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Commentaries and editorials

How West Was, is Won

by Gary Lane
Lewiston Tribune, June 13, 2005

To the white inhabitants of Lewiston-Clarkston area: As the current conflict over dam/salmon issues highlights the landscape, each side feels the economic pains of the controversy.

Perhaps this pain to each side of the white culture's concerns should serve as a reminder to the same pain that befell the Nez Perce from the time our culture first arrived on the scene.

Perhaps more emphasis should be made in giving attention to living with more honor that our ancestors failed to do (treaties 1855 and 1863), when it came to making deals with native cultures. The pain we feel now is no different than the pain they felt 150 years ago, and in fact is probably far less in comparison.

If our best peer-reviewed science calls for taking out the dams, something the Nez Perce Nation as a sovereignty (not special interest group) also supports, we should give this special consideration. Why else teach science? Why else respect sovereignty?

Rebecca Miles, as chairman of Nez Perce Tribe, was disappointed that the Nez Perce were not even invited to the table during the recent hearings, only as a last-minute aside. This seems to reflect business as usual and one-sided vision when it comes to dealing with Indian people. Most people who care enough to do some serious research know how the West was really won, and apparently still is being won.

Except now we are not content to win over Indians; we now want to win over salmon and anything else that stands in the way of making the rich richer and the poor poorer. ...

Gary Lane, Riggins
How West Was, is Won
Lewiston Tribune, June 13, 2005

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