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- "...the dressing up was done without malice."
- "Can't a compromise be reached to save the face of the Mayor..?"
Native Americans are part of a coalition (Nashua Civic Forum) calling for the Mayor and four at-large aldermen to be recalled. Marvin Burnette has continued to bring up the issue. Recently, a Native American, Mark Motes of Nashua (Fox and Sioux) was ejected from the Aldermanic Chambers by the President of the Board of Aldermen David Fredette (who succeeded Claire McGrath who lost in her re-election bid because of (among other things) her wearing a headdress at the "party"). For further information you can call Marvin Burnette at 603-889-4611.
Your support, registered by the input form below, can help us turn the tide...
First we have the good ole boy politicos of Alabama making snide remarks re the First Nations. Remarks re the use of "war paint" and the use of "bow and arrows."
Then, way up North in the good state of New Hampshire we find the Nashua politicians having a party after hours in City Hall where they felt the need to tape over the windows so as to conceal their "party" from the general public.
And well they should have taped so as to conceal their tactics...for once again, here, we have an assault on the First Nations!
Once again, just as in Alabama we demand a apology!
Ed Lewis resigned his position and planned to move to Florida. A farewell party was organized for him. Building Manager James Duchesne, who planned the party, realized that most of the guests would be department chiefs. So, he decided to have an Indian party.
All of the guests wore Eagle feather headdresses.This party was held at City Hall, after hours, and they had the windows taped so that outsiders could not see what they were doing. Fortunately, a reporter for the Nashua Telegraph crashed the party, and she wrote an article about what they were doing. When the article came out, the former members of the Ethnic Awareness Committee got involved.
The guests wore badges which told what sort of chiefs they were.
The Mayor was "Chief of Chiefs." His secretary, Nancy Mellin, was "Chief Bodyguard," and she carried a bow and arrow. Alderman Claire McGrath was "Chief of Aldermen." Tom Kelley, the replacement for Mr. Lewis, was "Standby Chief."
All those who were not chiefs wore badges that said,"Just an Indian."
Some of the guests were banging on tom-toms.
There was a sign with a comical notice about opening a casino on the rooftop.
The issue was raised at a City Hall meeting. A Native American teacher, Marvin Burnette, demanded an apology for the ridiculing of Native American culture and sacred symbols. His demand was brushed aside, and the party was justified on the grounds that the dressing up had been done without malice. Under that logic, a blackface minstrel show could be considered acceptable if it is done without malice. On Januaru 21 there [was] another City Hall meeting, and again there [was to] be a demand for any apology. There [was] also to be a demand that the Ethnic Awareness Committee be reinstated, because this event proves a need for the committee.
But the good Mayor of Nashua sees no reason to apologize...the Aldermen involved are taking a low profile.
So...a resolution has been send to the Nashua City Attorney. And, he continues to sit on and ignore same:Be it resolved:The politicians of Nashua, New Hampshire have proven that they will not right this wrong without being prodded. Your support is requested so as to provide necessary prods...
That the Mayor, Administration, and Board of Aldermen of the City of Nashua apologize to those ethnic and religious groups, and to those in tragedy of circumstance, and to Nashua citizens in particular that they have offended, however inadvertently, in the debate over use of Nashua City Hall, and in social events held by them at Nashua City Hall.
That the Mayor, Administration, and Board of Aldermen pledge, because of the multicultural background of the people of Nashua who are taxpaying citizens, to refrain from actions, and comments demeaning to or mocking: race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nation of birth, or tragedy of circumstance of those same citizens, and to maintain city facilities open and available to all citizens of Nashua, regardless of above categories of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, nation of birth, or tragedy of circumstance.
American Indian Movement
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