., they conveniently forget their own history of genocide and atrocities against the Indigenous Peoples of the U.S. and against the Dakota People of Minnesota. They, too, would be "butchers," "murderers," and "criminals." The U.S. Euro-Americans are afraid that the people of the world might say that the U.S. and its citizenry are not better than Hitler, or Stalin, et. al. One can teach several semesters re: this topic of Genocide against the Indigenous Peoples of the U.S.
Thanks for listening!
Chris Mato Nunpa, Ph.D.
West Central Tribune: Re-enactment leads to arrests

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