GOP lawmaker says Natives had 'limited vocabulary'

Montana Republican Rep. Ed Butcher finds himself in hot water again, this time over an e-mail in which he said Native people "had a limited vocabulary."

Butcher questioned the wisdom of the state's Indian Education for All law. He said it's not possible to present an accurate view of Indian history and culture because "hunter/gather peoples who would have had a limited vocabulary ... and relied upon sign-language for much of their communication."

He also said supporters of increased funding for Indian Education for All were the "'politically correct' crowd of semi-literate proponents." But he denied in an interview with the Associated Press that his comments were directed towards the state's Indian lawmakers even though one of them, Sen. Carol Juneau, is sponsoring the bill.

In the interview, he said Indian history is being "overemphasized" in the schools. "I mean good grief, there are a heck of a lot more Norwegians, Germans and other ethnic groups in the state of Montana than there are Indians," he said.

Get the Story:
Butcher draws more fire for e-mail message (AP 3/18)

Related Stories:
Montana Republican lashes out at Indian Democrats (02/09)
Monteau: Republicans and the politics of exclusion (2/8)
Montana Republican rebuked for 'chief' comments (01/08)