CED’s error– mistake or pernicious perfidy?

On March 15th, reporter Ken De La Bastide of Anderson’s The Herald Bulletin noted that the Anderson Corporation for Economic Development had wrongly claimed on its pro-reservoir website that the Delaware Tribe is in support of its planned reservoir.  Here is the piece:

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http://www.heraldbulletin.com/local/x1387865203/Ken-de-la-Bastide-Saving-Wigwam-faces-critical-June-deadline

Mounds Lake support?

A check of the MoundsLake website showed a listing of business and professional support for the proposed reservoir in Anderson that would extend eastward into DelawareCounty.

Listed as supporters of the proposal were: The Anderson Madison County Visitors and Convention Bureau; the Anderson Madison County Association of Realtors; and the Madison County Chamber of Commerce.

Those organizations should not be considered a surprise. Also listed is the Onward Alliance and the Delaware Tribe of Indiana.

The city of Anderson is named after Chief Anderson of the Delaware tribe, who located in the area in the late 1700s.

An email exchange shows the Tribe has never endorsed the project and was not aware of the history of it, said Gregory Brown, with the Tribe. He said they were asked to review the location for sensitivity for specific Delaware Tribe archaeological sites, which was misconstrued to imply support for the project.

Brown said the Tribe wants its name removed.

Senior Reporter Ken de la Bastide’s column publishes Sundays. Contact him at Ken.DeLaBastide@heraldbulletin.com or (765) 640-4863.

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It’s difficult to accept the reporter’s charitable characterization of the CED’s request later misconstrued as implied support for the project.  This incident of apparent pernicious perfidy by the Corporation for Economic Development reminds of a poignant excerpt from Frank Water’s 1993 book Brave are My People— Indian Heroes Not Forgotten:

“What have the conquering Anglos accomplished as custodians of the vast new, beautiful land they have gained?  How enchantingly diverse the landscapes of North America once were, with range upon range of snowcapped mountains, lush prairies, illimitable plains of shortgrass giving way to tawny, unbaked deserts and fetid jungles, all teaming with life in every form:  tiny plants and dense forests, birds, reptiles, and insects, and countless species of animals, including the buffalo whose great herds blackened the plains.  All of these, too, Indians believed were children of their common Mother Earth and so had equal rights to life.  They supplied the needs of men and women, but they were not sacrificed needlessly and wantonly.  And always the Indians ritually obtained their consent to their sacrifice.  So, too, was the land regarded as sacred and inviolate, being their Mother Earth.  With it and all other forms of life, the Indians knew themselves as part of one living whole. 

The Christian Anglo newcomers held a dramatically different view…Perhaps it came from the first chapter of Genesis in the Judeo-Christian Bible, in which man was divinely commanded to “subdue” the earth.   That was exactly what the white conquerors did as they proceeded westward.  They leveled whole forests under the axe, plowed under the grasslands, dammed and drained the rivers, gutted the mountains for gold and silver, and divided and sold the land itself. Accompanying all this destruction was the extermination of birds and beasts, not alone for profit or sport, but to indulge in a wanton lust for killing.

The result of this rapacious onslaught is all too evident now, at least to environmentalists and a mixed bag of worried scientists:  the destruction of the land itself, contamination of rivers, lakes and bounding oceans, pollution of the air to the extent that toxic alarms are frequently sounded in all large cities…. the entire nation and all its natural resources converted into ready cash!  Even Ripley would have a hard time believing it.

 …. We are now on the threshold of another cyclical change, a new era.  What it will bring, no one knows.  But we can obtain a glimpse into the future from the immeasurable past of the people who are the oldest inhabitants of America.  They have endured through the centuries because of their loving respect for the earth and their sense of unity with all that exists.  This may be a lesson the tormented and fragmented world can learn from them before it is too late:  to establish relationships and love with one another, and with all other forms of living nature.”

Brave Are My People— Indian Heroes Not Forgotten, Frank Waters, 1993

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