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Columnists & Other Opinions

This Week in Aboriginal History: U.S. Senate debates the benefits of peyote

By Carl A. Ellis, Thursday, January 10, 2019

Jan. 4, 1874: Chief Eskiminzin, an Aravaipa Apache and survivor of the Camp Grant Massacre, escapes from San Carlos, where he was being held as a “military precaution,” along with others from his band. He will return in four months because most of his people are sick and hungry.

Jan. 5, 1923: The Senate debates the benefits of peyote, a psychoactive drug, for American Indians, who use it for medicine and religious purposes.

Jan. 6, 1975: Mattie Grinnell, the last full-blooded Mandan Indian, dies in Twin Buttes, N.D. She was 108 years old.

Jan. 7, 1865: Cheyenne, Sioux, and Arapaho warriors raid and burn the town of Julesburg, Colo., in retaliation for the massacre at Sand Creek 39 days earlier.

Jan. 8, 1983: The Texas Band of Kickapoos is added to the list of federally recognized tribes and becomes eligible for trust-related services. A hundred acres of land near the Texas-Mexico border are authorized as a land base.

Jan. 9, 1942: A U.S. government press release reports 40 percent more native Americans have enlisted to fight in World War II than have been drafted. Altogether, 25,000 Indians served in the U.S. armed forces, including 800 women.

In the Philippines, a Choctaw scout escapes from the Japanese at the battle of Corregidor and leads underground guerrilla forces until the war ends. The Oneidas, Chippewas and Comanches block Japanese decoding of military information by dispatching messages in their tribal languages. Navajo Code Talkers were instrumental in the landing at Guadalcanal, where they sent and received reports from field commanders.

Jan. 10, 1879: President Rutherford Hayes, by executive order, adds to the Gila River Reserve in Pima Agency. The reserve was established Feb. 28, 1859. The order also adds to the Pima and Maricopa Indian Reservation. The second part of this order is canceled on June 14, 1879.

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