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American history through Indian oratory.
on July 26, 2012
This is an emotionally provocative book about the plight of the North American Indian as they were systemically and forcefully driven from their homeland by the plague of white settlers that cut down the old growth forests, over harvested the game the Indians relied on for food, clothing, religion and cultural purposes; damned and over fished the rivers and stole, bought or hoodwinked their Native land through deceptive treaties and unkept promises.
It is a story told through a series of speeches by Indians in reaction to the deceptive practices the English, French and later the American Government used to seize Native lands; some are by famous Indians like Geronimo, Sitting Bull and Red Cloud and many are by lesser known Indians; but all powerfully present the anguish of a proud, culturally rich people that were subdued by disease and superior technology until their numbers were reduced from the millions to remnant bands, many numbering only a few dozen.
I was struck by the layout of the speeches; some only one sentence long, others more in depth, all smart and to the point, that showed a proud people becoming resentful, then hopeful that the treaties will be honored, then submissive, pleading to the Great Father (either in England or the U.S. President) for justice, to finally acceptance that their land, their culture, their future as a race, their ancient burial grounds and the game and great herds of bison and the bountiful rivers that sustained their people for countless generations were all forever gone.
This is a story that sheds another not so honorable light on some of the heroes of American history like George Custer and General Crook and most Presidents; showing the insidious side of a Nation that at the front door is proud of individual liberties and freedoms for its immigrant occupants and at the back door ruthlessly and methodically treating Native Americans as non-entities, non-persons, whose rights were not protected under the U.S. Constitution.
To any and all Native Americans I want to say I am so very sorry this egregious injustice was pronounced on such a peaceful, honest and trustworthy people, by immigrants that you initially befriended and without your assistance would have perished their first year on this continent.