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SONOMA MISSION TO COMMEMORATE LOCAL INDIANS 03/30/99 02:13AM The names of about 900 Indians who helped build the Sonoma mission, one of 21 Spanish missions built by the Catholic church, have been commemorated on granite slabs. It's the first mission in the chain that stretched from San Diego to Sonoma to take such action for local Indians, many of whom died of diseases brought by the settlers and missionaries for whom they worked. In a solemn service on Palm Sunday, the names of the Indian men, women and children who died while serving at Mission San Francisco Solano were unveiled, etched in the dark surface of three stones. The names belong to members of the Coast Miwok, Pomo, Patwin and Wappo tribes who died from 1824 to 1839. "It is emotional to stand here in memory of ones who labored with their hands in the construction of these buildings," said Lanny Pinola, an elder in the Kashia Pomo and Bodega Bay Coast Miwok tribe who served as vice president of the Sonoma Mission Indian Memorial Foundation. "This is a model for other missions to follow." The slabs were placed facing the area where many Indians were buried in mass graves. The gravesites were known, but were only verified in 1995, when the Native American Studies program at Sonoma State University and state archaeologists undertook the project. The string of missions was a key part of the Catholic Church's effort to convert the state's Indian population to Christianity. The plan for the memorial stemmed from the controversy over a proposal for sainthood for Father Junipero Serra, the Franciscan monk who established many of the California missions. Much of the controversy surrounded allegations that Indians who lived and worked at missions were treated like slaves. "It was bitter and divisive and we want to avoid that here," said Edward Castillo, president of the Sonoma Mission Indian Memorial Foundation and chairman of the university's Native American studies program. "It served the purpose of examining the past. This (memorial) was designed to bring us together." Castillo said he got interested in the idea because his daughter made educational field trips to the missions and told him there was little mention of the contribution of the Indians. The memorial, designed by Adrian Martinez, is patterned after the Vietnam War Memorial in Washington. More than 400 people contributed a total of $33,000 to build it. Historians estimate about 80,000 Indians died at the missions. The state Parks Department, which will be responsible for the memorial, said many of them are buried in unmarked cemeteries now hidden beneath parking lots, sidewalks and landscaping. Bishop Patrick Ziemann of the Santa Rosa Diocese didn't address the debate over the Indians' role at the mission, except to call for "forgiveness built upon the shoulders of the people underneath us."

Ooops ! Not your average April Fool's Day! AZ Governor has rearranged the geopolitical landscape and head of the State Land Department. "Son of HB2397" coming soon to a theater near you? Jane Hull named Michael Anable head of the Arizona State Land Department. In Arizona, every time you stick a shovel in the ground, you run the risk of being an accidental archaeologist. Few public agencies dare start moving earth until specific rules are followed, for fear of some tribe or other agency swooping down, stopping work and costing time and money. Nonetheless, the San Carlos Irrigation Project (SCIP) disturbed human remains, scattering bone fragments and potsherds on the ground. Just the fact that the Nevada town could get anyone as prominent as Elinor Glyn to visit would impress people with Rawhide's growing importance. In an interview with a Goldfield Tribune reporter she effused over the country and the people, "particularly the fact that you hear nothing about the Mayflower. Everything back east is about the Mayflower and about one's antecedents. I care nothing for that." However, Rawhide went from boom town to ghost town. Old calendar leads to Indian Johnny. Nevada Historical Myths. Alferd Packer wandered into the wilderness as an unknown and came out a Wild West legend. A shrill galoot from Pittsburgh, Packer put Dead Man's Gulch and Cannibal Plateau on the map. He single-handedly forced a rewriting of territorial homicide laws. He even became the namesake of the student grill at the University of Colorado. Packer did it all by doing the unthinkable: He ate five gold miners during a lost winter 125 years ago in Colorado. Starrs reached his conclusions by digging up the victims' bones. The remains, in Starrs' analysis, revealed a story of defenseless men beaten with a hatchet until their bones shattered. They were skinned and cannibalized, their skeletons left in a mass grave. The physical evidence, he added, helped explain how Packer emerged so well-fed after a horrific winter in the San Juan Mountains. He was born John Wesley Hardin on May 26, 1853 at Bonham, Texas. By his fifteenth year, John Wesley Hardin had slain four men in East Texas, three of them Union soldiers. He went to prison, studied law and obtained his license. After a month or two of practicing law, he moved to Junction, Texas, where the 41-year-old Hardin legally married the 15-year-old Callile Lewis. The marriage lasted one hour. East and west Texas are locked in a legal struggle over his bones. In 1996, a group from Nixon, Texas, tried to remove the bones of John Wesley Hardin and take them to Gonzales County. Local court actions stopped them, although Gonzales County won momentarily on appeal. The County of El Paso has a temporary injunction preventing Hardin's removal until August 10 when the order possibly will become permanent. However, legal infighting could continue for years. nd Lt. George Nicholas Bascom's name, deservedly or not, has been attached to one of the most debated events of the Apache Wars. If such be deserved, Bascom was responsible for starting in 1861 a chain of events that were to make parts of the Southwest almost uninhabitable for the next quarter century, until the surrender of Geronimo. Victorio and the reservation system - a prescription for disaster. Blackwater Draw documents earliest Paleoindian culture in North America. As more and more fossils are being found, though, it's becoming clear that Neandertals have been much maligned and that their image is based a great deal more on arrogance and racism than reality. In fact, some suggest that with a shave and a good suit, Neandertal man would blend right in at the subway station. The need to better comprehend these problems is pulling together researchers from what may appear to be far-flung fields: virology, philosophy, anthropology, toxicology, and oceanography, to name merely a few. This "jumping together" of facts and theory across disciplines -- christened "consilience" in 1840 -- is the subject of Wilson's book "Consilience: The Unity of Knowledge." . The time is right, he suggests, for us to understand more fully that quest for knowledge, for "Homo sapiens, the first truly free species, is about to decommission natural selection, the force that made us. Soon we must look deep within ourselves and decide what we wish to become."