State officials: Bushy Run staff must consult with Native groups before staging reenactments

When my kids were younger, trips to Busy Run (and other local historical sites) were often a big part of starting a new year of home-schooling.

If historic Bushy Run Battlefield Park intends to host future reenactments or programs portraying Native Americans, park management first will have to consult with appropriate Native groups.

That’s the policy of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, which oversees the Penn Township park. The commission says it also must approve of any such activities in writing.

Questions about Bushy Run’s reenactments arose when a man who lives in another state and is of Native American heritage contacted the state historical commission to say he considered portrayals of Native Americans by non-Native reenactors at the park to be disrespectful, according to Bonnie Ramus.

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Pollman said the commission is concerned “not with the reenactment itself, but rather the lack of consultation with the groups whose stories are being told, in this case the federally recognized Native American tribes portrayed.” —Tribune-Review