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December 10, 2006

The Time Has Come


The following statement, issued to the Sacramento Agency by the Commissioner of Indian Affairs, appeared in the California Indian Herald Indians Score Victory After Government Eliminates Name Digger From Official Use:

"Hereafter the term "Digger" as representing the name of a tribe of Indians in the Sacramento jurisdiction, and appearing in the records of this Bureau, will be discontinued, objections having come from others that this term is one of contempt and regarded by the Indians as humiliating and opprobrius. It will, therefore, be replaced by the name 'Mewuk' which, upon accepted ethnological authority, is the true tribal designation of these Indians."

The time has come for an apology. It took me 3 seconds to find this information, doing a Google search of all things. I should be offended at that alone. Why didn't I do it sooner? Not sure.

This saddens me a great deal, as I have typed those very words of disgrace on this forum. If my use of the hideous term offended any of these fine people, my apologies. Not even the use of it to prove my point is a good excuse.

Just because something was allowed at one time, that doesn't make it acceptable today.

In my research on this topic, I can not find 2 separate groups of Native American's that had this horrible name attached. I found only 1, and their wishes were later respected and are no longer referred to by anything other than 'Mewuk'.

People on various message boards have been putting out different names of Native American Tribes this term has been assigned to - but lets be clear here, M.K is not talking about all of the Native American Groups, he is being very specific to the Native American Group in California. This Native American group found this term to be highly offensive, and lobbied to have it changed, and were successful.

I think we should also respect their wishes.

I think the time has come for M.K to issue that apology. Now, he knows. It's time for the excuses to stop.

Frankly, I'm offended now because the information was so easy to find. I would encourage the makers of any DVD's on this subject to make any and all necessary changes to the up coming DVD, and I would extend the same advice to the gentleman making the movie on this issue. Lets show some sensitivity here. The information you need to confirm what has been said by many in this field of research is above - verify it yourself. Should you choose not to, well, I would say you deserve whatever you get.

Until I am sure all reference to this name, given to Mewuk Tribe, as a shameful derrogatory term, are removed from the upcoming DVD and movie - I will not post any links where this film or DVD can be purchased, or viewed. I will not have this blog site be party to the continuation of this shameful phrase designed to put a group of people down.

No more excuses - it's time to apologize.

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