Chicago alderman insults Native Americans with "peace pipe" remark

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Ald. Edward M. Burke (14th), the City Council’s resident historian, had hoped to turn the 200th anniversary of the Battle of Fort Dearborn into a “Day of Remembrance and Reconciliation” with descendants of the Native Americans involved in that deadly battle.

Instead, he made matters worse — by using a term many Native Americans consider derogatory and tantamount to a racial slur.

It happened Tuesday during a City Council hearing on Burke’s resolution calling for the planning to begin on an appropriate city celebration.

Burke suggested that descendents of the Native Americans involved and of the occupants of Fort Dearborn may want to “smoke a peace pipe” as part of the bi-centennial celebration of the Aug. 15 battle of the War of 1812....

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