LETTERS: Mills, legislature need to read Chief Red Jacket’s speech to Congress

To the editor:

An open letter to Governor [Janet] Mills and the Maine legislators. Governor Mills threatened to veto and the legislature’s failure to act to restore sovereignty to the Maine Natives prompts this reply.

Gov. Mills and the legislature should go back to this country’s archives and look up the speech, centuries ago, by a native American chief by the name of Chief Red Jacket, he gave to the Congress. His first words were “my people welcomed you to our country with open arms. Friendship and trust.” He then went on to tell Congress how they have repaid this gesture. The speech is too long to write but I hope Mills and the legislature, who have a conscious, will look it up and read it.

I have not plagiarized any of Chief Red Jackets speech, but ironically, when responding to a cartoon in Time magazine 1990s, ended up expressing my thoughts which resembled Chief Red Jacket’s. I wrote to the editor of Time expressing my disgust at seeing a cartoon depicting two Pilgrims, and one said to the other, “What would the Indians have if not for us Pilgrims?”

The editor allowed me to answer that Pilgrims question as such: The Native Americans would still have their clear, clean skies. The Native Americans would still have their clean unpolluted rivers. The Native Americans would still have an abundance of buffalo for their food, clothes and shelters.

However, due to our forefathers “invasion,” the Native American is now treated as a second class citizen. Imprisoned on reservations located in a country they once owned.

Frank Slason


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