FORT WAYNE, Ind. (ABC21) – A Native American tribe is concerned after city council members passed a proposal to recognize “Anthony Wayne Day.”
Councilman Jason Arp originally proposed the idea of recognizing the city’s namesake on July 16th.
Majority of the city council members voted for the idea. Councilman John Crawford, Councilman Russ Jehl and Councilman Glynn Hines voted against the proposal.
The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma called on the city council to rescind the resolution, saying the presentation to establish the day doesn’t recognize the hardships the Miami Tribe endured and included inaccurate historical data.
The Miami Tribe of Oklahoma sent a letter to City Council and said the resolution included false information, including that the Miami Tribe was led by British Officers in one battle. Leaders of the tribe said their people were led by their own captains.
“It demeans us to think that we think we had to have white British people to lead us because we weren’t capable of leading ourselves,” Diane Hunter, Tribal Historic Preservation Officer of the Miami Tribe of Oklahoma said.
Hunter said she checked Councilman Arp’s sources. She said his sources and the resolution do not match.
“Go to the sources that Councilman Arp has cited and look at them and see that that’s not what those sources say, that there is a different history than what Councilman Arp is trying to portray.”
Hunter said Councilman Arp did not reach out to the Miami Tribe before passing the resolution.
“We have a culture resource extension office here in Fort Wayne,” Hunter said. “He didn’t have to go far to talk to us, but didn’t make any effort to reach out.”
Hunter said she is proud to be a member of the Miami Tribe and is also proud to be an American. She said she and many folks in her tribe just want their culture to be represented accurately.
Hunter said she fears the inaccurate information could mislead future generations of her culture’s history.
“Every history has good and bad things in it,” Hunter said. “We need to know both the good and the bad.”
We reached out to Councilman Arp to respond to the concerns over what he said in his interview. We did not receive a response.