Janet Dring: Indian treaties and environmental laws | SteamboatToday.com

Janet Dring: Indian treaties and environmental laws

A recent visit to the Ute monuments on the Milk River and attending the Ute pow wow at Steamboat Springs High School reminded me of how easily the government broke treaties with the American Indians during the 19th century when they became inconvenient.

When gold was discovered or land was valuable for other reasons, they just broke the treaty and moved the American Indians on to less valuable land. Some advocated that elimination of the American Indian population altogether could be the solution to the problem.

The attitude of the current administration toward the protection of the environment has parallels. Break the “treaties” when oil or gas is discovered on protected lands. Build a wall when it goes through wildlife refuges. Don’t worry about endangered species; maybe a dead bird population would eliminate having to deal with some of these problems.

Janet Dring

Steamboat Springs

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