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Aug 17, 2013

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Mike

Thank you for posting this information. Many years ago, I wrote about Swisshelm for my senior history paper at the U. I even won an award for it. But I was completely, probably willfully, ignorant of Swisshelm's attitudes toward Indians. When I told one of my high school teachers I was writing about Swisshelm, he mentioned this dark side. I didn't follow up on his comments; I just thought he was crazy.

Editor's note: Certainly the work of Swisshelm's best biographer, popular media and the widespread discussion last year at the 150th anniversary of the 1862 US-Dakota War has changed knowing a fuller picture of Swisshelm from being judged a "crazy" opinion to actually being something of an academic consensus. Those who wish to cite a historical figure to call out those working in a shared profession in the name of courage, justice and truth ought be responsible for knowing both warts and halos. After all, they're bringing the person up. Regardless of this unfortunate choice of historical avatar, Conservation Mining isn't posing unreasonable questions.

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    Sorensen, editor and proprietor of Bluestem Prairie, serves clients in the business and nonprofit sectors. While progressive in outlook, she does not caucus with any political party.

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