Native American Times posted the following letter.

Native American Times, operating in both print and electronic media, is the largest independently owned Native American newspaper in the United States. Native American Times' reporters and columnists provide a daily digest of news that is often utilized for national news outlets such as CNN, NBC News, ABC News, Los Angeles Times and others.

On January 28, 2008 a Minnesota County newspaper The Independent Age published the following letter to the editor.

Note: When I wrote this letter I mentioned that I was a Catholic Native rights activist, I am now a New Age religion Native rights activist.


Offended by Columbus, Rum River

After Minnesota Representative Mike Jaros received my draft bill to change the name of the Rum River and 13 other Minnesota geographic site names that are offensive to Native people, he slightly edited it and then with the consent of the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council he introduced it to the Minnesota legislature.

As a Catholic Native rights activist I am also trying to influence the Roman Catholic hierarchy to revoke the Papal Bull Inter Caetera. After Tony Castanha, the internationally renowned leader of the movement to influence the Roman Catholic hierarchy to revoke the 15th century Papal Bull [Inter Caetera] and also the leader of the movement to put an end to the glorification of Christopher Columbus, read my article Changing The Racist Name Of The Knights of Columbus, he contacted me and said: "time to go after these 'Knights' guys.'"

Father Bartolome de Las Casas, the first European historian in the Americas, wrote, when referring to Columbus and his Knights' "for they are still acting like ravening beasts, killing, terrorizing, afflicting, torturing, and destroying the native peoples, and to such a degree that this Island of Hispaniola once so populous (having a population that I estimated to be more than three million), has now a population of barely 200 persons."

The movement to revoke Inter Caetera was initiated by the Indigenous Law Institute in 1992. At the Parliament of World Religions in 1994 over 60 indigenous delegates drafted a Declaration of Vision. It reads, in part: "We call upon the people of conscience in the Roman Catholic hierarchy to persuade Pope John II to formally revoke the Inter Caetera Bull of May 4, 1493, which will restore our fundamental human rights. That Papal document called for our Nations and Peoples to be subjugated so the Christian Empire and its doctrines would be propagated. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling Johnson v. McIntosh 8 Wheat 543 (in 1823) adopted the same principle of subjugation expressed in the Inter Caetera Bull. This Papal Bull has been, and continues to be, devastating to our religions, our cultures, and the survival of our populations."

Archbishop Harry Flynn recently sent me a letter wherein he wrote: "I greatly appreciate your sending me the article that you wrote recently on returning the fundamental human rights of indigenous peoples."

Thomas Dahlheimer, Wahkon

Rum River Name Change Movement

Tom Dahlheimer's website

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