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American Indian organization calls for Land Run re-enactment ban



On the anniversary of the Land Run of 1889, representatives of an American Indian organization are asking the state to ban re-enactments of the event in public schools.

S.P.I.R.I.T., or Society to Preserve the Indigenous Rights and Indigenous Traditions, is presenting a resolution at the state Capitol today requesting teaching incorporate American Indians' side of the story, according to participant Brenda Golden.

"We're just planning to meet and talk, discuss," she said. "We're trying to share our point of view and (what) we've heard as we've traveled across (Oklahoma)."

The organization has collected more than 500 signatures in support, according to Golden, who said she believes the history of the Land Run should be taught in schools, but that the event does not need to be re-enacted.

"We can't change history," she said. "It did happen. "¦ Our goal is to increase awareness when this goes on."

The group formed last year, organizing a protest at the state Capitol Nov. 16. That event was in response to the re-creation of a mock wedding between an Indian woman and white man, who represented Indian and Oklahoma territories, in Guthrie on statehood day.

A parade the organization spearheaded April 12 through Bricktown to celebrate American Indian pride, ending at the Land Run statue, drew more than 250 participants, Golden said.

The noon run on April 22, 1889, was the first into the "Unassigned Lands," which included what became Oklahoma and Cleveland counties. - Emily Jerman

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