The Truth About Native American History
A brief historical summary
Prior to colonization there were more than five hundred nations within the North American continent alone, numbering between fifty and one-hundred million, perhaps more. Native Americans currently account for approximately two million among the U.S. population according to Census Bureau statistics. History, archaeological and anthropological research, and DNA studies reveal four main routes by which this continent was populated. The cultures and languages represented among these nations were diverse, having entirely different origins. In spite of these differences, the indigenous peoples shared a common reverence for their Creator, seeking a universal harmony and peace with all things and peoples He created.
That peaceful harmony was was exchanged for chaos when the “new world” of North America was discovered by European settlers. Gross annihilation ensued due to a corrupt greed for land and the wealth it contained, coupled with an erroneous belief that these peoples were ‘uncivilized savages’ and ‘godless pagans’. Individuals, as well as church and government entities, collaborated for their hasty removal and extermination. In response, they fought to defend their people, culture and land as any honorable people would. Many wars were fought, and very few were won. In time, as their numbers diminished, there was an inevitable surrender, which often came by force. They sought peace, pursuing it avidly, with hearts of integrity and honor. They lent us their wisdom, fought our wars, and learned our language in an earnest attempt to live among us peaceably. More than eight hundred treaties were made, and every solitary one was broken by the U.S. government. As wars gradually ceased, removal, ethnic cleansing, and cultural integration were implemented as a means of control as late as the 1960’s through institutions known as ‘schools’ run by church, state, and federal governments. At these ‘schools’ children were taken from their parents and stripped of their culture. This was a permanent separation, as these parents and children never saw one another again. Inhumane barbarism of every sort was practiced against them in an effort to bring submission and accomplish integration from a very vulnerable and impressionable young age, even that of infancy. When overwhelmed with a flooded populace, children were aligned, shot, and killed, and then buried in mass grave sites which are still being discovered in Canada to this very day by archaeologists, as recent as 2011 and 2012. So far, the remains of more than fifty thousand children have been accounted for among those slaughtered.
Today there are still tribes unrecognized by the U.S. government. Those nations who are sovereign are still subject to federal law, and often fear losing their rights. Many Native communities struggle with poverty, alcoholism, domestic abuse, and suicide. Although wonderful strides have been made among the Native people at large, there is still much to overcome. They are still fighting to recover what they have lost and preserve what they have left. Maintaining that preservation while moving forward and making gainful strides is no easy task. No doubt, God is on their side, and they have His favor. And with His divine help they will overcome, because He has willed it to be so.
With this being said, it is imperative that we, as lay people, understand that these barbaric atrocities were accomplished by the unified efforts of the Church and government, and done in the name of Jesus Christ as an act of ready will with present mind, full knowledge, and cruel intention. The shame we bear for the abominations committed is beyond words.
Forgiveness is the only path to healing and restoration. Today that restoration is taking place because of the seed sown by those who have sought it diligently.
“God made me an Indian.”
~Sitting Bull, Lakota, 1831 – 1890
“Let us form one body, one heart, and defend to the last warrior our country, our homes, our liberty, and the graves of our fathers.”
~Tecumseh, Shawnee, 1768 – 1813
“I cannot think that we are useless or God would not have created us. There is one God looking down on us all. We are all the children of one God. The sun, the darkness, the winds are all listening to what we have to say.”
~Geronimo, Bedonkohe Apache, 1829 – 1909
“It makes my heart sick when I remember all the good words and the broken promises.”
~Chief Joseph, Nez Perce, 1840 – 1904~
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