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AMERICAN INDIANS GATHER TO CONDEMN 1675 INJUSTICE

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Standing in a circle on a grassy clearing on a island in Boston Harbor, a handful of people - some dressed in business suits, others in the colorful attire of American Indians - came together Friday to remember and to condemn an injustice that occurred here exactly 321 years ago.

On Aug. 30, 1675, during King Philip's War, the Boston Council of English Colonists, fearing an uprising, ordered the internment of "the Indians that are in Amity with us," according to a proclamation signed by "Edward Rawson, Sec."The proclamation declared it "lawful" for anyone to kill any Indian found "Travelling and Sculking" anywhere outside the camps set up on Deer, Long and other islands.

The various tribes and nations affected by the 1675 proclamation were known as the Muhheconneuk Confederacy. Friday, on Long Island, some of their descendants spoke of their shared history of pain and their hopes for improving the quality of life for American Indians.

"I would like the general public to recognize and to know what has happened to our people," said Grandfather Thunder, lieutenant governor of the Penobscot Nation in Maine.

At the end of the ceremony, a representative of Mayor Thomas M. Menino read a new proclamation - this one acknowledging the damage done by the original.

Hearing the new proclamation "gave me goosebumps, because it's long overdue," said Princess Chikara of the Schaghticoke Reservation in Kent, Conn. "It gives us hope and encouragement for the future."

Princess Chikara said she came to the observance to achieve a little of the tranquillity she said is lacking in the world.

"For the last 500 years, there doesn't seem to be much of a balance on Mother Earth," she said.

Princess Chikara was joined by her friend Helping Beaver, of the Chaubunagun-ga-maug Nipmuck tribe, also based in Connecticut. Helping Beaver spoke to the gathering of about 50 and told of the indignities suffered by the Nipmuck, who he said were interned on Deer Island in great numbers.