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Democratic Statuary



I hope the initiative to leave the McKinley statue on the Arcata Plaza gets on the ballot because that will give the people of Arcata the opportunity to acknowledge and reject, if only in a small way, the many injustices that settlers and the U.S. government visited on the indigenous peoples of the North Coast and all of Turtle Island. Those injustices, which included "extermination" and forced removal, are not addressed in the California Department of Education's history/social studies curriculum; that should be fixed. Furthermore, injustices continue in the guise of western tribal water deals, many of which manipulate the needs of tribal governments to take indigenous water rights for the modern equivalent of a handful of beads (the reported price for which Manhattan was sold to Dutch colonists).

I hope the statue comes down and that all North Coast folks engage in a real conversation about what to put in its place. When I visited Central Asia a while back I was impressed with the fact that many monumental statues were of famous musicians. Here on the North Coast a monument to the heroes of the Klamath fish wars should be considered as well.

Felice Pace, Klamath


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