Speaker to offer perspective on genocide, Amer. Indians

JAMESBURG — Kenneth Dollarhide, dean of the College of Humanities and Social Sciences at Kean University, will be the presenter at the next Intertribal Indians of New Jersey meeting in Thompson Park, Jamesburg, at 2 p.m. Sept. 20.

The title of his talk is “Native Americans: 500 Years of Neglect and Genocide or Living with Honor is More Important Than Living With Freedom.”

Dollarhide offers a unique perspective on the topic because he has walked in both the Indian and white world. He is half Lakota and was born on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. He grew up on the “Rez” and surrounding border towns. Dollarhide joined the Army, attended school on the G.I. Bill and earned a Ph.D in Japanese Buddhism. He was one of the founders of the Native American Studies program at Oklahoma State University and was dean of arts and humanities at Richard Stockton College before taking his present position at Kean University.

Dollarhide has strong feelings about genocide and American Indians. He points to the collision of native American and European worldviews and feels that conflict is captured most succinctly in a quote from an Indian elder in the book “Neither Wolf nor Dog,” by Kent Nerburn.

“Your people [white people] did not know about land being sacred. We did not know about land being property. We could not talk to each other because we did not understand each other,” he said.

Dollarhide will also look at the role of Christianity, treaty violations, boarding schools and attempts by the U.S. and state governments to suppress Indian rights.

“In spite of the attempt to erase the Indian from the land, the people are still here and are still dreaming,” he said.

“We are honored to have Dollarhide here,” said Brenda Davis, president of Intertribal American Indians of New Jersey. “Education is so important in overcoming stereotypes.”

The Intertribal group is a nonprofit organization that provides social activities and support to American Indians living in New Jersey. The group is dedicated to educating the public about American Indian culture, and history, and provides programs for schools, corporations, universi- ties and health care organizations.

“We feel it’s important to educate the public,” Davis said. “We develop presentations to meet the needs of our audiences, using different modalities. Sometimes we may do a craft workshop, a demonstration of dance and music, a lecture or film presentation. Our programming for schools meets the curriculum guidelines for grades K-12.”

Funding for the program is provided in part by the Middlesex County Board of Chosen Freeholders and the New Jersey Historical Commission.

Meetings are held once a month in the log cabin beside the lake. For more information, contact Mary Anne Ross at 732-238-3792 or e-mail maryanneross123@ yahoo.com.