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La Crosse man bemoans lack of teaching on Trail of Tears, Indian Removal Act in history textbooks



Those who don’t learn from history are doomed to repeat it. That phrase was used this week at the La Crosse School Board meeting by La Crosse resident Ron Malzer.

He spoke of his displeasure that the Indian Removal Act of 1830 and the Trail of Tears by the Cherokee tribe to Oklahoma received so little attention in the school textbooks.

Malzer said the only coverage on the topic are a few pages that refer to the act and the period as “controversial”.

“They talk about a controversy,” Malzer said. “When homicide takes place, our newspapers, correctly, do not spend time on the pros and cons of whether the killing was the right thing to do. Why is Indian removal treated differently in our history books?”

Malzer added that educators have a duty to discuss the topic.

“Every principal and every teacher needs to know that Indian removal have to be taught as (outrages) to everything America professes to believe it,” he said.

Malzer says that although the state is working to change some of the curriculum, the fact that local Native American leaders aren’t part of the discussion is wrong.

Born in Decorah Iowa. I've been a news reporter for the last 10 years, starting right out of college in Fort Dodge, Iowa. Other professional opportunities led me to Marshalltown, Iowa and Antigo Wisconsin, before I finally was afforded the opportunity here in La Crosse. I've been here since 2016. I also act as the voice of local sports, doing play by play of high school and college football and basketball. When not working I enjoy golfing.

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