"They are loving people, without covetousness….They love their neighbors as themselves, and their speech is the sweetest and gentlest in the world."
"They.....brought us parrots and balls of cotton and spears and many other things, which they exchanged for the glass beads and hawks' bells. They willingly traded everything they owned....They were well-built, with good bodies and handsome features....They do not bear arms, and do not know them, for I showed them a sword, they took it by the edge and cut themselves out of ignorance. They have no iron. Their spears are made of cane....They would make fine servants....With fifty men we could subjugate them all and make them do whatever we want."
"We found the people most gentle, loving and faithful, void of all guile and treason, and such as live after the manner of the golden age."
Sir Walter Raleigh
"And when we entered the city.....the sight of the palaces in which they lodged us! They were very spacious and well built, of magnificent stone, cedar wood, and the wood of other sweet-smelling trees, with great rooms and courts, which were a wonderful sight, and all covered with awnings of woven cotton.
When we had a good look at all this, we went to the orchards and gardens, which was a marvelous place both to see and walk in....The Caciques of that town.....brought us a present of gold worth more than two thousand pesos; and Cortes thanked them heartily for it.....telling them through our interpreter something about our holy faith, and declaring to them the great power of our lord the Emperor."
-Bernal Diaz The Conquest of New Spain (1568)
"They were all keen, athletic young men, tall and lean and brave, and I admired them as real specimens of manhood more than any body of men I have ever seen before or since. they were perfectly adapted to their environment, and knew just what to do in every emergency and when to do it, without any confusion or lost motion. Their poise and dignity were superb; no royal person ever had more assured manners manners. I watched their every movement and learned lessons from them that later saved my life many times on the prairie."
-Lt. Scott Some memories of a Soldier
"Marriage laws are non-existent: men and women alike choose their mates and leave them as they please, without offense, jealousy or anger. They multiply in great abundance; pregnant women work to the last minute and give birth almost painlessly; up the next day, they bathe in the river and are as clean and healthy as before giving birth. If they tire of their men, they give themselves abortions with herbs and force stillbirths, covering their shameful parts with leaves or cotton cloth; although on the whole, Indian men and women look upon total nakedness with as much casualness as we look upon a man's head or at his hands."
Bertolome Las Casas
"They all had their cheeks swollen out with a green herb inside, which they were constantly chewing like beasts, so they could scarcely utter speech: and each one had upon his neck two dried gourds, one of which was full of that herb which they kept in their mouths, and the other full of a white flour, which looked like powdered chalk, and from time to time, with a small stick which they kept moistening in their mouths, they dipped it into the flour and then put it into their mouths in both cheeks, thus mixing with flour the herb which they had in their mouths: and this they did very frequently. And marveling at such a thing, we were unable to comprehend their secret, nor with what object they acted thus."
Vespucci (Letter to Pier Soderini,pub. 1504)
"The Indians eat human flesh and are sodomites and shoot arrows poisoned with herbs....and....live from the the said Gulf of Uraba or point called Caribana westwards, and it is also a coast with cliffs and they eat human flesh, and they are abominable sodomites...."
de Ovieda (1526)
"The hideously embarrassing fact is that North America’s very first colonists had decided to become wild men. European vagabonds transmuted themselves into Noble Savages, said goodbye to Occult Imperialism and the miseries of civilization, and took to the forest."
Gone to Croatan edited by Ron Sakolsky
"The history of the border White man’s connection with the Indians is a sickening record of murder, outrage, robbery and wrongs committed by the former, as the rule, and occasional savage outbreaks and unspeakably barbarous deeds of retaliation by the latter, as the exception."
Presidents Commission 1869
"Bouquet and Amherst concocted the idea of sending the Indians blankets and handkerchiefs impregnated with smallpox. Proposing this biological warfare, Bouquet wrote to the commander-in-chief: 'I will try to inoculate the Indians by means of Blankets that may fall in their hands, taking care however not to get the disease myself. As it is a pity to oppose good men against them, I wish we could make use of the Spaniard's Method, and hunt them with English Dogs supported by Rangers, and some Light Horse, who would I think effectively extirpate or remove that Vermine.' Amherst replied: 'You will Do well to try to Inoculate the Indians by means of Blankets, as well as to try every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race. I should be very glad your scheme for Hunting them Down by Dogs could take Effect, but England is at too great a Distance for importation of dogs, to think of that at present..."
White Savage: William Johnson and the Invention of America
"Once the government forced Indians onto reservations, they began banning their feasts and traditional foods. "These dances or feasts, as they are called, ought to be discontinued",
( Secretary of the Interior Henry Teller to the Commission on Indian Affairs in 1862...")
"We have a full right, by our own best wisdom, and then even by compulsion, to dictate terms and conditions to them; to use constraint and force; to say what we intend to do, and what they must and shall do....This rightful power of ours will relieve us from conforming to or even consulting to any troublesome extent, the views and inclinations of Indians whom we are to mange....The Indian must be made to feel he is in the grasp of a superior."
-George E. Ellis (a well-known Massachusetts clergyman and author, expressed this a little more bluntly, perhaps, than others in his history of Indian affairs published in 1882)
"Once we open the eyes of those children of the forest to their true condition, (they will realize) the policy of the general government toward the red man is not only liberal, but generous
-Andrew Jackson President of the United States), commenting on Indian objections to his new policy of removing them to lands west of the Mississippi River, 1830
"The Army is the Indian's best friend."
-General George Armstrong Custer 1870
"I don't go so far as to think that the only good Indians are the dead Indians, but I believe nine out of every ten are, and I shouldn't inquire too closely into the case of the tenth."
"There are more American Indians alive today that there were when Columbus arrived or at any other time in history. Does this sound like a record of genocide?"
-Rush Limbaugh 'See , I Told You So, June 19,1992
"When the American government made the Hopi language illegal in 1910 and began pushing "American" foods like white flour and potatoes and roast beef and sugar, it not only spelled an end to a historic cuisine, it undermined an entire way of life. Ironically, corn-based cuisine of the Southwest survived, only to have the Europeans actually make the plant itself almost inedible. Scientists in the area now believe that the high-sugar corn hybrids introduced in the 1950s have helped cause a massive outbreak in diabetes and other diseases because the Native American's digestive system has trouble breaking down sugar. Prior to 1950 diabetes was unknown among native populations of the American Southwest. It now has the highest rate in the world."
In the Devil's Garden
"Most of what he earned went into the pockets of small, ragged boys. White boys. He could not understand why all the wealth he saw in the cities wasn’t divided up among the poor. Among the Indians, a man who had plenty of food shared it with those who had none. It was unthinkable for an Indian to feed himself while others were going hungry within eyesight."
(Annie Oakley recalls ‘Sitting Bull’ on tour with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show)
"An interesting fact is that there is no word signifying rich or poor as having to do with much or little property. When an Indian says 'I am rich' he means ' I have many friends." "I am poor' means "I have but few."
John Wesley Powell
"Commissioner of Indian Affairs Cato Sells ordered every Ute reservation superintendent and agent to "Prohibit the Sun Dance or any dance of of a similar nature." In a 1914 telegram, he demanded that the dance be stopped at the Uintah-Ouray Reservation, stating "This dance is a great detriment to moral and industrial interest of the Indians and cannot be allowed."
"Ute leaders were invited to a peace conference in 1854 at Taos, New Mexico, where Christopher "Kit" Carson was the Indian agent. Gifts of blanket coats were given to Ute leaders. Every leader who received a coat contracted smallpox...."
"….considering the want of such means as we have, they seem very ingenious; for although they have no such tools, nor any such crafts, sciences and arts as we , yet in those things they do, they show an excellency of wit…..Whereby it may be hoped if means of good government be used, they may in short time be brought to civility, and the embracing of true religion."
(about the Manitowocs)
"Among all the discoveries of America by the French and Spaniards, I wonder why none of them was so kind to the world as to have kept a catalog of the illnesses they found the natives able to cure."
History of North Carolina (1714)
"The Indians know how to cure very dangerous and perilous wounds and sores by roots, leaves, and other little things."
Adrian van der Donck (1650)
"The Indians of the Great Plains may be thought among the most remarkable of all the world’s warrior peoples. Between the middle of the seventeenth century and the end of the eighteenth century, they acquired two quite disparate instruments of warfare, the horse and the gun, assimilated them into their culture, and combined their use into terrifyingly effective military practice. It is difficult to think of any other pre-literate ethnic group which has made so rapid and complete a transition from primitive to sophisticated warrior Dom in so short a space of time."
Fields of Battle
"If we examine the matter with unbiased minds, we will find that most of the Indian atrocities and tortures were copied from the white men."
A. Hyatt Verrill
The Real Americans
"No Indian raid in the entire history of our country could equal the unprovoked murders and massacres of peaceful friendly Indians that time and time again were perpetrated by the whites."
A. Hyatt Verrill
The Real Americans
"It was from the Puritan Pilgrim Fathers that the Massachusetts Indians learned to scalp their enemies."
A Century of Dishonor 1881
"Fleeing women, holding up their hands and praying for mercy, were shot down; infants were killed and scalped in derision; men were tortured and mutilated in a manner that would put to shame the savages of interior Africa."
(Report of the Indian Peace Commission on the Sand Creek Massacre) (1868)
"In our Indian wars, almost without exception, the first aggressions have been made by white men."
(Findings of a presidential commission 1869 under President Grant)
"There must be in the Indians’ social bond something singularly captivating, and far superior to be boasted of among us; for thousands of Europeans are Indians, and we have no examples of even one of those Aborigines having from choice become Europeans."
Michel Guillaume/Jean de Crevecour
Letter from an American Farmer
"The Indian’s religion and government are the same thing and fit him like a glove-whereas our laws don’t fit us anywhere-nor our religion either."
"A "Christianity" pugilist commented upon a recent article of mine, grossly perverting the spirit of my pen. Still I would not forget that the pale-faced missionary and the hoodooed aborigine are both God's creatures, though small indeed their own conceptions of Infinite Love. A wee child toddling in a wonder world, I prefer to their dogma my excursions into the natural gardens where the voice of the Great Spirit is heard in the twittering of birds, the rippling of mighty waters, and the sweet breathing of flowers. If this is Paganism, then at present, at least, I am a Pagan."
Gertrude Bonnin (Zitkala-Sa) (1876-1938) author and activist (Yankton Sioux) from "Why I am A Pagan," 1902
"My mother and grandmother told me how the Indians made a blockade to protect the women and children when they were fighting against the settlers. They said that John Mason came with a regiment of soldiers. First, they didn't know what to do, whether to burn them out with their torches......They went to the Baptist Church there in Old mystic and talked. There were four or more ministers that were Protestant ministers to ask them if it would be all right to do that. And so my grandmother and mother told me that they said after talking about a half hour together with the other ministers, they said, "Yes, Go ahead and do it. Get rid of them." I think they called them the Canaanites. "Get rid of the Canaanites, wicked people, " which was the Pequot Indians. So they did. They threw torches and put it all aflame."
(Oral tradition handed down about the the Pequots )
Brett D. Fromson
The Inside Story of the Richest Indian Tribe in History
"Americans must take up life where the Red Indians, the Aztec, the Maya, the Incas left it off….They must catch the pulse of life which Cortez and Columbus murdered. There lies the real continuity; not between Europe and the new states, but between the murdered Red America and the seething White America."
"So the Indian record is the bearer of one great message to the world. Through his society, and only through his society, man experiences greatness; through it he unites with the universe and God, and through it, he is freed from all fear."
"In the production of consumer’s goods and their distribution to give universal economic security, they succeeded more completely than any nation before or since. (Incas)
Nowhere was somewhere 1946
"If the United States can participate in the creation of Israel as a national homeland for the Jews in partial compensation for the genocide committed against them by Hitler during the second World War, why is the United States incapable of recognizing the Sioux nation as a sovereign over its land in south Dakota in partial compensation for the genocide committed against it at wounded Knee and other Massacres?"
Vine Deloria Jr.
Behind the Trail of Broken Treaties
"They were friendly in their dispositions, honest to the most scrupulous degree in their intercourse with the white man. Simply to call these people religious would convey but faint idea of the deep hue of piety and devotion which pervades their whole conduct. Their honesty is immaculate, and their purity of purpose and their observance of the rites of their religion are most uniform and remarkable. They are certainly more like a nation of Saints than a horde of Savages."
Captain Bonneville (1834) (about the Nez Pierce Indians)
"Just as we have exterminated feebler races by merely overliving them, by monopolizing and absorbing, almost without conscious effort, everything necessary to their happiness,-so may we ourselves be exterminated at last by races capable of underliving us, of monopolizing all our necessities; races more patient, more self-denying, more fertile, and much less expensive for nature to support. These would doubtless inherit our wisdom, adopt our more useful inventions, continue the best of our industries-, perhaps even perpetuate what is most worthy to endure in our sciences and our arts. But they would scarcely regret our disappearance any more than we ourselves regret the extinction of the dinotherium or the ichthyosaurus."
Out of the East 1895
"This, finally, is the punch line of our two hundred years on the Great Plains: we trap out the beaver, subtract the Mandan, infect the Blackfeet and the Hidatsa and the Assiniboin, overdose the Arikara; call the land a desert and hurry across it to get to California and Oregon; suck up the buffalo, bones and all; kill off nations of elk and wolves and cranes and prairie chickens and prairie dogs; dig up gold and rebury it in vaults someplace else; ruin the Sioux and Cheyenne and Arapaho and Crow and Kiowa and Comanche; kill Crazy Horse, kill Sitting Bull; harvest wave after wave of ‘immigrants’ dreams and send the wised-up dreamers on their wheat, ship out the cattle; dig up the earth itself and burn it in power plants and send the power down the line; dismiss the small farmers, empty the little towns; drill the oil and the natural gas and pipe it away; dry up the rivers and the springs, deep-drilled for irrigation water as the aquifer retreats. And in return we condense unimaginable amounts of Treasure into weapons buried beneath the land that so much Treasure came from-the weapons for which our best hope might be that we will someday take them apart and throw them away, and for which our next-best hope certainly is that they remain humming away under the prairie, absorbing fear and maintenance, unused, forever."
Article: Great Plains 111
By Ian Frazier, New York Mag Mar 6, 1989
"We did not think of the great open plains, the beautiful rolling hills, and winding streams with tangled growth, as ‘wild’. Only to the white man was nature a ‘wilderness’, and only to him was the land ‘infested’ with ‘wild’ animals and ‘savage’ people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the GREAT MYSTERY. Not until the hairy man from the east came and with brutal frenzy heaped injustices upon us and the families we loved, was it ‘wild’ for us. When the very animals of the forest began fleeing from his approach, then it was that for us the ‘Wild West’ began."
Chief Luther Standing Bear
"The earth is the mother of all people, and all people should have equal rights upon it."
Chief Joseph of the Nez Pierce
"You are fools to make yourselves slaves to a piece of fat bacon, some hard-tack, and a little sugar and coffee."
"When one’s heart is glad, he gives away gifts. It was given to us by our Creator, to be our way of doing things, we who are Indians. The Potlatch was given to us to be our way of expressing joy."
"It would be a strange thing if Six Nations of ignorant savages should be capable of forming a scheme for a union and be able to execute it in such a manner that it has subsisted for ages and appears indissoluble; and yet that a like union should be impractical for ten or twelve English colonies."
Benjamin Franklin (commenting on the IroquoisConfederacy)
Over 500 years ago, the Iroquois formed a democratic representative government called the "great Law of Peace", which guaranteed freedom of speech, freedom of religion, and the right of women to participate in government. Women had the power to nominate (and remove) each of the 50 representatives to the central governing body, the grand council. All opinions were respected, so decisions were made only by unanimous agreement of all representatives. These representatives were chosen on the basis of their ability, which was different from the Old World where leaders were usually born into power.
"I am fed up with bureaucrats who try to pass off ‘rules & regulations’ for organizational programs that will bring progress.
I am sick and tired of seeing my elders stripped of dignity and low-rated in the eyes of their young.
I am disturbed to the point of screaming when I see American Indian youth accepting the horror of ‘American conformity,’ as being the only way for Indian progress. While those who do not join the great American mainstream of personality less neurotics are regarded as ‘incompetents and problems.’
The National Indian Youth Council must introduced to this sick room of stench and anonymity some fresh air of new Indianess. A fresh air of new honesty, and integrity, a fresh air of new Indian idealism, a fresh air of new Greater Indian America.
How about it? Let’s raise some hell!"
Clyde Warrior-President National Indian Youth Council, ABC
Americans Before Columbus II, No. 4, 1964
"Since we left Independence eight or ten days ago (see how quickly he loses track of time), we have camped out every night, slept in bearskins, and done our won cooking. I do not think that I have ever eaten or slept so well in my life. We get a great deal of exercise…The weather is magnificent…I am wearing a leather shirt, leggings, and moccasins, which I find much more comfortable than shoes, when I am on horseback. I do not know how I shall become reaccustomed to civilization. I have given up…all the superfluous things which turn man into a dull brute…We do not spend one cent for food and lodgings, since our beds are on our horses’ backs and our meals are supplied by our own hunter’s skill. Water is delicious…food is good…everything is seasoned with a hellish appetite, our good humor, and long and original tales…Our physician has become a useless piece of furniture."
Count de Pourtales (1832)
"This treatment of the Indians is simply a fore-shadowing of the treatment of all regressive humans who are not of the ruling technetronic class of the state managed by behavioral scientists."
William Irwin Thompson
"They will have to freeze and starve a little more, I reckon, before they will listen to common sense."
General William Sherman
"The whole business is a monotonous piece of treachery and bloodstained villainy in which innocent persons suffer, while scoundrels who cheat and swindle the poor Indians keep out of danger and fill their pockets with money."
"There is no use of making a long ado about the Indian question, the only solution of the problem is extermination."
Boulder, Colorado Banner (Oct 1878)
"These primitive people are habitually and universally, the happiest people I ever saw. They thoroughly enjoy the present, make no worry over the possibilities of the future, and never cry over spilt milk…The Indian man never broods, and in spite of that dreadful institution, polygamy, and the fact that the wives were mere property, the domestic life of the Indian will bear comparison with that of average civilized communities. The husband as a rule, is kind; ruling, but with no harshness. The wives are generally faithful, obedient, and industrious. The children are spoiled, and a nuisance to all visitors. Among themselves, the members of the family are perfectly easy and unstrained. It is extremely rare that there is any quarreling among the wives. There is no such thing as nervousness in either sex. Everybody in the lodge seems to do just as he or she pleases, and this seems no annoyance to anybody else.
Colonel Dodge 33 years among our wild Indians
Statements by Indians
"Those were happy days, our bodies were strong and our minds healthy because there was always something for both to do."
"We were nearly always happy!"
"At returning home to see the clans gathered, our hearts sang with the thought of visiting friends we had not seen in a long time."
"It was good to live in those days."
"We know that we are related and one with all things of the heaven & earth…the morning star and the dawn which comes with it, the moon of the night and the stars of the heavens…Only the ignorant person…sees many where there is really one…"
"The North American Indian is by nature a symbolist, a mystic, and a philosopher. Like most aboriginal peoples, his soul was ‘en rapport’ with the cosmic agencies manifesting about him."
Manly P. Hall
Secret Teachings of All the Ages
"The Red ‘Children of the Sun,’ do not worship the one God. For them the One God is absolutely impersonal, and all the forces emanated from that one God are personal. This is the exact reverse of the popular western conception of a personal God and impersonal working forces in nature. Decide for yourself which of these beliefs is the more philosophical."
James Morgan Pryse
"Hiawatha enjoys the distinction of anticipating by several centuries the late Woodrow Wilson’s charitable dream of a League of Nations. Following the footsteps of Scholeraft, Longfellow confused the historical Hiawatha of the Iroquois with Manabozho, a mythological hero of the Algonquin and Ojibwas. Hiawatha, a chief of the Iroquois, after many reverses and disappointments, succeeded in uniting the five great nations of the Iroquois into the League of the Five Nations." The original purpose of the League – to abolish war by substituting councils of arbitration – was not wholly successful, but the power of the ‘silver chain’ conferred upon the Iroquois a solidarity attained by no other confederacy of North American Indian. Hiawatha, however, met the same opposition which has confronted every great idealist, irrespective of time or race."
Manly P. Hall
The Secret Teachings of the Ages
"Time in particular was the least of his concerns, and he never thought to invent a gadget to measure it or to speed up the manufacturing process. Clocks are only needed by those who endorse the idea of scheduled lives or who believe that true productivity is only determined by inventories taken at the end of a day."
Thomas E. Mails
The Mystic Warrior of the Plains
"In his manner and bearing, the Indian is habitually grave and dignified, and in the presence of strangers he is reserved and silent.
The general impression is that the Indian is a stoic. Nothing can be further from the truth. Stoicism is a ‘put on.’ In his won camp, away from strangers, the Indian is a noisy, jolly, rollicking, mischief-loving braggadocio, brimful of practical jokes and rough fun of any kind, making the welkin ring with his laughter, and rousing the midnight echoes by song and dance, whoops and yells.
He will talk himself wild with excitement, vaunting his exploits in love, war, or the chase, and will commit all sorts extravagances while telling or listening to an exciting story. In their everyday life Indians are vivacious, chatty, fond of telling and hearing stories. Their nights are spent in song and dance, and for the number of persons engaged, a permanent (safe) Indian camp is at night the noisiest place that can be found."
"We sometimes hear it said that the Indian lacked the genius to be an inventor, and the claim put forward that what do seem to be inventions were in some mysterious manner brought here, ready-made, from the old World. The only weakness in this argument is that a list of useful inventions can be compiled, none of which were known to the Old World"
Some Important Inventions Not Known in the Old World before 1492
Balsalm, Maya numeral system ,Chocolate, Platinum alloy, Cigar, Cigarette ,Potato, Coca narcotic, Pronged cigar holder ,Cochineal, Quipu ,Curare Rubber (hollow ball etc.) Hammock, Snow goggles ,Head shrinking, Tobacco pipe ,Ipecac Toboggan ,Kelp (iodine) for goiter Tomato ,Maize, other plants Whistling jar ,Manioc grater & press
Indians of the United States
Doubleday Anchor book
"You know who God is?…The Kind-hearted Spirit."
"Religion is a farce to the white man. Christianity? He doesn’t really believe in it himself."
Lisa Waukau - Chippewa
"Injuns must either work or starve. They have never worked. They won’t work now. And they never will work."
General William Tecumseh Sherman (an interview in 1890)
"The white man woks like a slave all his life in order to retire, to be able to loaf and hunt and fish. We already have this for which the white man is working. So why should we adopt his ways and work all our life for what we already have?"
(comments of an old Sioux from The New Indians)
"The European concept of leadership contains the belief of dividing people against themselves so they can be easily controlled. If this be your desire, mainly, to control, you have a ready made situating to build upon. But if you choose the Indian concept of unity and solidarity for the benefit of all and you believe in the public servant idea, then you have a long and lingering preparation ahead of you. The Indian form of leadership may not have the pomp and personality satisfactions that the European version of leadership seems to thrive on, but it must be remembered the form of government under which the general public lives was originally an Indian form of government. Just because it has been warped out of shape by the anxieties and paranoia that spewed out of the poor-houses and debtors prisons of Europe all over the Good Mother Earth does it make a bad form of government? Out of all the parts of the world that could be chosen to absorb these self-inflicted illnesses, the Great Spirit chose the American Indian to be the ‘goat’. After being downed for 573 years, the Indian Tribes have not lost faith that they can rise again. This is your heritage in leadership abilities…And the foundation on which to build-"A greater Indian America."
From American Aborigine National Indian Youth Council, IV, NO 1 1965
"For many years, the Iroquois Confederacy guarded and protected the Thirteen Colonies from invasion from the north. If it had not been for this protection during the several French and English Wars, it would not have been possible for the United States of America to begin…
Also, white leaders watched the operations of the Iroquois government and learned union and democracy from it. Historians are now beginning to admit what they must have known a long time age – that the government of the United States is not pattered after something across the ocean, where they believed in the divine right of kings and where the people had no voice, but it is pattered after the government of the People of the longhouse, where all people, women as well as men, are represented and control their government."
(member of the Wolf Clan of the people of Flint, otherwise known as the Mohawks, part of the confederacy)
"The Iroquois were the greatest and most successful Indian warriors ever known, and rulers of a great Indian civilization. By sheer ferocity and organizational genius, they became kings of a domain of a million square miles, larger than Europe itself, with laws and social customs which still affect us today.
Frederic A Birmingham
Iroquois Empire-Museum Mag. Mar/April 1981
"They are so ingenuous and free with all they have, that no one would believe it who has not seen it; of anything that they possess, if it be asked of them, they never say no; on the contrary, they invite you to share it and show as much love as if their hearts went with it, and they are content with whatever trifle be given them, whether it be a thing of value or of petty worth. I forbade that they be given things so worthless as bits of broken crockery and of green glass and lace-points, although when they could get them, they thought they had the best jewel in the world."
(A letter from Christopher Columbus to his sovereigns)
"It may be seen that due to their hundreds of years of isolation from both East and West, the Amerindians may have preserved the essentials of the Ancient Mysteries in their purest form."
"If I were an Indian, I often think that I would greatly prefer to cast my lot among those of my people who adhered to the free open plain rather than submit to the confined limits of a reservation, there to be the recipient of the blessed benefits of civilization, with its vices thrown in without stint or measure."
George Armstrong Custer
"The precolonial Indians had welcomed the European with an openhearted curiosity and innocent friendliness. He had offered his guest, as he thought of the visitor, the hospitality that was an extension of his tribal ethic. Powhatan, the father of Pocahontas, had said to Captain John Smith: ‘Come not thus with your gunnes and swords, to invade as foes…What will it availe you to take that perforce you may quietly have with love, or to destroy them that provide your food?…Lie well, and sleepe quietly with my women and children, laugh, and (I will) be merrie with you…’
Christopher Columbus had discovered the same hospitality. He was so awed he thought he had come to the garden of a new Eden, where, he marveled, the Indians were ‘so entirely our friends it is a wonder to see. Anything they have, if it be asked for they never say no, but rather invite the person to accept it, and show so much lovingness as though they would give their hearts.’ So too, Americo Vespucci observed, with equal enthusiasm: ‘They are so giving that it is an exception when they deny you anything…They showed themselves very desirous of copulating with us Christians.’ And Vespucci thought this ‘the full extreme of hospitality."
The New Indians
Harper & Rowe Pub
"High officers advocate the policy of extermination of the Indians and think the speedier, the better, its accomplishment."
New York Times July 7, 1876
"Indians! There are no Indians left but me!"
"I want to say further that you are not a great chief of this country…that you have no following, no power, no control, and no right to any control. You are on an Indian reservation merely at the sufferance of the government. You are fed by the government, clothed by the government, your children are educated by the government, and all you have and are today is because of the government. If it were not for the government you would be freezing and starving today in the mountains. I merely say these things to notify you that you cannot insult the people of the United States of America or its committees…The government feeds and clothes and educates your children now, and desires to teach you to become farmers, and to civilize you, and make you as white men."
Senator John Logan to Sitting Bull
48th Congress, 1st Session
"The Indians have been ruined by a competition which they had not means of sustaining. They were isolated in their own country, and their race constituted only a little colony of troublesome strangers in the midst of a numerous and dominant people."
Alexis de Tocqueville 1831
"’Dance,’ the prophet said; ‘everywhere, keep on dancing.’ This would hasten the day when the world would be renewed, the white man destroyed, the game brought back, and the Indian restored to happiness with all his kin. Because it promised a return of the dead, whites called it the ‘Ghost Dance.’ Wovoka, a Paiute, framed the belief after a revelation that come when he was ill with a fever during an eclipse of the sun. Whites took the rite for a war dance, not noting that women participated. And they overlooked Wovokas’s tenet for the new life: ‘You must not…do harm to anyone. You must not fight. Do right always."
The World of the American Indian
National Geographic Society
"We behold (the red man) now on the verge of extinction…and soon he will be talked of as a noble race who once existed but have passed away."
(Cadet George Armstrong Custer wrote for his "Ethics" class at West Point)
"As the forerunners of Western civilization, creeping up the river valleys and across the mountain passes, the trappers brought small-pox and typhoid, they brought guns and whiskey and venereal disease, they brought the puzzlement of money and the gleam of steel. And on their liquored breath they whispered the coming of an unimaginable force, of a gathering shadow on the eastern horizon, gorging itself on the continent as it pressed steadily this way."
Blood and Thunder: An Epic of the American West
"These were objects of bright pride, to be admired in the newness of their crisply carved lines, the powerful flow of sure elegant curves and recesses-yes, and in the brightness of fresh paint. They told the people of the completeness of their culture, the continuing lineages of the great families, their closeness to the magic world of universal myth and legend."
"If one were only an Indian, instantly alert, and on a racing horse, leaning against the wind, kept on quivering jerkily over the quivering ground, until one shed one's spurs, for they needed no spurs, threw away the reins, for there needed no reins, and hardly saw that the land before one was smoothly shorn heath when horse's head and neck would be already gone."
"It would be a strange thing if Six Nations of ignorant savages should be capable of forming a scheme for a union and be able to execute it in such a manner that it has subsisted for ages and appears indissoluble; and yet that a like union should be impractical for ten or twelve English colonies."
Benjamin Franklin (commenting on the Iroquois Confederacy)
Whereas the confederation of the original thirteen Colonies into republic was explicitly modeled upon the Iroquois Confederacy as were many of the democratic principles which were incorporated into the Constitution itself….
The Congress…..acknowledges the historical debt which this Republic of the United States of America owes to the Iroquois Confederacy and other Indian nations for their demonstration of enlightened, democratic principles of Government…
(Resolution introduced by Senator Inouye ,Sept 16, 1987, and passed by both houses in 1988)
"Caught now, in the midst of wars-against foreign disease, missionaries, canned food, Dick & Jane textbooks, IBM cards, Western philosophies, General Electric…I am talking about how we have been able to survive insignificance."
Acoma Pueblo Indian
"We always had plenty; our children never cried from hunger, neither were our people in want…The rapids of rock river furnished us with an abundance of excellent fish, and the land being very fertile, never failed to produce good crops of corn, beans, pumpkins, and squashes…Here our village stood for more than a hundred years, during al of which time we were the undisputed possessors of the Mississippi Valley…Our village was healthy and there was no place in the country possessing such advantages, nor hunting grounds better than those we had in possession. If a prophet had come to our village in those days and told us that the things were to take place which have since come to pass, none of our people would have believed him."
Black Hawk, Chief of the Sauk & Fox
Touch the Earth
T.C. McLuhan Touchstone books
"The white man does not understand the Indian for the reason that he does not understand America. He is too far removed from its formative processes. The roots of the tree of his life have not yet grasped the rock and soil. The white man is still troubled with primitive fears; he still has in his consciousness the perils of this frontier continent, some of its vastness not ;yet having yielded to his questing footsteps and inquiring eyes. He shudders still with the memory of the loss of his forefathers upon its scorching deserts and forbidding mountain tops. The man from Europe is still a foreigner and an alien. And he still hates the man who questioned his path across the continent. But in the Indian the spirit of the land is still vested; it will be until other men are able to divine and meet its rhythm. Men must be born and reborn to belong. Their bodies must be formed of the dust of their forefather’s bones."
Chief Luther Standing Bear (from his autobiography 1933)
"Conversation was never begun at once, nor in a hurried manner. No one was quick with a question, no matter how important, and no one was pressed for an answer. A pause giving time for thought was the truly courteous way of beginning and conducting a conversation. Silence was meaningful for the Lakota. Also in the midst of sorrow, sickness, and death, or misfortune of any kind, and in the presence of the notable and the great, silence was the mark of respect. More powerful than words was silence with the Lakota."
-Chief Luther Standing Bear
"Heaven has not made them civilized; it is necessary that they die."
Alexis deTocquiville 1831
"In the production of consumer’s goods and their distribution to give universal economic security, they succeeded more completely than any nation before or since."
Nowhere was Somewhere
Chapel Hill, U. of N. Carolina 1946
The Comanche, Cheyenne and Sioux were expansionist and warlike.
Southeast Indians Cherokee, Creek, Choctaw and Seminole adopted American practices, private land ownership, commercial farms. Georgia Cherokees produced a written constitution.
Pawnee and Crow worked for the U.S. Army.
60,000,000Buffalo existed in 1800; by 1890 only 20 remained.
75,000 Buffalo now exist.
250,000 Indians in 1900 (the low)
750,000 Indians in 1973
"In 1536 , the French explorer Jacques Cartier spent the winter in Canada, where his crew became so sick from scurvy that 25 men died. The Hurons came to their rescue by teaching them the cure: a tea made from the boiled bark and needles of a common evergreen, the arbor vitae tree (which contains vitamin C) Cartier wrote that the best medical techniques of Europe were ineffective compared to Huron medicine. Cartier repaid the Huron chief for his kindness by kidnapping him.
"To bring the Indian out of savagery and into citizenship we must make him more intelligently selfish. A desire for property….is needed to get the Indian out of the blanket and into trousers-and trousers with a pocket in them, and with a pocket that aches to be filled with dollars."
Board of Indian Commissioners (1896)
"In the United States, the first "Indian war" in New England was the "Pequot War of 1636" , in which colonists surrounded the largest of the Pequot villages, set it afire as the sun first began to rise, and then performed their duty: they shot everybody-men, women, children, and the elderly-who tried to escape. As Pilgrim and Colonist William Bradford described the scene: "It was a fearful sight to see them thus frying in the fire and the streams of blood quenching the same, and horrible was the stink and scent of it; but the victory seemed a secret sacrifice, and they (the Colonists) gave praise thereof to God, who had wrought so wonderfully…."
The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight
"It is a pleasing picture to see these people wading and sailing in their shallow rivers. They are untroubled by the desire to pile up riches for their children, and live in perfect contentment with their present state, in friendship with each other, sharing all those things with which God has so bountifully provided them."
Thomas Harriot (1585 official historian of the first English colony of Roanoke, Virginia_
"They seek to be a People....it is much to be regretted that the idea of Sovereignty should have taken such a deep hold of these people."
-Thomas L. McKenney (Former Director of the Office of Indian Affairs)
"....There had never been any reason for lack of food, except that the ubiquitous white man, in his inscrutable desire to proclaim his presence, slaughtered wild life. The great stretches of prairie and the wild blackjack hills, seemed to inspire in him consciousness of his inferiority, and he shouted his presence and his worth to the silent world that seemed to ignore him.
Where the Indian passed in dignity, disturbing nothing and leaving Nature as he had found her; with nothing to record his passage, except a footprint or a broken twig, the white man plundered and wasted and shouted; frightening the silences with his great, braying laughter and his cursing. He was the atom of steam that had escaped from the pressure of the European social system, and he expanded in this manner under the torch of Liberty."
John Joseph Mathews
Wah' Kon-Tah: The Osage and the White Man's Road
"In the fifties the great extermination of the forest Indians of South America began. It was the secret operation conducted behind the world's back in the hitherto largely impenetrable forests of Paraguay, Bolivia and Brazil, and unsuspected by the ordinary citizens of those countries.
Due to the involvement of dictatorial governments in control of a muzzled press, no estimate will ever be possible of the death roll among the Indians of Paraguay and Bolivia. .....
The Missionaries: God against the Indians
"The Indians worked as slaves. They took me from my mother when I was a child. Afterwards I heard that they hung my mother up all night....She was very ill and I wanted to see her before she died.....When I got back they thrashed me with a raw-hide whip....One day the IPS (Indian Protection Service) agent called a carpenter and told him to make an oven for the farmhouse. When the carpenter had finished the agent asked him what he wanted for doing the job. The carpenter said he wanted an Indian girl, and the agent took him to the (mission) school and told him to choose one. No-one saw or heard any more of her....Not even the children escaped. From two years of age they worked under the whip....There was a mill for crushing the cane, and to save the horses they used four children to turn the mill....They forced the Indian Otaviano to beat his own mother....The Indians were used for target practice.
There were missionaries within earshot when these things happened."
The Missionaries: God against the Indians
"In reality , those in control of these Indian Protection Service posts (where the majority of the atrocities had taken place) are North American Missionaries-they are in all the posts-and they disfigure the original Indian culture and enforce the acceptance of Protestantism."
O Globo (Brazilian Newspaper)
"....I believe that what most threatens the American Indian is sacrilege, the theft of the sacred. Inexorably the Indian people have been, and are being, deprived of the spiritual nourishment that has sustained them for many thousands of years. This is a subtle holocaust, and it is is ongoing....."
N. Scott Momaday
The Man Made of Words
"But the basic sense of guilt was at the heart of the missionary problem and it was something that had to be manufactured, before repentance and salvation-both equally obscure concepts to the Panare-could be reached. The translators may have decided that the best way of tackling this was by re-editing the Scriptures in such a way as to implicate the Panare in Christ's death. Henry Corradini soon discovered that the New Tribes Mission's version of the Crucifixion as arranged for Indian consumption was at striking variance with that of the Bible. Gone were Judas's betrayal. The Romans. The Last Supper, and the trial, Pontius Pilate turning away to wash his hands, and the crown of thorns. He read on:
The Panare killed Jesus Christ
because they were wicked
Let's kill Jesus Christ
said the Panare
The Panare seized Jesus Christ.
The Panare killed in this way.
They laid a cross on the ground .
They fastened his hands and his feet
against the wooden beams, with nails.
They raised him straight up, nailed.
The man died like that, nailed.
Thus the Panare killed Jesus Christ."
THERE WAS A TIME WHEN OUR FOREFATHERS OWNED THIS GREAT ISLAND by Red Jacket (1805)
Friend and Brother; It was the will of the Great Spirit that we should meet together this day. He orders all things; and has given us a fine day for our council. He has taken his garment from before the sun, and caused it to shine with brightness upon us. Our eyes are opened that we see clearly, our ears are unstopped that we have been able to hear distinctly the words you have spoken. For all these favors we thank the Great Spirit, and Him only.
Brother, listen to what we say. There was a time when our forefathers owned this great island. Their seats extended from the rising to the setting sun. The Great Spirit had made it for the use of Indians. He had created the buffalo, the deer, and other animals for food. He had made the bear and the beaver. Their skins served us for clothing. He had scattered them over the country and taught us how to take them. He had caused the earth to produce corn for bread. All this He had done for His red children because He loved them. If we had some disputes about our hunting-ground, they were generally settled without the shedding of much blood.
But an evil day came upon us. Your forefathers crossed the great water and landed on this island. Their numbers were small. They found friends and not enemies. They told us they had fled from their own country for fear of wicked men and had come here to enjoy their religion. They asked for a small seat. We took pity on them, granted their request, and they sat down among us. We gave them corn and meat; they gave us poison in return.
The white people, brother, had now found our country. Tidings were carried back, and more came among us. Yet we did not fear them. We took them to be friends. They called us brothers. We believed them and gave them a larger seat. At length their numbers had greatly increased. They wanted more land; they wanted our country. Our eyes were opened, and our minds became uneasy. Wars took place. Indians were hired to fight against Indians, and many of our people were destroyed. They also brought strong liquor among us. It was strong and powerful, and has slain thousands.
Brother, our seats were once large and yours were small. You have now become a great people, and we have scarcely a place left to spread our blankets. You have got our country, but are not satisfied; you want to force your religion upon us.
Brother, continue to listen. You say that you are sent to instruct us how to worship the Great Spirit agreeably to His mind; and, if we do not take hold of the religion which you white people teach, we shall be unhappy hereafter. You say that you are right and we are lost. How do we know this to be true? We understand that your religion is written in a book. If it was intended for us, as well as you, why has not the Great Spirit given to us, and not only to us, but why did He not give to our forefathers the knowledge of that book, with the means of rightly understanding it? We only know what you tell us about it, and having been so often deceived by the white people, how shall we believe what they say?
Brother, you say there is but one way to worship and serve the Great Spirit. If there is but one religion, why do you white people differ so much about it? Why not all agree, as you can all read the book?
Brother, we do not understand these things: we are told that your religion was given to your forefathers, and has been handed down from father to son. We also have a religion which was given to our forefathers, and has been handed down to us: it teaches us to be thankful for all favors received, to love each other; and to be united: we never quarrel about religion.
Brother, the Great Spirit made us all: but He has made a great difference between His white and His red children: He has given us different complexions and different customs. To you He has given the arts: to these He has not opened our eyes. Since He has made so great a difference between us in other things, why may He not have given us a different religion? The Great Spirit does right: He knows what is best for His children.
Brother, we do not want to destroy your religion, or take it from you, We only want to enjoy our own.
Brother, we are told that have been preaching to the white people in this place. These people are our neighbors. We will wait a little, and see what effect your preaching has had upon them. If we find it makes them honest, and less disposed to cheat Indians, we will then consider again of what you have said.
Brother, you have now heard our answer, and this is all we have to say at present. As we are about to part, we will come and take you by the hand: and we hope the Great Spirit will protect you on your journey, and return you safe to your friends."
Red Jacket (1805)
Black Hawk's surrender Speech...Sauk war chief 1832
"You have taken me prisoner with all my warriors. I am much grieved, for I expected, if I did not defeat you, to hold out much longer, and give you more trouble before I surrendered.
I tried hard to bring you into ambush, but your last general understands Indian fighting. The first one was not so wise. When I saw that I could not beat you by Indian fighting, I determined to rush on you, and fight you face to face. I fought hard. But your guns were well aimed. The bullets flew like birds in the air, and whizzed by our ears like the wind through the trees in the winter.
My warriors fell around me; it began to look dismal. I saw my evil day at hand. The sun rose dim on us in the morning, and at night, it sank in a dark cloud, and looked like a ball of fire. That was the last sun that shone on Black Hawk. His heart is dead, and no longer beats quick in his bosom. He is now a prisoner to the white men; they will do with him as they wish. But he can stand torture, and is not afraid of death. He is no coward. Black Hawk is an Indian.
He has done nothing for which an Indian ought to be ashamed. He has fought for his countrymen, the squaws and papooses, against white men, who came, year after year, to cheat them and take away their lands. You know the cause of our making war. It is known to all white men. They ought to be ashamed of it. The white men despise the Indians, and drive them from their homes. But the Indians are not deceitful. The white men speak bad of the Indian, and look at him spitefully. but the Indian does not tell lies; Indians do not steal.
An Indian who is as bad as the white men could not live in our nation; he would be put to death, and eaten up by the wolves. The white men are bad schoolmasters; they carry false looks, and deal in false actions; they smile in the face of the poor Indian to cheat him; they shake them by the hand to gain their confidence, to make them drunk, to deceive them, and ruin our wives.
We told them to let us alone; but they followed on and beset our paths, and they coiled themselves among us like the snake. They poisoned us by their touch. We were not safe. We lived in danger. We were becoming like them, hypocrites and liars, adulterers, lazy drones, all talkers and no workers.
We looked up to the Great Spirit. We went to our great father. We were encouraged. His great council gave us fair words and big promises, but we got no satisfaction. Things were growing worse. There were no deer in the forest. The opossum and beaver were fled; the springs were drying up, and our squaws and papooses without victuals to keep them from starving; we called a great council and built a large fire.
The spirit of our fathers arose and spoke to us to avenge our wrongs or die....We set up the war-whoop, and dug up the tomahawk; our knives were ready, and the heart of Black Hawk swelled high in his bosom when he led his warriors to battle. He is satisfied. He will go to the world of spirits contented. He has done his duty. His father will meet him there, and commend him.
Black Hawk is a true Indian, and disdains to cry like a woman. He feels for his wife, his children and friends. But he does not care for himself. He cares for his nation and the Indians. They will suffer. He laments their fate. The white men do not scalp the head; but they do worse-they poison the heart, it is not pure with them. His countrymen will not be scalped, but they will , in a few years, become like the white men, so that you can't trust them, and there must be, as in the white settlements, nearly as many officers as men, to take care of them and keep them in order.
Farewell my nation. Black Hawk tried to save you, and avenge your wrongs. He drank the blood of some of the whites. He has been taken prisoner, and his plans are stopped. he can do no more. he is near his end. His sun is setting; and he will rise no more. Farewell to Black Hawk."
-Black Hawk; Aug, 27,1832...Surrender Speech
"Every hillside, every valley, every plain and grove, has been hallowed by some sad or happy event in days long vanished.....and at eventide they grow shadowy of returning spirits. And when the last Red Man shall have perished, the memory of my tribe shall have become a myth among white man, these shores will swarm with the invisible dead of my tribe, and when your children's children think themselves alone in the field, the store, the shop, upon the highway, or alone in the silence of the pathless woods, they will not be alone.....At night when the streets of your cities and villages are silent and you think them deserted, they will throng with the returning hosts that once filled them and still love this beautiful land. The White Man will never be alone."
-Chief Sealth (Seattle)
"Where can I go
That I might live forever?
The old fathers have gone to the spirit-land.
That we might live together?"
Book: 1491: New Revelations of the Americas Before Columbus" by Charles C. Mann
Book: "Native American Architecture" by Peter Naboko and Robert Easton
Book: "The Surrounded" by D'Arcy McNickle
Book: "Wind from an Enemy Sky" by D'Arcy McNicle
Book: "Winter in the Blood" by James Welch
Book: "Halfbreed: The Remarkable True Story of George Bent-Caught between the Worlds of the Indian and the White Man" by D.F. Halaas & A.E. Masich
Book: "American Indian Ethnic Renewal: Red Power and the Resurgence of Identity and Culture" by Joanne Nagel
Book: "Pocahontas and the Powhatan Dilemma" by Camilla Townsend
Book: "King Philip's War: The History and Legacy of America's Forgotten Conflict" by E.B. Schultz & M.J. Touglas
Book: "The Journey of Crazy Horse: A Lakota History by Joseph M. Marshall III
Book: "Indians in Unexpected Places" by Philip J. Deloria
Book: "Encyclopedia of native Tribes of North America" by Michael Johnson
Book: "One Vast Winter Count: The Native American West before Lewis and Clark" by Colin G. Calloway
Book: "O Brave New People: The European Invention of the American Indian" by J.F. Moffit & S. Sebastian
See article: "Boyz on the Rez" by Vince Beiser…The New Republic July 10,2000
Book: "Hitting the Jackpot: The Inside Story of The Richest Indian Tribe in History" by Brett D. Fromson
Books::" House Made of Dawn" by N. Scott Momaday
Book: 'The Rise and Fall of North American Indians: From Prehistory Through Geronimo" by William Brandon
Book: "Everything You Know About Indians is WRONG" by Paul Choat Smith
"Griver: An American Monkey King in China" by Gerald Vizenor
"The Trickster of Liberty"
"The Heirs of Columbus"…..
Book: "The Myth of the Noble Savage" by Ter Elingson
Book: "White Savage: William Johnson and the Invention of America" by Fintan O'Toole
"Love Medicine" by Louise Erdrich
Book: "The Missionaries: God against the Indians" by Norman Lewis
"Mean Spirit" by Linda Hogan
Book: "Standing Bear Is A Person: The True Story of a Native American's Quest for Justice" by Stephen Dando-Collins
"Girl Captives of the Cheyenne's: Frontier Classics" by Grace E. Meredith
"Encyclopedia of North American Indians"
Book: "Extraordinary American Indians" by S.Avery & L. Skinner
Book: "Tecumseh" by John Sugden
Book: "Pocahontas: Medicine Woman, Spy, Entrepreneur, Diplomat" by Paula Gunn Allen
Book: "Life, History, and travels" by George Copway
Book: "Warlords of the Ancient Americas" by Peter G. Tsouras
The World of the American Indian
National Geographic Society
Book: "Half Breed: The Remarkable True Story of George Bent" by David Fridtjof & Andrew E. Masich
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