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Newspaper Page Text
Who is blind and lias lived a turbulent
century. He came all the way from
the reservation in the wilderness be
tween the Olympic mountains and
the ocean,' to -plead for his people.
"We are sick arid hungry," he says.
"The white man says we must not
kill the elk. It is against the law.
Once the white man was genefous.
He came to us with blankets and
beef. But now comes no more blan
kets and beef, and in a little while we
will all be dead."
Then spoke the ancient chief of a
less practical matter.
"Our young men are leaving us for
the cities, They leave the tepee.for
Philip Howell, ieader of insurgents,
of Puget Sound Indians. .
houses of wood and stone. No longer
do my people dance the Dance of
Fire, the Dance of Water, when starts
the salmon run. No longer do my
ears hear the old songs. What has
become of our ancient traditions?"
The old men nodded their heads,
but the young men scowled.
"He speaks in the tribal tongue,"
the young men complained. "Why
can not these old men learn to speak
Then up roso the radical champion,
Philip Howell, a young Clallam In
dian, from Port Gamble.
"Hear me, oh, my brothers!" he
began, adopting the formal manner
beloved by the old men. "As a Clal
lam I come to you. The Clallams
have been overlooked altogether by
the government. As a non-reservation
Indian I speak.
"You, O, Tyee, you saw the treaty
of 1855 signed. You know that the
white men have not kept their prom
ises. And your heart is bitter. But
I I am glad!"
Now it was the turn of the old men
"Strictly speaking, we are not' a
part of the body politic in America,"
the young iah went on. "We are
dependents, 'wards of the nation.'
And we come together to whine for
blankets and beef.
"What did their ancestors bring
down to the present generation of
white men? This: Self-dependence.
"What have our forefathers be
queathed us? This: The last curse
of their dying hps, hereditary ten
dencies that oscillate between us and
our dreams, prejudice, failure, super
stition, ignorance, darkness and woe.
"You give as one of your reasons
for the call to the tribes that our an
cient traditions must be perpetuated.
Don't you see; 0 my brothers, that
that is a.yoke we have been burden
ed with too long?
"Would you perpetuate tradition
based, on illusiohq, fearfuL monsters
of the earthly dream; those bones
that were slaves to the deam of life?
"The quicker we forget their soul
orgies, their medicine men, their
voodoos and devil doctors: their
chantings and .mumblings against
the shadows and the night; their
weird gnosticism and ontological
fantasies for that's the stuff our
traditions are made of! and the
sooner we cast them into the abyss
of forgetfulness,-the better it will be
for us and our future generations.
"The world is still a world of op-