Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Ohio Country Conference

I was invited to speak at the Bushy Run Battlefield-sponsored conference entitled, "The Ohio Country Conference" which is a scholarly conference that revolves around the Seven Years War in North America. I called my lecture, "A Good Salve for our Wounds- Native American involvement in the taking of Ft Niagara" and it seems to have been well received. I may condense the talk into a smaller article for the newsletter this summer.

A highlight of the lecture series was listening to Fintan O'Toole, author of "White Savage" a well researched book on the life of Sir William Johnson. What made Fintan's talk so interesting was his non-American view of the colonial period. He may have not been entirely in touch with current thinking or Native studies but he certainly was passionate about his subject.

We talked up the site and displayed Ganondagan's "banner" display and was able to pass out brochures to the 120-ish attendees.

I had mixed emotions upon attending because only a few day previous we learned that Pennsylvania was considering closing many historic sites across the state, including the Bushy Run Battlefield who were the sponsors of the conference! The Fort Pitt museum was also on the list as one of endangered sites. It is certainly a trend across the US for states to look at scraping money together from any source neccessary including historic sites. I hope in the future we can preserve our shared history in a responsible way and save these important places where our story is being preserved.

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