Red Lake Nation News - Babaamaajimowinan (Telling of news in different places)

Genocide, Slavery, and L.A.'s Role in the Decimation of Native Californians


Our American experience has demonstrated the fact, that the two races cannot live in the same vicinity in peace…The white man, to whom time is money, and who labors hard all day to create the comforts of life, cannot sit up all night to watch his property; and after being robbed a few times, he becomes desperate, and resolves upon a war of extermination...That a war of extermination will continue to be waged between the races, until the Indian race becomes extinct, must be expected. While we cannot anticipate this result but with painful regret, the inevitable destiny of the race is beyond the power or wisdom of man to avert. – Gov. Peter Burnett, State of the State address, 1851

In 1851, Peter Burnett, California’s first American governor, stood before the state legislature and declared the genocide of Native Californians a sad inevitability. This shocking admission was couched in a language of excuses that blindly ignored many facts – facts we can rediscover in the collections of the American Indian Resource Center in Huntington Park.


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