Begin the process of education

Published: 4/20/2019 7:46:36 AM

Changing names and logos won’t bring clean water, electricity, or better schools to Native Americans. It won’t stop domestic abuse, the rampant unreported sexual assaults on Native American women, alcoholism or even bring them better educational systems. It won’t scratch the surface of any of the issues facing Native Americans today.

Removing these names and logos is a victory for some and that victory is celebrated for just a day and then it is gone. Gone, just like the people who demanded the change. The very people who claim to represent the opinion of all local Native Americans came to this community and demanded change in their name. They promised to stay here and work with the community and district but instead just moved on to the next shallow victory. In the end what is the victory?

The Gill-Montague Regional School District no longer has any classes on Native American history – there is nothing to tie them to the community. No chance to teach and listen and learn. All the possibility thrown away with a name and a logo based on lies and personal agendas.

I believe that if you eradicate the names and logos you will also be further removing the Native American history that it helps connect to these towns. I suggest that instead of eradication, you begin the process of education.

Let’s teach our school children about the real Native Americans that lived in this area and the interaction with the settlers. In fact, the good, the bad and the ugly … all of it. Let’s take on a sister school from a reservation and begin to introduce children to other cultures. Let’s look at ways we may be able to promote better living conditions, education, and free and open sharing. If we can do that, we will have built something that won’t just be a victory for a day it will be a victory for generations to come. It will bring our communities together with the tribes that lived in these areas, it will be a learning experience for our children, the communities and most of all will showcase not only the Native Americans place in local history but bring them to light in society today.

I support a working relationship where the tribes and the communities can come together to form a “friendship” that will allow all parties to move ahead in a positive way. The course we are on now is destructive and leaves nothing in its wake but ruins.

Chris Pinardi is a resident of Montague.

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