Newark’s Annual Earthworks Day, disrespected by local Law enforcement

Dear Editor,

Newark Earthworks Day was on Saturday, May 3, 2008, arranged and hosted by the local branch of Ohio State University. The morning and afternoon activities were held on the campus, with lectures, displays, panels of experts discussing Native issues with the attendants, and an art exhibit.

The local mayor and the Ohio historical society held an evening ceremony at the Circle Mound with a grand opening of the museum and then left the public eye relatively quickly.

The rest of the ceremony was a wonderful evening of dancing and singing by a Native group from Mexico. A little while into the ceremony I noticed Sheriff Deputies standing right behind me. Why? I was nowhere close to the Mayor or any one else of “importance” they would feel the need to guard. Why would they need guarded anyway? From who? The violence between the Native community and the government of Ohio ended many years ago and they started it.

I was just there to enjoy this rare opportunity to celebrate and feel the spiritual connection to the mounds with my extended family. We were not there to cause any trouble and in fact, we were there in the rain rejoicing the importance of these unique and spiritual mounds of Licking County, Ohio. How dare they send the law to watch over us! How were we threatening or disorderly? Go guard the local crack house not a peaceful religious celebration!

This type of disrespect and discrimination needs to be stopped. But how? These mounds are so special that they need to be honored and respected, not guarded against the very people that made them. The role needs to be reversed. The golfers need to be guarded by the police on behalf of the Native Community. They are the ones causing trouble, disrespecting, and abusing the mounds and their people. The police should watch them, not us!

Jacqueline S. Warner

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