Local Native American activists are meeting the media today at 4:00 p.m. at 1933 Budd Road, which I take to mean the parking area of the soccer complex.
For some readers, it may seem that the controversy surrounding the city's decision to construct a dog park atop a 3,000 to 6,000 year old Native American site has come out of nowhere. It hasn't. The Navas have been monitoring the disposition of the Cannon Acres land since the ideas for various parks were first minted more than a decade ago.
This is ongoing. The Navas do what they can, as they're able.
Meanwhile, the development of the dog park has taken place in the usual back corridors, largely out of sight, with no public meetings devoted to discussion, and a new found urgency to get the bulldozers moving once it was learned there would be principled opposition.
Concurrently, there has been no groundswell of support for this dog park. It is being built in a place that is inappropriate, both by virtue of proximity to a Native American ceremonial site, and because it is completely removed from the urban center, where it might actually be useful.
Moreover, it's yet another sickening example of Team Gahan's utter refusal to communicate. Tony Nava wanted to speak to Mayor Jeff Gahan, and simply could not get past the gatekeepers. Gahan almost certainly would have responded to priests, pastors and rabbis if similar concerns were being voiced about their religious locales.
Gahan's response to Nava was to shunt the complaint to the economic development director, David Duggins, who has told all and sundry that the dog park is "his" project.
Entirely apart from the justified, long-term concerns of the Navas and their friends in the preservation community, how have we come to a juncture where the mayor won't speak to people, and the economic development director is in control of a parks project?
Two things need to happen.
First, Gahan needs to realize that a Native American ceremonial site is as important as a boys high school basketball game, and that citizens need to be communicated WITH, as opposed to AT.
Second, the dog park project needs to be delayed, so as to afford Nava a fair hearing, and to stage a public meeting about the stakes involved with Gahan's decision to move forward with the inappropriate Cannon Acres site.
Shannon Nava has posted on Facebook.
So meanwhile ... while people sit in their pews this morning in their designated churches, my husband is trying to save our church from the city trying to build a public dog park.
Some of you may not know this, but New Albany is trying to destroy a potentially 6000 year old CEREMONIAL Mississippian site. There have been archaeological digs, actually two phases. Currently, no bodies have been found BUT there have been significant finds, dating back to archaic times.
Pottery shards with intricate archaic designs, derbage, arrowheads, FRC, hammer stones, and so much more have been found. If you have ever visited the land, you would have noticed three large mounds. They are pretty hard to miss even after over 100 years of plowing (it was a family farm,and the land was used for hay).
They even found items that proved there were slave quarters, which we confirmed yesterday through a gentleman who has lived in the area for the entirety of his 65 years.
Anthony has been working on saving this site since 2003. We know now that the city has misallocated funds from a federal grant to use for the phase two archaeological survey.
So, sound off folks! How do you feel about this so called "public" dog park that community members will have to pay to be members to use?
How do you feel about the city building a dog park over a significant American Indian historical site?
How would you feel if you someone brought their dog into your church to take a crap? If you're not happy about it, like us ... meet us today at 1933 Budd Road, New Albany @ 4 o'clock to tell the press how you feel.
The city already have construction crews and their equipment waiting to get started moving earth first thing tomorrow (Monday) morning, after they promised they would wait three weeks to talk more to the native people.
Help us save it.
Previously at NAC: