Wasichu's Continuing Gall

"They gave me gall to eat: and when I was thirsty
they gave me vinegar to drink."

Prayer Book, 1662


Indulge me, just a bit.

Gall...impudence, effrontery, rudeness, cheek, boldness, discourtesy, insolence, impertinence...enough, you get the drift.

"There was war between the buffalo and the white man. The white man built forts in the Kiowa country, and the woolly-headed buffalo soldiers [the Ninth and Tenth Calvaries, made up of black troops] shot the buffalo as fast as they could, but the buffalo kept coming on, coming on, even into the post cemetary at Fort Sill. Soldiers were not enough to hold them back."
"Then the white men hired hunters to do nothing but kill the buffalo. Up and down the plains those men ranged, shooting sometimes as many as a hundred buffalo a day. Behind them came the skinners and with their wagons. They piled the hides and bones into the wagons until they were full, and then took their loads to the new railroad stations that were being built, to be shipped east to the market. Sometime there would be a pile of bone as high as a man, stretching a mile along the railroad track...The buffalo saw that their day was over..."

Old Lady Horse, Kiowa

This is old news to most and is not dredged up now by me so as to "beat a dead horse." What prompts the reiteration is discovery today of Wasichu's latest political prompt marinated in gall...the "United States Buffalo Nickel Act of 1995," proposed in the Senate of the United States on May 15, 1995.

First we had the February 6, 1995 House of Representatives ridiculous proposal to establish a Wounded Knee National Tribal Park so as to allow a shallow atonement for

"those who were so tragically slain at Wounded Knee which could inform the American public of the historic significance of the events at Wounded Knee and accurately portray the heroic and courageous campaign waged by the Sioux people to preserve and protect their lands and their way of life during this period..."
That no thought of rescinding the twenty medals of dis-Honor awarded the valiant massacring boys in blue has occured to any in the Colonizing Force is an oversight of no consequence to Wasichu. If you need a frame of reference here, go to the Wounded Knee Home Page.

And, now, we have the dear old Buffalo Nickel Act concocted to commemorate "Native American history and culture."

...The whites saw what was happening...In destroying the buffalo herds, the hide hunters were wiping out the Indian's food supply. To avoid starvation, the bands would have to go onto the reservations and accept government-issued rations. The government and the army gave encouragement to the hide hunters.

"They have done more in the last two years to settle the vexed

Indian question than the entire regular army has done in the last thirty years," General Sheridan told a joint session of the Texas legislature. "They are destroying the Indian's commissary... Send them powder and lead, if you will; but, for the sake of a lasting peace, let them kill, skin and sell until the buffaloes are exterminated. Then your praries can be covered with speckled cattle and the festive cowboy, who follows the hunter as a second forerunner of an advanced civilization."

500 Nations, An Illustrated History of the North American Indians,
Alvin M. Josephy, Jr. paperback, 1994

1,000,000 5-cent coins, 90 percent silver, 10 percent copper... "depicting on the obverse side a profile of a Native American, and on the reverse side a buffalo."
The buffalo furnished the main food supply for the railway construction crews. William F. (Buffalo) Cody, who was engaged to supply the laborers on the Kansas Pacific with meat, killed 4,280 in one year and a half, with no prospect of running short. In 1868, a train on the Kansas Pacific ran 120 miles through one mighty herd. It took General Sheriden three days to ride through another.

There had been some killing by hide hunters during the Civil War, but the business boomed when the war ended. Even so, an estimated fifteen million remained on the Plains in 1870. The destruction through the following decade is almost beyond belief. The one firm of Rath and Wright shipped out more than two thousand hides from Dodge City, Kansas, the first season after the Sante Fe Railroad reached that place in 1872, and it was Wright's opinion that other dealers handled at least an equal amount. In the single year 1873, it is estimated that five million of the beasts were slain. By 1875 the Southern herd was dwindling; by 1878 it was virtually annihilated. The Northern herd was about finished by 1883. The whole country stank from the rotting flesh, and soon the prarie was littered with bones.

A History of the Indians of the United States, Angie Debo, ISBN 0-8061-1881-1

And the proceeds? Wherefore to go? To be turned-over to the First Nations as compensation for the $434.5 million slashed from the 1996 Bureau of Indian Affairs budget? Oh, no... Rather the proceeds will go to the National Park Service Maintenance and Upkeep Fund. And, the proceeds "shall not be considered a basis for offset of appropriations which would otherwise be made to the National Park Service." How about that for having your cake and eating it too?

And some more old news:

"... Native Americans must sacrifice like other Americans."

"The Indians are taking it in the neck."

"To give more to the BIA would bluntly, have required us to give less to the national parks and cultural institutions which are our national heritage for everyone."

..."a third of the country's 2 million Native Americans live below the poverty line. On the reservations, where per capita incomes averages $4,500. half of all children under age six live below the line; 1 out of every 5 Indian homes lacks both a telephone and an indoor toilet."

"...the government spends $2,600 a year for the average American's health, but the average for Indians is only $1,300."

"With only 1,500 units for the reservation's [Pine Ridge] 26,000 people, tribal officials estimate that an average of 17 people are crammed into each dwelling."

"1,800 families have been officially designated as "in need of housing." Yet the only money available for building is $285,000 derived from federal Tribal Priority Allocation accounts, which probably will not even stretch to cover this year's 700 requests for weatherproofing."

For Senator Ben Nighthorse Campbell, a member of the First Nations, to be party to such an endeavor is disgusting. To propose that proceeds from such a bill not go entirely to the First Nations only underlines the gall of Wasichu as regards a being, and a People he almost exterminated from the North American continent.
When will it end?

First Nations

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