Indians Protest Library Artifacts

July 1, 2007

Author: Bradford L. Miner

Source: Worcester Telegram & Gazette

BARRE— Bright sun, a nearly cloudless, azure sky and a light breeze. The conditions were perfect for a picnic in North Park.

And in fact, several on hand yesterday morning protesting the continued custody by the Barre Library Association of artifacts deemed to be sacred Oglala Sioux relics brought blankets and lawn chairs, picnic baskets and coolers.

If the atmosphere seemed somewhat festive, the goals and intent of the protest organizers - representatives from several Eastern American Indian tribes and Rebecca Three Stars, a fifth-generation Oglala Sioux from the Pine Ridge Reservation - was anything but.

Some wearing the dress of Eastern American Indians, some in street clothes, two dozen or so protesters gathered shortly before 10 a.m. across Pleasant Street from the Henry G. Woods Memorial Library and its museum. Several held up placards reading "My Heritage Is Not Negotiable," "Teach Respect Not Disregard," and "Do the Right Thing - Give Them Back."