This was Dave Kennedy’s passion and I’m glad that I was able to help a bit along the way. The campaign opened my eyes to many things, including my own ignorance about American Indians and the issues that surround them even to this day. One of the greatest experiences of my life was watching Dave Kennedy being taken into the Blackfoot Tribe for his contributions.
The American Indian treatment of women and children was far superior to our own. The French constitution after the Revolution was modeled after Iroquois law, as the various Indian tribes got along better than the tribes of Europe.
The genocide against the Indians was horrific, dwarfing all others. Over ten million
indigenous people were killed, murdered, and maimed. Some historians split hairs and say that they died of natural causes, smallpox, and other diseases, but the extermination of the buffalo and the transfers of various tribes from their natural habitats together with the more obvious forms of ‘elimination’ did the deed. At the end of the nineteenth century barely a quarter of a million Indians existed on the planet from the millions that were here at Columbus’ ‘discovery.’
The statistics are mind-boggling and still haven’t been reconciled by historians correctly. The texts are behind the times and school children are not being taught the truth.
The purpose of Dave Kennedy’s passion was the instilling of knowledge and respect for the specific Indian cultures to the newer generations. The Indians had an oral tradition that was being lost. Dave’s quest was to inspire the new generations to acquire this knowledge by any means necessary, and that was the creation and support for tribal colleges, an Ivy League for American Indians. The preceding generations were robbed of their culture through various means, alcoholism, drugs, the government dole, whatever. The structure of an Indian university would help keep these important issues alive. The more one studies the social structure of American Indian life, the more important it becomes to all life. Bless you, Dave Kennedy.