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Music & Social Reform

Written by Catherine A. Paul. “Throughout the history of the United States, music has been used to bring people together. By singing together, people are able to form emotional bonds and even shape behavior…Therefore, it is unsurprising that social movements have similarly interwoven music and action to create and sustain commitment to causes and collective activities.”

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Indian Policy In Its Relations To Crime And Pauperism (1892)

Failure to recognize rights which belong to the Indians, and white rapacity and villany, are largely responsible both for pauperism and crime among the Indians. Here in Colorado, with the eloquent grave of the author of “Ramona,” so near to the place where we meet, it can hardly be necessary to revive the incidents recited in her remarkable book entitled “The Century of Dishonor,” some of them incidents of which this very State has been a witness. Nor should it be needful to condemn in a more enlightened day the barbarisms of which white men have been found capable in the past. And yet what will not avarice do in the way of stifling the sentiments of Christian humanity? The depravity of the human heart is unfathomable….Many, perhaps most, of the barbarities and wars and massacres lie at the doors of white reprobates, whose responsibility is heightened by the Christian lessons of their childhood. The most barbarous of the Indians have not been more savagely cruel than some men of our own race.

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Indians At Work

And suddenly the Navajos have been faced with a crisis which in some aspects is nothing less than a head-on collision between immediate advantages, sentiments, beliefs, affections and previously accepted preachments, as one colliding mass, and physical and statistical facts as the other….The crisis consists in the fact that the soil of the Navajo reservation is hurriedly being washed away into the Colorado river. The collision consists in the fact that the entire complex and momentum of Navajo life must be radically and swiftly changed to a new direction and in part must be totally reversed. …And the changes must be made—if made at all—through the choice of the Navajos themselves; a choice requiring to be renewed through months and years, with increasing sacrifices for necessarily remote and hypothetical returns, and with a hundred difficult technical applications.

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