Letter to the Editor: Consider the consequences of individual and community choices

Saturday, October 12, 2019

To the Editor:

Indigenous Day, replacing Columbus Day, occurs this Monday, Oct. 14, 2019. The history of the Seattle area informs on the relationship of whites and Native tribes who occupied the section of the North American continent which this nation claims as its boundaries. Native tribes occupied this land for more than 10,000 years, retaining its lands, waters and the atmospheres in pristine condition, living a healthy sustainable subsistence life style, and utilizing resources as necessary for survival.

In 1851 the Denny party of about 20 people landed at Alki point, soon followed first by scores, then by hundreds, then thousands and then tens and hundreds of thousands. As soon as white landed they began stripping the area of trees, selling them to far off places, filling in the tidal lands which once produced an abundance of crustaceans, hosed down hillsides, covered creeks, straightened the Duwamish River, and erected building after building, only to tear these down and replace them soon after.

Less than 50 years after whites arrived they wrote laws that discriminated against native people, justified their removal to small areas of land hardly the equivalent of their usual and accustomed occupancy, basically committing genocide against Native peoples, a pattern that continues yet today.

Now, 168 years later this land is covered over with concrete, asphalt, steel and glass, fresh and salt waters are polluted and poisoned, salmon are disappearing along with the iconic orcas, birds, bees, butterflies and other insects are becoming extinct. We have destroyed this incredibly beautiful and productive area of this continent with our commercialism and consumerism, exhausting and extinguishing all resources.

Now is a good time to rethink our standards and styles of living, and consider the consequences of our individual and community choices and their effects on the environment.

Gini Paulsen
Shoreline



1 comments:

Doug October 13, 2019 at 7:55 AM  

That concrete and development is full of beautiful and productive and inventive humans who are improving the world. Curing diseases, designing hospitals to extend life expectancy. Creating technology for the betterment of all mankind. More educated, more generous, more free. It is called stewarding the earth. Those highways are engineering marvels making it easier for humans to socialize. Those cars make it so we don’t have piles of disease-causing horse waste in our cities. Do you really want to live in a world without human progress? As far as changing Columbus Day, you share an the name of an individual indigenous person who made significant global impact and then we should discuss it.

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