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Hoag presenters highlight injustices at Native American boarding schools from generations ago

Posted 27 September 2021 at 8:08 am

Contributed by Bob Golden, member of Community Coalition for Justice

Photo courtesy of Kim Remley: Dr. Edward Koban and Kae Wilbert led a presentation last week at Hoag Library about Native American Boarding Schools.

ALBION – Hoag Library last week hosted a presentation “Native American Boarding Schools,” with Cherokee descendant Kae Wilbert at the helm. A full house of about 50 people attended the discussion on Sept. 22.

A retired school teacher, Mrs. Wilbert took us back to the times when white people became the dominating group in the Americas —we had guns, diseases we could withstand, but the indigenous did not and were decimated by them.

Many of the children died in these schools of unknown or unpublished reasons – 2,000 unmarked graves, anticipated to be more, were discovered recently by modern x-ray technology at a Canadian home. Mismarked graves have been discovered in the U.S. In one instance a burial site was moved to build a parking lot for a new military facility.

Also, white people attempted to convert the American Native children to “white ways,” to become workers for industrialists and agri-business. (By the way, agri-business was to a great extent about producing alcohol, tobacco and sugar – not food! and generally utilized the cheapest, most exploitable labor.)

From 1869 to the 1960s, hundreds of thousands  “U.S. Native children that were voluntarily or forcibly removed from their homes, families, and communities during this time, were taken to schools far away…” so they couldn’t successfully run away to their families. (Many of them tried.  Jim Thorpe, considered by Sports Illustrated, “America’s Greatest Athlete,” escaped several times and twice managed to get to his Oklahoma home.)

Nor could they have contact with home or visit and they didn’t. One attender told of their parents, being away from their home for 4 years, without any contact. Another mentioned supposition is that children may have died for “failure to thrive” as a result of separation from their mothers, families, siblings and community: a phenomenon we understand now.

The quote above from the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition above continues, “… they were punished for speaking their native language, banned from acting in any way that might be seen to represent traditional or cultural practices, stripped of traditional clothing, hair and personal belongings and behaviors reflective of their native culture.”

Mrs. Wilbert’s tone was not as harsh as this writer’s, but the harsh facts and provoking images (especially the children’s graveyards) from her films and the information were there.

What happened to many of these children in both the US and Canada is unpublished. There’s a current effort to go through records to discover and report on their fates.

Not surprisingly, given today’s unfortunate knowledge of such things, there are reports of these children being physically, sexually and emotional abused, in addition to their cruel separation from home and culture.

Kae Wilbert, Dr. Edward Koban and others, all Native American descendants, told about how their parents and relatives didn’t want to discuss their experiences at the boarding schools, they were so painful. One woman said that both of her parents were thankful for their training, Dad was a successful carpenter, Mom a cook, but also verified that they were allowed no contact with their families for the 4-5 years they were there.

Another woman and man told how if a Native American married outside their race, they were forced to leave their homes on the reservation, even if they were US war veterans. Another talked about a relative who worked at Kodak for several years, but only got several advancements, after he’d cut his long Native American hair and dressed white society-wise.

Dr. Koban also told of inter-generational research showing that grandchildren suffer panic attacks from the trauma their grandparents suffered in the boarding schools many years before.

Dr. Koban is offering a similar program at Taylor Theater, Keenan Center, Lockport,

On Nov. 16 at 6:30 p.m.

The next program at the Hoag Library on Race is Herb Smith of the Rochester Philharmonic presenting on Music and Race, Wednesday, October 27, at 6:30 p.m.

Medina moves Beggars’ Night to Olde Pickle Factory parking lot

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 October 2020 at 8:42 am

MEDINA – The Village Board on Monday evening approved shifting Beggars’ Night from Rotary Park in downtown Medina to the parking lot of the Olde Pickle Factory at 711 Park Avenue.

The change will allow for families to drive through and not leave their vehicle.

Beggars’ Night will be this Friday from 5 to 7 p.m. (or for as long as supplies last). There will be about 600 take-home boxes or bags of candy available. Merchants and members of the Medina Area Partnership will be handing out the candy.

The event has always been in the downtown with a long line of costumed children going from business to business for candy.

But Covid-19 protocols didn’t allow that, or a mass gathering at one location.

Trick-or-treating is allowed on Halloween from 5 to 7:30 p.m. in the village.

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Cheyenne E. Farewell

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 18 October 2020 at 3:20 pm

MEDINA – Cheyenne E. Farewell, 20, of Medina entered into eternal peace on Saturday, October 17, 2020. Cheyenne was born on December 4, 1999.

She was and will always be the daughter of Rochelle (Nellist) Horner and Jeffrey Farewell, Jr. In twenty short years, she touched the lives of countless family members, friends, teachers and coaches. She was known for her smile, her laugh and her oftentimes brutal honesty. Cheyenne always spoke her truth and encouraged others to do the same.

Cheyenne was a graduate of Medina High School, class of 2018 and was currently a student at SUNY Brockport, where she was studying to become a therapist and writer. She loved looking up at the night sky and seeing the moon and stars. Cheyenne’s favorite things in life were music, dance, writing and above all else, her family and friends. She would do anything in her power to help anyone who knew her, whether it was a ride to a party, or a shoulder to cry on. Cheyenne was a resilient soul who never gave up on hope, even at the very end.

Beside her parents, Cheyenne is survived by her sister, Maisie Farewell; her cousin, Lexus Burtwell; maternal grandmother, Gail Nellist; paternal grandparents, Patti and Jeff Farewell, Sr.; step-father, Dan Horner; several extended family members and countless friends. Cheyenne was greeted at Heaven’s gate by her grandfather, Gary Nellist.

Calling hours will be held on Tuesday, October 20th, from 3 to 8 p.m. at Cooper Funeral Home, 215 W. Center St., Medina. The family requests friends and family write a note or letter to bring with you to place in her casket, so she can be surrounded by love for all eternity. Private interment will be in Lynhaven Cemetery, Lyndonville. Share memories and condolences at www.cooperfuneralhome.com.

In lieu of flowers, the family requests that you cherish every moment with your children, your family, your friends. Life is fleeting. The only thing we take with us is love.

Help sought in finding missing boy from Carlton

Posted 30 September 2020 at 4:04 pm

Press Release, Orleans County Sheriff Chris Bourke

Dakarai Hilliard

CARLTON – The Orleans County Sheriff’s Office is asking for assistance with locating a missing 15-year-old boy, Dakarai Hilliard.

Dakarai was last seen today at 5:30 a.m. at his home on Bills Road in the Town of Carlton.

Dakarai is a black male approximately 5’6”, 130 lbs. and was last seen wearing a green hoody and blue jeans. Dakarai has a birth mark on his forehead.

Dakarai could possibly be with friends in the City of Rochester. Anyone with information is asked to contact Orleans County Sheriff’s Office at 585-589-5527.

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Sheriff’s Office asks for help identifying person in incident at County DPW

Posted 21 August 2020 at 11:49 am

These surveillance photos were provided by the Orleans County Sheriff’s Office.

Press Release, Orleans County Sheriff Chris Bourke

UPDATE at 6:32 p.m.: The Sheriff’s Office was able to identify the male in the surveillance photos.

ALBION – The Orleans County Sheriff Office is seeking assistance in identifying a white male wanted for questioning regarding an incident that occurred on Thursday at the Orleans County Department of Public Works on West Academy Street.

The person appears to be a young white male with shaggy hair, wearing a back pack, and a dark Nike “Just do it” hoodie.

We ask anyone with information to please call Orleans County Sheriff’s Investigator Colonna at 585-590-4136 or the Orleans County Sheriff Dispatch at 585-589-5527.

Click here to see links of videos posted on the Facebook page for the Orleans County Deputy Sheriff’s Association.

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Albion man has been missing since late May

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 17 June 2020 at 2:18 pm

Larry M. Maynard

ALBION – An Albion man has been missing since late May when he was last seen at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester.

Larry M. Maynard lives on Hamilton Street in Albion. His daughter, Donna Maynard-Ault, said her father isn’t well and the family is worried about him.

The Albion Police Department isn’t the primary agency in the case, but residents with information about Maynard’s location can call the Albion PD at 585-589-5627.

“We are looking for him best we can in our area but he is missing from Strong,” said Roland Nenni, the Albion police chief.

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