Last summer federal agents raided the homes of sixteen residents in Blanding, Utah. They were arrested for plundering ancient Indian artifacts. This week on Utah NOW we're exploring the story and the complicated role pot hunting has played in the culture of the region.
I am appaled at the cavalier attitude of the so called historian of San Juan Co, Verne Tate. All I can say about her is shame on her for the attitude she had about the "good citizens" who were arrested. I only wish they would have been caught years ago and any others who have gotten away with OUR history just to make some money. So what if they had been doing it for years, it is wrong and you are stealing our heritage. Shame on you!
Posted by Alice Finnegan, Friday November 20th, 2009 @ 8:10 pm
I accidentally came across your program on the Blanding looters case, and I have to tell I didn't get to see the whole program, but what I saw was absolutely phenomenal. Excellent collection of interviewees, perfect questions, and beautifully filmed. I would love to watch the whole program, and I would also like to know more about being able to share the film with our program participants.
Posted by Dan Mooney, Tuesday November 24th, 2009 @ 10:47 am
I agree these are serious offenses, although some ethnocentric residents of Blanding or elsewhere may disagree. It's true that you can cynically view this as a case wherein government officials are looking for offenders to highlight this illegal practice, but it also sheds light on the prevailing attitude that many generations have had about anything of Native America: and that attitude often can be defined as one of cultural appropriation and profiteering. Or a casual disrespect for the laws of one's own country.
As an educator, I hope you keep these links to this report "live" so that the next time I teach my college class on Native American experience, history, culture, and literature. If you offer a DVD of this report, I would like to obtain a copy. My efforts, in part, with this class is to change the view of Native Americans being part of a "vanishing race" (which can often rationalize grave robbing, pot hunting, etc.) or having their culture being viewed as museum pieces.
Posted by Nathan Cole, Tuesday November 24th, 2009 @ 3:50 pm
This documentary addressed many of the issues but the most important was not addressed. The arrest was conducted as if those people were already tried and convicted. I'd like to remind the readers that our law still claims to "Presume those people innocent until proven guilty". Have we degenerated to MARSHALL LAW? How is this different than the WACO Texas fiasco? Do we just decide that someone, we suspect of wrong doing, should be destroyed? Why didn't the feds just set the homes on fire?
Posted by Ed Oldroyd, Friday January 1st, 2010 @ 9:41 pm
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