The recent loss of the Schaghticoke Nation’s community pavilion to arson is tragic enough, but the fact that tribal leaders believe it is the consequence of actions by the State of Connecticut is disturbing.
Back in 2005, when wealthy non-Indian landowners nearby the Schaghticoke reservation successfully lobbied the Bureau of Indian Affairs to rescind federal recognition of the nation, the attack on tribal sovereignty was led by then Governor Blumenthal. In order to foster division amongst tribal members, the state backed one family of Schaghticoke against the others in order to undermine tribal solidarity, and thus make them more vulnerable.
As this contest between indigenous and settler societies played out since, hostilities have festered and erupted in multiple acts of aggression. If the State of Connecticut wants to prevent further destruction, or simply has second thoughts about encouraging an atmosphere of hostility, it would do well to mend its ways soon. If it does not, someone could die.
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here