I’m sitting here reading about Native Americans and the European settlers in the early days of what is now the USA. I’ve stumbled across a few really interesting facts, that I figured I might share.

First of all, how do you picture Native Americans, or as they were called 300 years ago, the Indians? Chances are you picture a person in an elaborate leather/feather costume, riding a horse with a bow and arrow, like the hunters of the great plains regions. Kinda like this:

Well the interesting thing about this, is that although there were horses on the american continents millions of years ago, they died out. The Native Americans did not have access to horses until the Spanish settlers brought them over in the early 1800s. Also, they did not have bow and arrows, not until the eastern communities brought the technology over. Strange, huh?

Well, it gets better. We all know how this story goes, Native American culture flourishes, then the western settlers come along with their guns and shoot everyone. Right? Wrong! Actually, what killed most of the Indians were not bullets or cannon shells, but what has been termed “the biological unification of mankind”. People from Europe brought over strange diseases that killed off many of the natives. In the 1760s, the British even ransacked smallpox hospitals for contaminated beddings that they gave the natives as gifts. So it wasn’t all accidental!

I shall end this brief history lesson with a quote from my college curriculum:

“The destroyed cultures represented a kind of ecological harmony that was obliterated by selfish capitalist and Christian Europeans.”