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Letter for Saturday, November 4, 2017

Historical society a priceless gem

I am a genealogist/historian who focuses on the Potawatomi Indian Nation, my father’s people. I wasn’t told much about our history due to inherent shame amongst people of color who were told to hide their heritage. My father wouldn’t stay in the same room with me when I asked questions.

Therefore, I learned a bit of my story from my aunt and some from distant cousins, but in 1976 I started following a paper trail based on the newspaper photo of a tombstone in Kansas. Every summer we traveled to museums, libraries and historical societies researching obsolete references until after 30 or so years I was able to gather a lot of information on my family, where they came from and how they got to where they ended up.

So I know the value of the historical society. With all the information online there is still a lot that’s locked away, letters and photos that aren’t on the internet. And that’s where the historical society plays a major role.

I’ve visited our local historical society and it’s a gem. My only concern is its size — it so needs to be enlarged. The records it contains offer a priceless history of Kauai that needs to be shared and made more accessible.

I hope the funding can be found to grow our historical society and increase its presence in the community. It’s vital to our future development.

Susan Campbell, Kalaheo

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