CL Casino Tribes condemn ‘racist’ Web site posting

Questionable text on Cascade Locks No-Casino site refers to Indian Wars of 1855-56

May 21, 2005

A historical posting on the Cascade Locks No Casino Web site has drawn a sharp rebuke for “racism” from the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs.

The headline of the controversial material was “Original reason Indians were removed.” The text contained diary excerpts of the battle between the Yakama tribe and both soldiers and settlers. According to historical accounts, that war broke out after the military attempted to starve the Native Americans by cutting them off from their fishing trade on the Columbia River. Contained in No Casino’s posting were written references to Native Americans as “hostiles” who needed to learn “to respect the United States government.”

“It’s outrageous. What were they thinking? It appears that Mr. Randall (No Casino founder) wanted to inflame anti-Indian sentiments with his biased and disgusting references to the history of conflict between Native Americans and Americans of European ancestry. That account is untrue and encourages discrimination,” said Greg Leo, spokesperson for the Warm Springs.

However, Randall said posting the writings about the Indian wars of 1855-56 was only a “mistake.” He said the information taken from the History of the Pacific Northwest Oregon and Washington 1889 by Janine M. Bork was never previewed. And that his intent had been only to provide background on the era when the Gorge tribes ceded their lands to the federal government.

“I feel really badly about the whole thing, it was just an oversight on my part and I don’t have a racist bone in my body — people who know me would laugh about that,” he said.

However, Cascade Locks City Manager Robert Willoughby believes No Casino’s action has reflected badly on the entire community. Especially because the text centers on the Yakima Indian’s battles with white settlers and hardly refers to the Warm Springs at all — except to say that they were friendly.

“In what possible way do these events relate to the Warm Springs’ desire to build a casino in Cascade Locks? The only possible connection I can see is to inflame peoples’ passions against Indians. If they truly believe that the long-term effects of gambling would be detrimental to Cascade Locks then there is no explanation for how this material that refers to ‘naked savages bent on murdering innocent white settlers and miners’ makes that point,” said Willoughby.

Although this week Willoughby was accused of “attacking” No Casino with his open criticism of the posting, he denied that charge. He said his remarks were not personal and only questioned the appropriateness of the Web site material. His concerns were aired at a meeting of the City Council and No Casino members immediately raised allegations of slander. “I think it just underscores the need for all of us to just stick to the issues and use appropriate arguments for our differing points of view,” said Willoughby.

Randall believes that Willoughby is trying to gain political leverage from the unfortunate listing. He said it was pulled as soon as the content was discovered, and the issue should now be laid to rest.

“It’s being misconstrued and taken out of context to tar and feather us. It wouldn’t matter who wanted a casino in Cascade Locks, we are opposed to to it for social, moral, environmental and economic reasons,” said Randall.

Leo said even the controversial text posted by No Casino highlights the peaceful nature of the Warm Springs. He said their citizenship has since been proven by the fact that they have served in the military during every American war or conflict since their relocating to the reservation.

“We need to be the kind of society where we don’t inflame hatred between different racial groups. This has been a very sad event for us but we’re determined to stay on the high road,” said Leo.”

Latest stories

Latest video:

Parkdale third graders sing "12 Disaster Days of Christmas"

Welcome to your sing-able Christmas gift list. What follows is an emergency rendition of “12 Days of Christmas” – for outfitting your home or car in case of snow storm, earthquake, flood or other emergency. Read it as a simple list, or sing it to the tune of “12 Days” – you know, as in “ … and a partridge in a pear tree…” Not to make light of it, but the song is a familiar framework for a set of gift ideas that you could consider gathering together, even if the recipient already owns items such as a bunch of coats, tire chains and flashlights. Stores throughout the Gorge are stocked up on all these items. Buying all 12 days might be prohibitive, but here are three ideas for checking any of the dozen off your list (notations follow, 1-12.) The gift items needed to stay warm, dry and safe are also coded to suggest items in your abode (A) in your car (C) or both (B). 12 Gallons of Water (A) 11 Family meals (B) 10 Cans of propane (A) 9 Hygiene bags (B) 8 Packs of batteries (A) 7 Spare coats (B) 6 Bright red flares (C) 5 Cozy blankets (B) 4 Tire chains (C) 3 Flashlights (B) 2 cell phone chargers (B) 1 And a crush-proof first aid kit (B) Price ranges? Here’s a few quotes for days Three, Two, Four and Nine: n A family gift of flashlights (three will run $15-30, Hood River Supply, Tum-A-Lum) n Cell phone chargers (two will run $30-60) n Tire chains (basic set, $30, Les Schwab, returnable if unused for the winter) n Family meals ($100 or so should cover the basics for three or four reasonably well-fed days) n The home kit should be kept in a handy place near an exit, and remember that water needs to be replenished every few months. If you have a solid first aid kit already, switch out the gift idea with “and-a-sto-o-u-t- tub-for it-all …” Otherwise, it’s a case of assembling your home or car kits and making sure all members of the family know what the resources are and how to use them (ie flares and propane). Emergency situations are at worst life-threatening, at best deeply uncomfortable if you and your family are left without power for an extended period, or traveling and find yourself in a situation where you need to wait out a storm, lengthy traffic delay, or other crisis. Notes on the 12 gift ideas: 12 – Gallons of water: that’s one per person in a four-member family to last for three days, the recommended minimum to be prepared for utility outages. 11 – Easy-open packaged goods, energy bars, dried food and nuts are good things to include for nutrition. Think of what your family of four needs for three days to stay fortified and hydrated (see number 12). Can-opener also recommended 10 – If you have a propane camping stove, keep extra fuel handy. 9 – Hygiene bags: put packaged moistened towelettes, toilet paper, and plastic ties in large garbage bags (for personal sanitation) Resource list courtesy of Hood River County Emergency Management, Barbara Ayers, manager/ 541-386-1213. The county also reminds residents to Get a Kit, Make A Plan to connect your family if separated, and Stay Informed. See to opt-in for citizen alerts. Enlarge

Log in to comment

News from our Community Partners