LETTER: Was the price too high?
When the decision was made to purchase the Tallulah Mound property, it seemed that a couple, if not all council members, were a little bit confused about the price.
Some would say that all tribal members would be confused when it comes to the purchase price of deceased tribal members. In fact, as former Tribal Council Chairwoman Henry stated, “Our history is priceless, and so I don’t see how you could put a value on that”.
Were all legal remedies exhausted in acquiring this property?
Cherokee County – Snowbird Rep. Jones stated that the average price for land in that area was $5000 per acre. Big Rep. McCoy stated that “everyone thinks we’re swimming in money”. This would lead people to believe that “modern day atrocities” are still being committed against our people by price gouging sacred land.
Did our legal department check into the “Native American Graves Protection Repatriation Act” or the “National Historic Preservation Act”? Both pieces of legislation were put in place for “pieces of property” to be protected and possibly returned to the tribe due to the historical, cultural, and religious significance to the tribe.
If anything, through negotiations with State and Federal Government officials, we could have acquired the land at or below fair market value, which we all know is well below the inflated price of $170,000.
Shouldn’t we exhaust the legal remedies and legislation that were put in place to protect us and our rights?
With that being said, “Was the price too high?”
Harold R. Rattler
(Editor’s note: This letter was edited for length.)