South Dakota's Custer State Park Name Has To Go! Indian Health, Education, housing and Poverty Issues Need to be Addressed
South Dakotans and people around the world are calling on the South Dakota government to rename Custer State Park to Chief Crazy Horse State Park. United Native America founder Mike Graham and wife, Sharon, will be at the state capital this January 17th & 18th meeting with state representatives about the park's name change and other issues of concern to the state's Indian community.
State Senator Stanford M. Adelstein defiantly denied Graham a meeting with him concerning changing the name of Custer park. He did offer his time to hear Graham's concerns about Indian health and education issues. Senator Theresa B. Two Bulls and Representative Thomas J. Van Norman are aware of the Custer park name issue and agreed to meet with Graham on all issues. On Wednesday, January 18th, 2005, Graham will meet with Roger Campbell, Director of the South Dakota Office of Tribal Government Relations: http://www.state.sd.us/oia/
It's inconceivable that a state government today would use it's tax dollars to honor Custer with a state park in his name. Senior South Dakota state representatives are refusing to allow legislation before them calling for Custer park name change. It's an insult to the state's Indian community and all
Americans. Custer's true history toward Indians is well documented. Custer had no problem killing Indian men, women and children!.
Schools should stop teaching our children that Custer was a hero. They should be required to teach the truth! Custer willingly carried out the U.S. government's policy of exterminating Indians. A state government honoring Custer is inflicting adverse mental anguish on Indians' health and well being. It has a direct effect in promoting racial division.
American Indians were never the "enemy" as our state and federal government played them out to be. Custer was the government's instrument of death toward Indian families. By killing Custer on the battlefield, Indians said he had it coming. Custer got "Siouxed"! By killing Custer, Indians prevented another Indian hater from becoming president of the United States. It's time for the South Dakota government to stop honoring Custer!
Health, education, housing and poverty issues rank at the top of South Dakota's Indian community concerns. South Dakota's Governor, Mike Rounds, attended a meeting of state governors back in 2005. After the meeting he joined many other state governors that have coined the phrase: "Indians are reservation shopping". The fact is that Indians own the land in question by treaty laws. Governor Rounds is afraid Indians may open up a "pig farm". (I guess he does not like pork meat.) He goes on to say that the state would lose property taxes. Governor Rounds knows he can set up a compact deal with Indian leaders opening new business on land placed under their tribal control. The U.S. Government enacted legislation requiring state governors to negotiate in good faith with tribal governments to promote their economic well being.
Barbara Lindsay, head of "One Nation United" was asked to speak before the National Governors Association's meeting held in Denver last year. "One Nation United" is a national group made up of big oil, gas and insurance companies. Their main purpose is to stop elected representatives from passing legislation promoting the Indian nation's economic advancement.
Americans are fed up with elected representatives giving an ear to groups like One Nation United, corporate companies and lobbyists like Jack Abramoff. We have a government for the sole purpose of looking out for our interests, not special interest groups like One Nation United and corporate "Pigs". Governor Rounds and South Dakota representatives need to rededicate themselves to introducing positive legislation that promotes the economic well being of it's Indian community, not giving lame excuses to hold them back!.
Mike Graham is a citizen of the Oklahoma Cherokee Nation, a retired service connected disabled Army veteran. Founded United Native America in 1993 to form a national group to take action on American Indian issues. The groups main issue is to bring about a federal national holiday for Native Americans. United Native America's motto is, "Standing up for America and the American Indian community."
Graham has been a guest speaker on national and international radio talk shows to include television programs concerning Indian community issues, his reports on Indian issues have been published in newspapers all over America. He has traveled across the country discussing issues with Indian nation leaders, he has presented Indian issues at college's and high schools.