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September 10, 1978 - Image 9

Resource type:
The Michigan Daily, 1978-09-10

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(Continued from Page 2),
located on present day eaps.
Concannon stated he and other
Native Americans did not have to pay
for their education at this school while
non-Indian children did. Daane objec-
ted to this questioning of Concannon on
the grounds of irrelevence. White said
he was attempting to show that the
Catholic church, which also received
land in article 16 of the treaty, had
fulfilled its obligation to educate In-
Under cross examination, Tanner
explained that the "place called
Macon" was not the same as the
modern town of Macon.
Perhaps the most significant'
statement Tanner made under cross
examination, in terms of helping the.
Indians' case, was that in her opinion
the 1855 treaty made with Michigan
Indians would not have abrogated the
University's responsibility to provide
education for the tribes - if that
obligation did in fact exist.
But on the question of the
University's obligation to educate
Indians, Tanner stuck to her prior
statements. She called articly 16 of the.
1817 treaty "most difficult to interpret
satisfactorily", but maintained that "it
was a gift to Father Richard . ... I think
that is what the treaty language says."
FINALLY, Daane made an effort to
counter White's suggestion to the court
that Tanner may have been biased by
the money she was receiving for her
work from the University - Tanner
testified she was charging the
University $150 per day for her
professional services. Daane asked
Tanner if she hadn't filed a complaint
with the U.S. government charging the
University with discrimination. Tanner
said she had when she was denied a
position as a lecturer in the Residential
College for what she thought were
discriminatory reasons.
Daane asked Tanner if she harbored
any resentment as a result of the
incident. Tanner said she did. "So much
for bias," said Daane. "That's up to the
court to decide," Deake interjected.
After Daane finished his questioning,
Deake adjourned the trial until a week
later when he heard the closing
arguments of both sides.
WHITE, THE first to speak, began by
stating what the lawsuit was not about.
He said it wasn't about education for all
Indians, nor was it about education for
all the Chippewa, Ottawa and
Potawatomi. Rather, he said, it was as
the treaty states, about education for
some of the children of the tribes - only
those who want it.
White said the Indians in 1817 had
wealth in the form of land: They
transferred this wealth to the

University in article 16 of the 1817
treaty, he said. The issue in this case is
whether this conveyance of wealth to
the University formed a trust
relationship which requires the
University to provide an education to
the tribes, he said.
* The University has been misleading
in this case, charged White. He said the
University claims the trust was
abrogated by subsequent treaties but
their own witness states that the 1855
treaty would not have abrogated the
trust. White stated that the University
claims that Lewis Cass, a signor of the
1817 treaty did not consider article 16
significant, but the Detroit Gazette
reported the treaty and article 16 as
important news.
THE INDIANS' expert witnesses
"carefully documented" their evidence
and identified for the court the fact
upon which their opinions were based,
White said. But Tanner's evidence does
not stand up to close examination, he
Tanner said it was her opinion the In-
dians were not interested in education:
"Where did she get her degree in clair-
voyance," he asked rhetorically. How
does she have "the audacity to say that
she knows what the Indians thought at
the time," said White in fiery tones.
, White said Father Richard, the first
vice president of the University,
provided education for the Indians.
They wanted to be educated, White
said. "The Indians were not dumb."
WHITE SAID there had to be some
reason for the language in article 16 of
the 1817 treaty. He said the Indians had
been at war with Cass and therefore
would not just give the land to him. The
defense, he said, claims the Indians
gave the land to Father Richard "If it

was a gift to Richard why did they men-
tion the college at Detroit?" asked
The Catholic church did receive land
in article 16, said White. This may have
been the gift to Richard, he said. And if
all the land conveyed by the Indians in
article 16 was a gift to Father Richard,
he continued, then why did the 1821 Act
to establish the modern day University
refer to the article 16 lands and state
that the lands should be used
"agreeably to the terms" of the grant?
Finally, White argued that "men in-
tend what they put in writing to will be
the basis of future action." White said
that Cass, a lawyer, did not say "gift"
in article 16. Cass wrote "to the use of,"
and Indian children may wish to be
WHITE ALSO said that Cass, in the
1821 Act, again does not refer to the
land as a gift. He said that Cass wrote
that the lands given to the University
were "subject, nevertheless, to the
uses, trust and purposes" for which the
property was granted.
Daane began his hour-long closing
statement by praising Tanner whom he
called a "superb witness." Daane ad-
monished White's attempts to discredit
her, and said that White had failed.
Daane characterized Tanner's
"demeanor" throughout the intensive
cross examination as "serene and un-
But Daane had few kind words for the
plaintiffs. He called their case a
"tenuous web of historical guess
work." Daane said that much of that
"guess work" hinged largely on the
opinion that Lewis Cass was the scrib-
ner of each important document in the
case-particularly article 16 of the 1817
Treaty and the 1821 Act to establish the

DAANE SAID it was much more
plausible that William Turner,,
secretary of the 1817 Treaty party, pen-
ned article 16.
Next, Daane attacked White's inter-
pretation of the 1821 Act. Daane said
land referred to in the Act which was
"subject, nevertheless, to the uses,
trust and purposes" forwhich the land
was granted, was not the 1817 Treaty
land of article 16.
Daane pointed out to the court that
the land discussed in article 16 did not
come into the hands of the University
until 1824. He said the land patent did
not include any trust or obligation.
Daane then argued the value of the
land. The plaintiffs expert witnesses
had said that the land conveyed to the
University had been among the most
valuable in Michigan. But Daane said
that the University tried in 1825 to sell
the land and that no one would buy it
despite the fact that a land boom was in
process in Michigan.
THE LAND was not sold until 1836,
said Daane. That fact is "eloquent
rebuttal," he said, to the plaintiffs
charge that the "land was the most
,valuable in the territory."
Daane said the court would have to
"leap several great logical chasms
without evidence" to find that a trust
was established in article 16 of the 1817
Daane said the land conveyed by ar-
ticle 16 was "a gift to Father Richard
for the two endeavors he was inex-
tricably linked with." Daane said that
White disagrees with that but his wit-
nesses don't.
Daane also said that Floyd Dain, a
witness for the Indians, agreed with
him thatthe n anid hv habn a gift.

The Michigan Daily-Sunday, September 10, 197$
.1~ ldgisf
has already rc
O *the drinking age t
effective Dec. 3,1978; I
further proposal,kPropositt
would change the drinking age ti
effective Nov. 18, 1978-with NO grandfc
clause (the drinking age will be raised 3 yea
one stroke of the pen, taking the right to drink away
over half a million young adults)-THIS MEANS YC
IS HOLDING A BENEFIT TO Protect the Rights of You
Adults featuring ...
Proceeds to go to fight Proposition D.
Register Now and Vote NO on Proposition D

.* E
_ !r r~

r 'I,

for the fall production of
Sign-up for both cast and
orchestra auditions . All
interested in set building,
costumes, lighting, pro-
grams or pu blicity are
r invited to attend r

;. .b


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