Marginalizing the Kalispel

When the Black Lives Matter movement first spread to my hometown in North Idaho, I was sympathetic with the young protesters when they found themselves intimidated by local gun-carrying men. These locals came to their rally to protect them, the gunmen explained to the press, against dangerous outsiders.

The rally went off without violence, and the covid epidemic regained the public’s attention. In talking to people in Sandpoint, I found continued sympathy with the Black Lives Matter movement, but little personal involvement since so much of the action was taking place far away in big cities. I pointed out that since we have few Blacks in Northern Idaho, perhaps we should as a community consider our marginalized people, the Kalispel ,who once were the residents of our river valley but are no longer present. Kalispel Lives Matter would necessitate a tough, long-term public commitment to bring these marginalized people back into the social matrix of Bonner County. It deserves our consideration.

“Marginalizing the Chumash Indians” addresses the issues faced by one tribal group seeking public recognition and reconciliation in Southern California . You can read it by selecting the Chumash button in the library and then Social/Political.