This of course has to be addressed and this item is certainly a fair start. Afterv saying all that it is also true that a non Indian or a non Scot for that matter always begin from a natural position of dismissal when it comes to understanding an alien culture. We all have to and that includes even indigenous peoples as well, go forward without arrogance and real respect and a willingness to learn if we interact.
Today's blessing is that we are all communicating through a common language and it becomes possible to recover local knowledge. And make no mistake here, all indigenous knowledge is terribly local. It is also terribly valuable as our communal civilization now moves forward and puts the evils of the past behind us while also becoming much more integrated locally.
The good news is that the locals are now working at recovering that knowledge for all humanity. Anti Indianism will naturally disappear as we all once more become reattached to the land itself.
The Continuing Saga of Anti-Indianism in America: Critique of a Bestseller and the Reviewers Who Praise It
The grim prognosis for life on this planet is the consequence of a few centuries of forgetting what traditional societies knew, and the surviving ones still recognize. We must nurture and preserve our common possession, the traditional commons, for future generations, and this must be one of our highest values, or we are all doomed. To regain this sensibility from those who have preserved it we must pay careful attention to their understanding and practices (Chomsky, 2013, back-cover).
When one reads such ethnocentric words as "savages" (pages 32, 66 and 183); "aboriginal; (p. 108), "barbarous (p. 73 and 150); "fiends (p. 127) and "high priest" (p. 110), one is reading Charles Allen and the intrusive editors, not the spoke(n) words of Red Cloud. The narrative will never stand as the last word nor significantly illuminate the events of 'Red Cloud's War.' The history of the great man's personal narrative, the document itself, is a detective tale. It involves a healthy dose of deception, bad luck, bad faith and erroneous judgments by scholars, which through years transformed its importance as an historical reference into a minor literary curiosity.
In the center of this tract, like a glittering jewel, lay the Black Hills. Paha Sapa.The Heart of Everything That Is. It was the proudest moment of Red Cloud's life. That sentiment lasted a mere twelve months. For the Lakota were not finished dying. (italics mine)
Theirs was a patriarchal society with tribal affiliation passed from father to son, a simple solution for men fathering children with multiple wives from different bands. Leaders - called "Head Men" and "Big Bellies"- were for the most part chosen on merit. In some cases a chief would create an inside track for his favorite son, but even then the inheritor would have to earn the band's loyalty . . . (p.37).
This remains a good question for Western commentators, popular and scholarly alike. Women are missing-in-action in nearly all studies of Native America, whether historical, social or anthropological. I believe this is because westerners are still reacting to the panic that European patriarchs felt upon discovering Turtle Island chock-full of self-directed, articulate, and confident Native women, all demanding to be dealt with as equals. The initial Euro-male horror was frank and obvious in first-contact records and the recoil remains, skewing discussion (p. 121).
Such revelations were pills too bitter for Western men to swallow- so they fixed up the record. . . . Ohio Natives have traditionally called this tactic "pen-and-ink witchcraft," that is, making the written record (which westerners promotes as the only record) say something completely different from what the living record said at the time and what oral traditions said afterward . . . The consequence of two centuries' worth of sustained pen-and-ink witchcraft is a phonied-up picture of Native America, pared down to faceless male "warriors" (the actual term is "young men") and a handful of visionary statesmen (p. 124 and 129).
If Red Cloud could read he might have comprehended the motives of the whites. Although it is still doubtful that he would have understood. Years later, William H. Bisbee attempted to come to grips with an overriding rhetorical question of that bygone era - "for what purpose did the United States fight Red Cloud?"
"My only answer could be," General Bisbee wrote, "we did it for civilization" (p.365).
Captured whites were scalped, skinned, and roasted alive over their own campfires, shrieking in agony as Indians yelped and danced about them like the bloody-eyed Achilles celebrating over the fallen Hector. Men's penises were hacked off and shoved down their throats and women were flogged with deer-hide quirts while being gang-raped. Afterward their breasts, vaginas, and even pregnant wombs were sliced away and laid out on the buffalo grass. Carrington's patrols rode often to the rescue, but almost always too late, finding victims whose eyeballs had been gouged out and left perched on rocks, or the burned carcasses of men and women bound together by their own steaming entrails ripped from their insides while they were still conscious (p.9).
The first French explorers to make contact with the Sioux in the mid-1600s noted with not a little horror the tribe's fierce and utter barbarism. The Europeans had long since adapted and reconciled themselves to the New World's Stone Age cultures. But the Sioux's vicious raids on their Algonquin neighbors to the north and east - and the sheer joy they took in tearing their enemies limb from limb with rocks, clubs, sharpened sticks and flint knives were more than they bargained for (p.35).
It is not difficult to imagine the soldiers' shooting spree as the visceral response of resentful, ill-disciplined, and possibly drunken troops isolated in hostile territory. Personal revenge has occurred in armies throughout history and these overreactions foreshadowed American atrocities at San Creek, at Biscari, at My Lai, at Abu Ghraib. More over, the few officers stationed at Fort Laramie were young and inexperienced, unable to control their enlisted men, most of whom considered the Indians subhuman. The instigator of the killings was not even a soldier, but a hard-drinking half-blood interpreter . . . (p.134).
Peaceable preindustrial (preliterate, primitive, etc.) societies constitute a nuisance to most theories of warfare and they are, with few exceptions, either denied or "explained away." In this contribution I shall argue that the claim of universal human belligerence is grossly exaggerated; and that those students who have been developing theories of war, proceeding from the premise that peace is the "normal" situation, have not been starry-eyed utopians" (1995, p.2).
It is important to remember that before contact with the Spanish, the Apache were a relatively peaceful people. After this contact they acquired horses and began raiding both Spanish settlements and pueblos. The purpose of these raids was NOT to kill people, but to avoid contact while gaining wealth and honor through stealing of horses, cattle, and other goods. In the traditional Apache home, women were the anchors of the family. The residence was matrilocal, with high respect for the elderly. Honesty was valued above other qualities. The traditional Apache were primarily hunters and gatherers, and traditional arts included fine basketry.
The four pillars of a Sioux leader - acknowledged by the tribe to this day - are bravery, fortitude, generosity and wisdom. Time and again Red Cloud exhibited each. Yet, traditionally, the Lakota also considered lessor factors when weighing the attributes of an aspiring Head Man (p. 108).
This essay is about the intent to kill with premeditation, reckless endangerment with depraved indifference, cruelty & other harms committed by Columbus, the European settlers & descendants, the American & European governments, Christian churches, etc. to the Native American people. This paper is about 1st degree murder with malice aforethought as well as manslaughter & criminal negligence with reckless disregard for human life. Furthermore, these crimes against the Native American Indians did not stop with our forefathers; These crimes by the dominant society continue to the present day, including neglect & deprivation.