WEDNESDAY AUGUST 28, 2013 ı 5B
Denver museum closes Indian massacre display By STEVEN K. PAULSON ASSOCIATED PRESS
DENVER — Colorado’s new state history museum has closed an exhibit on the Sand Creek Indian massacre, one of the state’s darkest chapters, after descendants of the slaughter’s survivors demanded changes in how it is portrayed and complained that they weren’t consulted about the display. A U.S. Army force led by Col. Johna M. Chivington (SHIV’ing-tin) swept into a sleeping Indian village along Sand Creek in southeastern Colorado on Nov. 29, 1864. Troops killed more than 160 Cheyenne and Arapaho, most of them women, children and the elderly. Officials at the time insisted the attack was to avenge Native American raids on white set-
tlers and kidnappings of women and children. Dale Hamilton, a descendant of Chief Sand Hill, one of the survivors, said curators of the History Colorado Center museum in Denver didn’t consult tribes about the display, which opened in April 2012. The exhibit was closed in June. Tribal historians found some dates were wrong, excerpts from letters left out crucial details, and the exhibit attempted to explain Native Americanwhite settler conflicts as a “collision of cultures,” claimed Hamilton, of Concho, Okla., where he lives with Cheyenne and Southern Arapahoe tribes. “This wasn’t a clash of cultures. This was a straight-up massacre. All we are looking for is respect for our relatives who were murdered,” said Hamilton.
Officials at the history center say they are waiting for the state and tribes to reach a consensus before reopening the exhibit, which includes a 1996 video titled, “Oral Histories of Sand Creek Massacre Descendants.” “In developing the exhibit about the Sand Creek Massacre, History Colorado employed objects, oral histories, audio and text to convey to audiences the unspeakable tragedy, the profound national importance and the enduring impact of that event, not only for Cheyenne and Arapaho people, but for all of us as a society,” said History Colorado spokeswoman Rebecca Laurie. “However, we did not adequately consult with the Northern Cheyenne of Montana, the Northern Arapaho of Wyoming and the Cheyenne and Arapaho
Tribes of Oklahoma as we developed this exhibit, and we are now in a consultation process to address their concerns,” Laurie said. Troy Eid serves on a federal advisory board on Native American affairs and volunteered to negotiate with the tribes on behalf of the state. He said the closure had more to do with the state’s failure to consult with tribes before the exhibit opened than with differences over history. “They had some objections to the process, and the museum agreed to close the exhibit until the consultations are concluded,” Eid said. Survivors’ descendants say the U.S. government had ordered their ancestors to stay at a camp at Sand Creek, 180 miles southeast of Denver, while talks were held on their
future. During the attack, some victims’ bodies were mutilated; body parts were taken back to Denver, where the soldiers were hailed as heroes. Several U.S. commanders refused to join the attack, saying Indian leaders tried to surrender by waving a white flag. Some soldiers wrote to officials in Washington, accusing Chivington of an unprovoked massacre. Congress ultimately condemned the incident — in which nine U.S. soldiers died — but no one was held accountable. Ari Kelman, author of “A Misplaced Massacre,” a history of Sand Creek, said the exhibit portrays the angst and remorse of soldiers over what happened that day. “This is a wound that has never healed,” he said.
Some school districts quit healthier lunch program By CAROLYN THOMPSON ASSOCIATED PRESS
After just one year, some schools around the country are dropping out of the healthier new federal lunch program, complaining that so many students turned up their noses at meals packed with whole grains, fruits and vegetables that the cafeterias were losing money. Federal officials say they don’t have exact numbers but have seen isolated reports of schools cutting ties with the $11 billion National School Lunch Program, which reimburses schools for meals served and gives them access to lower-priced food. Districts that rejected the program say the reimbursement was not enough to offset losses from students who began avoiding the lunch line and bringing food from home or, in some cases, going hungry.
“Some of the stuff we had to offer, they wouldn’t eat,” said Catlin, Ill., Superintendent Gary Lewis, whose district saw a 10 to 12 percent drop in lunch sales, translating to $30,000 lost under the program last year. “So you sit there and watch the kids, and you know they’re hungry at the end of the day, and that led to some behavior and some lack of attentiveness.” In upstate New York, a few districts have quit the program, including the Schenectady-area Burnt Hills Ballston Lake system, whose five lunchrooms ended the year $100,000 in the red. Near Albany, Voorheesville Superintendent Teresa Thayer Snyder said her district lost $30,000 in the first three months. The program didn’t even make it through the school year after students repeatedly complained about the small portions and apples and pears went from the tray to the trash untouched. Districts that leave the program are
AP photo by HANS PENNINK
In this file photo, a select healthy chicken salad school lunch, prepared under federal guidelines, sits on display at the cafeteria at Draper Middle School in Rotterdam, N.Y. After just one year, some schools across the nation are dropping out of what was touted as a healthier federal lunch program, complaining that so many students refused the meals packed with whole grains, fruits and vegetables that their cafeterias were losing money.
free to develop their own guidelines. Voorheesville’s chef began serving such dishes as salad topped with flank steak and crumbled cheese, pasta with chicken and mushrooms, and a panini with chicken, red peppers and cheese. In Catlin, soups and fish sticks will return to the menu this year, and the hamburger lunch will come with yogurt and a banana — not one or the other, like last year. Nationally, about 31 million students participated in the guidelines that took effect last fall under the 2010 Healthy, Hunger-Free Kids Act. Dr. Janey Thornton, deputy undersecretary for USDA’s Food, Nutrition and Consumer Services, which oversees the program, said she is aware of reports of districts quitting but is still optimistic about the program’s long-term prospects. “Many of these children have never seen or tasted some of the fruits and vegetables that are being served before, and it takes a while to adapt and learn,” she said. The agency had not determined how many districts have dropped out, Thornton said, cautioning that “the numbers that have threatened to drop and the ones that actually have dropped are quite different.” The School Nutrition Association found that 1 percent of 521 district nutrition directors surveyed over the summer planned to drop out of the program in the 2013-14 school year and about 3 percent were considering the move. Not every district can afford to quit. The National School Lunch Program provides cash reimbursements for each meal served: about $2.50 to $3 for free and reduced-priced meals and about 30 cents for full-price meals. That takes the option of quitting off the table for schools with large numbers of poor
youngsters. The new guidelines set limits on calories and salt, phase in more whole grains and require that fruit and vegetables be served daily. A typical elementary school meal under the program consisted of whole-wheat cheese pizza, baked sweet potato fries, grape tomatoes with low-fat ranch dip, applesauce and 1 percent milk. In December, the Agriculture Department, responding to complaints that kids weren’t getting enough to eat, relaxed the 2-ounce-per-day limit on grains and meats while keeping the calorie limits. At Wallace County High in Sharon Springs, Kan., football player Callahan Grund said the revision helped, but he and his friends still weren’t thrilled by the calorie limits (750-850 for high school) when they had hours of calorieburning practice after school. The idea of dropping the program has come up at board meetings, but the district is sticking with it for now. “A lot of kids were resorting to going over to the convenience store across the block from school and kids were buying junk food,” the 17-year-old said. “It was kind of ironic that we’re downsizing the amount of food to cut down on obesity but kids are going and getting junk food to fill that hunger.” To make the point, Grund and his schoolmates starred last year in a music video parody of the pop hit “We Are Young.” Instead, they sang, “We Are Hungry.” It was funny, but Grund’s mother, Chrysanne Grund, said her anxiety was not. “I was quite literally panicked about how we would get enough food in these kids during the day,” she said, “So we resorted to packing lunches most days.”