This is BadEagle.com’s second open letter (slightly modified) to the United Nations in behalf of American Indians. It is a continuation and development of Appeal No. 1.
I continue my appeal to the United Nations in behalf of American Indians (“Native” Americans), pertaining specifically to the systematic eradication of American Indian images from public view.
This cruel activity constitutes “genocide” according to the 1948 U.N. Mandate’s definition, Article II (b). The removal of the American Indian image represents the removal of the American Indian.
The history of the American Indian contributes to this perspective. In the 1830′s, under American president Andrew Jackson, five major tribes of American Indians were forced to remove themselves from their homelands and to settle in Indian Territory, now called the state of Oklahoma. This government policy was called the Indian Removal Act of 1830. (It was fully implemented by 1838.)
Juan Méndez, U.N. Special Advisor
the Prevention of Genocide.
In later history, many Indian children were removed from reservations and forced into urban areas and non-Indian schools. This was called the Relocation Act(s) of 1956 (and 1954). This kind of geographic relocation disrupted Indian families to the point that an Indian Child Welfare Act was made in 1978, in order to give Indians more say in what was happening to them.
I do not propose that the removal of American Indian images, logos, monikers, and mascots from American public life directly contributes to the disruption of the American Indian family. I submit that the removal of American Indian images represents the removal of American Indians.
If the removal of Indian mascots, monikers, logos, and names is allowed, where will it end? If sports teams, amateur or professional, are not allowed to display Indian images, what will become of Indian images on American currency? What will happen to the names of American states, counties, and cities? What will become of their state seals? What will happen to the names of rivers, mountains, forests, streets and roads? Will all these be removed? The legal door is open. There is nothing to stop there removals. Is it too inconvenient to remove them? If that is the only reason, the American Indian presence is on very uncertain ground. If our historical presence is dependent on government inconvenience, our identity is most precarious.
The removal of visual images of the American Indian from all public view is tantamount to declaring Indian history non-extant. This is equivalent to the Taliban’s destruction of ancient Buddhist monuments (2001), and is on a pychological par with Jewish Holocaust denial. The removal of history is the removal of people–of their identity and dignity in the world today. This is genocide. It is the clear and present precursor to genocide.
I trust that the Office of the Special Advisor on the Prevention of Genocide will consider the gravity of this issue pertaining to American Indians, and will recommend to the United States government that it cause all removal of Indian images to cease and desist.
I humbly thank you for your immediate attention.
Dr. David A. Yeagley
The Bad Eagle Foundation
P.O. Box 75017
Oklahoma City, OK 73147