We can do better
On a recent Sunday afternoon, we decided to drive to Mission Reservoir east of St. Ignatius to let our 5-year-old try out a new fishing pole he had received for Christmas. Upon arriving, we had the whole place to ourselves, except for some people fishing on the other side of the reservoir. A short time later, as our boy was having fun casting his line out for the first time into the water, a tan suburban with local Indians pulled up and parked directly behind us. We were parked out of everyone’s way, with the hatchback up. They sat there for a time, leaving, circling, parking and circling, then finally driving up to the water beside us and parked. A tall Indian woman was driving, accompanied by a shorter Indian man, and within minutes, a younger Indian woman drove in with her vehicle and parked behind them. A short time later after they visited, they set off their vehicle emergency sirens, showing us once again, they didn’t want us there.
I am Irish and mostly non-Indian. I was disappointed in their bullying and harassment tactics to a non-Indian. I do buy a fishing license every year and follow the game laws, pay my taxes that go toward our roads, schools, hospitals, parks, campgrounds, restocking our lakes and reservoirs with fish, etc. Tourists bring in a lot of money for our area, but if they are threatened, they won’t be back and we will have a drop in revenue that this area needs.
This is not 1812 but 2012. I was not here in 1812, and neither were you. It does not help that some on both sides instigate past and present prejudices, by trying to re-write history to their own misconceptions, tales and their own self-centeredness of who is right. We cannot change the past, but we can work together in harmony, for a better tomorrow. The old white (albino) buffalo I spoke of earlier died of old age; like the old buffalo, let us too put away our differences and let the old prejudices die an old age. We are all God’s children. We can do better.