Tuesday, February 28, 2006

The Injustice of History

Mural on the Stevens County Court House.
Copyright © 2006 Barry G. Moses.

A mural stands at the entrance of the Court House in Colville, Washington honoring the pioneers of Stevens County, but I'm assuming it primarily honors the white pioneers of Stevens County, while generally ignoring the Native American pioneers who established this country more than 10,000 years ago. I find the depiction quite ironic, especially since it shows an image of a Native American looking on as white settlers flood the land; but then it goes on to say:

"To the beautiful Colville Valley in 1825 came those hardy pioneers who through their fortitude, perseverance, and industry have wrought from the earth its vast mineral wealth, have hewn from the forests the lumber with which to build and from the soil have reaped an abundant livelihood, making this a thriving, prosperous, progressive community.

"Honor to the pioneers who broke the sod that men to come might live."

This statement, while worthy of respect in its own limited way, fails to acknowledge an entire nation of people who pioneered this land many millenia before 1825; kind of like Columbus when he "discovered" a continent already inhabited by millions of people.

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