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-   -   conquered because of nonunification?? (http://forums.powwows.com/showthread.php?t=5460)

luvlumbee 09-20-2002 08:50 PM

conquered because of nonunification??
I am taking an anthropology class this semester as a prerequisite. My instructor said something in class the other day that has stuck in my mind and I thought that I would put the comment out there for everyone to give there perspective. "We would never be here if there was unity among all tribes that existed or exist.'' Everyone knows that I dont start up threads to often ( I like to read them;) and keep my thoughts to my self mainly:Angel: ) but, I thought this was a really interesting thread to start. What do you think would have happened if we were united as one from the start? She also says, " There still is no unity among tribes, and there lies the problem." So what do you have to say? :eek: She is Iroquois and majored in Native American History.

Tsiniti 09-20-2002 09:30 PM

Best example I can give of this is- if all the NDN's had banded together, they would have shot all the whites as they got off the boats ...... I'm sure if all our ancestors had done this, this country would have been totally different!

Some of us would not exist, and others would have a different existance, I'm Irish/Scottish/Welsh/Blackfoot/Chicasas/Cherokee, more Cherokee than anything else, but no telling what else too!

But since the Natives did not band together, some accepted the whites, while others fought them, and still others fought everybody!

zeph 09-20-2002 09:44 PM

I think the idea of unity among tribes goes deeper than just some accepting the whites and some not; I know it was specifically the ENMITY between tribes that led some to accept (or at least put up with) the whites in the first place - for instance, a number of the wabanaki tribes (like mine) saw the whites as a handy tool to help them fight their iroquois neighbors (specifically the mohawks). And I think the iroquois tribes were a primo example of that in their turn. Which just goes to show that there was never a concept of an "indian people", unified in beliefs, cultures and goals, in the minds of the peoples here.

dragonsbluechaos 09-21-2002 03:45 AM

Someone once told me that "So long as there are at least two people on the face of the Earth, there will never be complete unity".
Just a quote that I thought kinda fit here. :)

Wakalapi 09-21-2002 02:12 PM

I look at east Asia as an example. Not Japan, who was militarily defeated by the U.S. after their "fax paux at Pearl Harbor". But I look at Vietnam. They were under the sovereignty of France until China sided with the communist elements and "liberated" them (by communist standards). The U.S. invaded to maintain white control, and lost. Today, many of these small countries: Vietnam, Cambodia, Korea, Laos, and the tribes therein, are maintaining somewhat traditional lifestyles even with the mix of technologies from around the world. Ditto for Africa. Yes, there are wars and intertribal conflicts, just like there were here and throughout Europe, always. It even goes on in the "good ol' U S of A". We have racism toward and from ALL races. The Bloods and Crips rule many urban neighborhoods, where cops fear to tread. Cops are not always trusted, either, especially in non-white ethnic communities. The only thing the United States and its Constitution add, are an untangible ideal and a Big Brother to PRETEND to enforce it while just exercising its power "just because it can".


(After being asked, "What makes you such a threat?"): "We choose the right to be who we are. We know the difference between the illusion of freedom and the reality of freedom." - the character James Looks Twice in THUNDERHEART, release on film in 1992 (pseudo-representing Leonard Peltier in a story inspired by a collage of related events)
#1 - We were not conquered. If we were conquered, there would be no reservations and our people would have been killed wholesale or COMPLETELY assimilated. Though much of this HAS happened, we still retain our National/Tribal identities and we DID force the USA to come to the bargaining table and sign treaties.

#2 - Our loss of lands to the USA were because of poorly placed trust. We trusted the USA to keep its word. Founded by dishonorable fathers, the USA is a brood of liars that turned out to CHEAT us out of land. This was not the result of military battles worthy of story and song. Example: The P'Sqousa ("Wenatchee's") were NEVER at war with the USA, were promised a reservation they would remain soveriegn over, and Gov. Stevens screwed them out of it by delaying it survey until after the railroad was pushed through and farmers were allowed to settle its land. So now the farmers can cry, "We can't just be pushed off our land that we 'legally' settles or bought and paid for!"

Hundreds of examples, known by most of the population but purposely ignored ("it doesn't matter now/that was long ago") PROVE this is true.

The pro-American right radio pukes can stick that in their pipe and smoke it.

zeph 09-21-2002 04:04 PM


...we DID force the USA to come to the bargaining table and sign treaties.
well, that's not entirely accurate... as messed up as it seems, the original purpose of forming treaties with native tribes here was specifically TO be able to then void those treaties and take the land. Under english law, it was illegal for colonists to simply take over land from people not considered sovereign nations... it was by forming treaties with those people that they were then recognized as nations able to treat with other nations - which then gave the english the "right" (under their laws) to declare war, invade, or take whatever action seemed advantageous to them. So at least in the beginning, in their dealings with the eastern tribes, the entire purpose of those treaties was to set the tribes up for a fall. I posted a link a long time ago to a detailed description of all this, I'll have to try and dig it up again.

Wakalapi 09-22-2002 01:41 AM

Thanks, Zeph, I haven't heard that - but it all makes perfect sense.:Mad

On small "however", though: after the Americans became independent and the U. S. Constitution was formed, treaties were meant to avoid provoking Indians into wars. Once again, if the Americans were that confident that they could so easily whole-slaughter us, they would not have offered to make peace at all. They would have marched on the rampage. Because this did not happen, the Americans cannot claim to have "conquered" us. That was really my point, next time you hear a wasicu make the assertion that we were conquered fair and square.

zeph 09-22-2002 02:02 AM


but it all makes perfect sense
right, I knew that would make it all clear! :Chatter
actually, after I posted I realized you were talking about the USA and I was talking about way before, I was just too lazy to go back and delete my post...

edited to get the smilie to work

HighWater 09-22-2002 02:39 AM

The way I see it is that if we were to have been united the whole unification process would have taken us in one of two directions. On the one hand, we would have become just as warlike and empirical as the whites were, and would have caused a war that would not have stopped until one side got tired of killing the other, or simply annihlated each other. Given the white people's tendancy towards empire building, they probably would have kept sending poor peasants to their deaths until there were no more natives left to oppose them. The other possible direction is that we would have been so pacifist and open minded that we would have allowed them to walk on in and take over, little by little, without us realizing it, until they had everything and we had nothing. Now those aren't the only two possible scenarios, but the most plausable two that I could come up with... Just my thoughts on this hypothetical situation, hey I could be totally wrong too. :D

A. Nony Mouse 09-22-2002 11:35 AM

And if a frog had wings . . .

Wakalapi 09-22-2002 10:05 PM

Maybe we could just blame it all on poor immigration policy that began in the early 1490's.

T Dave 09-23-2002 09:48 AM

Another thought. I'm really not sure unification would have help'd y'all anyway. European technology and society were far ahead of Native, in terms of weapons and population. Not to mention our myriad diseases. You never stood a chance. We outnumbered you, and outgunned you, and out virused you. Although the biological warfare was completely unintentional, it was certainly a significant factor. There was simply no way a pre-industrial civilization and a tribal one were going to be able to co-exist on the same continent, and the one with the guns was gonna win. Now, had the tribes here managed to unify a thousand years or so before we got here, and entertain some agriculture to support a much higher population base, then this'd prolly be a much different place.


Gache 09-23-2002 10:16 AM

Well if it wasnt for the diseases they never would have succeeded.

The english just couldnt make it on their own without our help
If we werent already wiped out by disease they wouldnt be here.
Our fighting abilities were vastly superior to a shoot and reload once every minute crap.

Plus T Dave we had the most advance agritculture in the world where have you been?

Tvskekee 09-23-2002 10:28 AM

If only Tecumseh had succeeded..how different would things be now?....

"President ThunderHorse will be visiting with King Muhammed of Saudi Arabia for peace talks while while Vice President LooksTwice is spearheading the campaing against terrorism at home. Thank you for watching CNN, More details at 11..

LWB 09-23-2002 10:29 AM

Biological warfare was completely unintentional

Gache 09-23-2002 12:50 PM

the sad state of affairs in indian country today it would take only 10 white men to do the job that it took so many to do just a hundred years ago.

lngfthr 09-23-2002 01:19 PM


"There still is no unity among tribes, and there lies the problem."
I'm not trying to insult your professor here. I'll just give my opinion in my own blunt way. I think the quest for "Native unity" is unrealistic and insultingly simplistic. Just because we are all Native does not mean that we can be one homogenous group. Sheesh, we have hundreds of different tribal ways of living, beliefs, cultures, etc. We have a lot of diversity among Native peoples and, as zeph pointed out, we also had a lot of competition for resources that kept us at odds with each other. In addition to this fact, we didn't have 20/20 hindsight so who knows what might have happened (even had we been united)?

I have a cartoon that shows three "braves" sitting around a campfire. One is all crabby and one is kinda curious. In the background is a European ship. One of the braves is pointing at it over his shoulder and the caption says "One ship. How much land can they take up?" :Chatter We know now but could our ancestors have had any idea then just what would happen?

The problem I see with expecting unity or wanting unity is that it denies the diversity among our tribal people. It's like expecting all the nations of Europe to be "united" just because they're all white. As a people, we're just as complex as non-Native nations - who never seem to agree on anything! :p

Tsiniti 09-23-2002 02:38 PM

Re: Unification

Originally posted by T Dave
Although the biological warfare was completely unintentional,

If it was unintentional then why did they give those small pox laiden blankets to the NDN's knowing full well they were contamintated? To kill them off of course. The first biological warfare!

T Dave 09-23-2002 04:02 PM

I've read about that, still not sure I buy it as biowar or just dumpin blankets.

Ummm Gache . . .

Most advanced agriculture ??? How so exactly???


alamosaurus 09-23-2002 06:41 PM

Perhaps you never heard of General Geoffrey
Amhurst and his distribution of smallpox blankets
to native people?

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