We now move from the fight for reparations abroad to the struggle here in the United States. In his book “A Little Matter of Genocide,” (City Lights Books, 1997) Ward Churchill said that “during the four centuries spanning the time between 1492, when Christopher Columbus first set foot on the “New World” of a Caribbean beach, and 1892, when the U.S. Census Bureau concluded that there were fewer than a quarter million indigenous people surviving within the country’s claimed boundaries, a hemispheric population estimated to have been as great as 125 million was reduced by something over 90 percent. The people had died in their millions of being hacked apart with axes and swords, burned alive and trampled under horses, hunted as game and fed to dogs, shot, beaten, stabbed, scalped for bounty, hanged on meat hooks and thrown over the sides of ships at sea, worked to death as slave laborers, intentionally starved and frozen to death during a multitude of forced marches and internments, and, in an unknown number of instances, deliberately infected with epidemic diseases.
- Ward Churchill, Professor of Ethnic Studies, University of Colorado at Boulder, and author of “Struggle for the Land” and “A Little Matter of Genocide.” He is of the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokees.
- Winona Laduke, of the Ojibwe White Earth Land Recovery Project, and author of “All Our Relations.”