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Native Americans May Boycott Native American Days
Tanya Jourdain, reporter Jill Seiler, web producer
Native American Days begin Friday at Angel Mounds. And there are still hard
feelings over what happened to the only Native American on the staff.
They're setting up for their biggest event of the year. But some Native
Americans are planning not to show.
It all started 8 months ago when the only Native American employee at Angel
Mounds, Bill Spellazza, was transferred temporarily to New Harmony State Park
to catalogue artifacts there.
"Stories came out that he's been kicked out of Angel Mounds, he had lost his
job title, which none of this was true", says Angel Mounds board member Bill
Simmons, a Native American, says it was all a misunderstanding. "It's turned
into this dramatic soap opera."
Spellazza is now back at work at Angel Mounds. But some remain upset with the
Department of Natural Resources, not just over that issue, but because of how
the DNR has been dealing with Native American remains. And they still plan to
boycott DNR run Angel Mounds.
"We really don't expect anything to really happen." Angel Mounds site manager
Mike Linderman says the boycott hasn't hurt attendance so far this year. "Our
attendance has been exactly the same as it was last year and our donations
are actually up $4-5,000."
And Linderman, and others, don't expect a big difference in attendance at
Native American Days either. "We're hoping for a very good turn-out as
usual", says Simmons.
Those who are boycotting plan to attend the pow wow in Petersburg this
Native American Days featuring crafts, dances and exhibitions runs from 9 to
5 Friday and Saturday.
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