Wednesday, November 09, 2005

Bear Tooth

November 9, 1867: The peace commissioners who met on September 19, 1867 at Platte City, Nebraska, arrived at Fort Laramie in southeastern Wyoming on this day. Commissioners Sherman, Taylor, Harney, Sanborn, Henderson, Tappan and Terry sought Red Cloud, but he had said he would not come to the fort until all of the soldiers had left the Powder River area. The Commissioners were given a lecture by Crow Indian, Bear Tooth, on the ecological disaster they were spreading across Indian Lands. Making no headway, the Commissioners eventually left without an agreement or substantial negotiations.

From "Bury My Heart At Wounded Knee" by Dee Brown, Section "Red Cloud's War", p.144. Random House (Publishers), ISBN No 0 09 952640 9 :

On November 9, when the commissioners arrived at Fort Laramie, they found only a few Crow chiefs waiting to meet with them. The Crows
were friendly, but one of them - Bear Tooth - made a surprising
speech in which he condemned all white men for their reckless
destruction of wildlife and the natural environment: "Fathers,
fathers, fathers, hear me well. Call back your young men from the
mountains of the bighorn sheep. They have run over our country;
they have destroyed the growing wood and the green grass;
they have set
fire to our lands. Fathers, your young men have devastated the
country and killed my animals, the elk, the deer, the antelope, my
buffalo. They do not kill them to eat them; they leave them to rot
where they fall. Fathers, if I went into your country to kill your
animals, what would you say? Should I not be wrong, and would you
not make war on me?"


No comments:

Post a Comment