That’s what was spray-painted, huge letters that slightly leaned towards the left on a concrete outpost at the top of a scenic overlook called dead mans pass in Oregon.
I got out of the outpost and climbed down, closer to the text. “So it is.”, I said to my companion. I wish it was not stolen. I guess there’s no real way to fix history. I think about it a lot, when I see myself and the other white colored people that I run into in the western United States. Sitting Bull would be disgusted with us, but here I am. I know where I’m from. I can apologize for it forever, but nothing would ever change the past.
I was up all night reading about territorial history in Idaho, Oregon, Washington, Wyoming and Montana. Thinking about that outpost. It was so fucking beautiful.
There’s a lot of ghost towns in Idaho, and I’d like to make a point to travel to them. I want to learn their stories, from all sides. The history of a small towns existence. I don’t consider any cities in Idaho to be really, truly “big”. Not in the sense that I’ve experienced. Boise is the biggest city here and it’s population is under 500k. I can drive through downtown in 10 minutes.
There’s a lot of cities that have populations sitting under 500, very small communities that I don’t understand how the population remains steady decade after decade.
Wouldn’t the children want to move? How does their economy function?
In the late 1800s many small villages and towns formed upon the false promise of gold in the Idaho-Oregon territory. The whites that traveled here did so not knowing, or more likely: not caring that this land was owned and promised to the Native populations that lived here. They fought for this land in the Battle of the Little BigHorn, and they WON! The Nez Perce Indians were supposed to live here in peace but we know how history plays out with white people and any non-white people.
Look at it today. Some cities were developed in Idaho on top of, what is it? Stolen Indigenous Land.
I swallowed my saliva. I don’t see native people out here. They have been systemically shoved into small reservations where they suffer from poverty, lack of education, opportunity and in many cases addiction.
We’re not doing enough. But that’s been the trend, hasn’t it?
Lets hold ourselves and our state representatives and government officials accountable for historic, systemic racism and its effects on modern day populations.