Spokane & FAFBPART I: HISTORYIn
Wretched of the Earth
(1961), Frantz Fanon describes colonial land:The town belonging to the colonized people…the reservation is a place of ill fame, peopled by men of evil repute. They are born there, it matterslittle where or how; they die there, it matters not where, not how…Thenative town is a hungry town, starved of bread, of meat, of shoes, of coal,of light…For a colonized people the land is most essential value, becausethe most concrete, is first and foremost the land: the land which will bringthem bread and, above all, dignity.Spokane, WashingtonPopular history contends that the city of Spokane, Washington was not “settled”until the 1870s. However, this popular history fails to remember the native inhabitants of the region, who had lived there for thousands of years prior to the arrival of the first whitesettler. These Native people, the Spokane tribe, nestled themselves in permanent villagesagainst the volcano-formed Spokane River and enjoyed fishing for salmon plentiful in itswaters.The Spokanes, whose name means “children of the sun”, were the first to live inthe present-day region of Spokane Country and the city of Spokane (Fig. 1). TheSpokanes have legends that predicted the coming of the white settlers, and they werefriendly and welcoming upon their arrival (Ruby & Brown, p.
). So friendly, in fact, “Awhite man once said that, were he to drop a twenty-dollar gold piece among a group of Spokane Indians, he would more likely get it back than were he to drop it among his own people” (p.