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Testimony of Erin Lamb-Meeches

Page history last edited by Alyssa 15 years, 8 months ago

Testimony of Erin Lamb-Meeches

February 25, 2008

My name is Erin Lamb-Meeches, I'm Schaghticoke Indian.  I've been a Schaghticoke Tribal Nation council member for over eleven years working to protect the rights of our tribal membership and continuously working to strengthen our relationship with the other Native people and tribes in Connecticut and in the Nation.

I'm here today to speak in support of the Commission on American Indian Affairs.  The history of Connecticut's relationship with it's native population has not always been a positive one.  Starting during Colonial times when our reservations were first formed, and later when the United States Government was established,  and now today, where we are in front of you speaking up for our voices to be heard and for our rights as a people to be recognized.  We are citizens of Connecticut, as such we are taxpayers, employees, students and good neighbors.  But we are also a cultural and spiritual people that are standing up to protect and promote our cultural identity and rights.

The American Indian Affairs Commission will provide a forum for the Native people of Connecticut where their voices will be heard to express their concerns, to meet together to work out issues and promote appropriate education of Native history and topics in our schools.  Myself, my children, and now my grandchildren were and are educated in the public school system, and I have found the information on Native history to be nothing short of appalling.  We need to work to change

how we educate our future leaders on the history of the indigenous people of Connecticut.

Similar to the African American and the Latino & Puerto Rican Commissions, the American Indian Affairs Commission can provide the opportunity to promote positive change for all citizens of Connecticut.

Thank you.

Q - Have you had the opportunity to present at any public schools?

A - Yes, but it's by invitation only and the interest seems to be greatest at Thanksgiving time.  And as stated earlier, Connecticut is from the language of the indigenous people, as well as many place names throughout the country.  However, that doesn't seem to be taught in our schools.  Neither do any of the historic or contemporary contributors to this countries progress that are of Native Ancestry seem to be mentioned in the schools.  It's quite sad if you think about it.

Q-Now you are "not" from one of the recognized tribes correct?

A- No - I "am" from a recognized tribe, a State Recognized tribe.

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