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#5: Muscatine, Iowa, Honors Red Men Who Can't Join...

If we go straight up the Mississippi River to Iowa, eventually we will reach this statue in Muscatine's Riverside Park. A half-clad male Native American gazes toward the Mississippi. It says "Presented to the city by the Muscuitine Tribe #95, Improved Order of Red Men" and "dedicated to the Mascoutin Indians in 1926." Not only did Native Americans have nothing to do with the statue, but for more than half a century after its dedication they were not allowed to join the society set up to honor them! When the statue went up, there were two Red Men for every Native American, and it looked like American Indians were a vanishing race. Today the Red Men are down to just 28,000, while Native Americans total more than two million. Now, however, Native Americans can join the Red Men, although the organization does not know if any have ever done so.

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