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Senate Indigenous (Native American) Peoples - General Discussion

Discussion in 'Community' started by InterestingLurker, Oct 13, 2021.

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  1. InterestingLurker

    InterestingLurker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 15, 2011
    Hey, folks.

    I thought I'd make a general discussion specifically tackling and bringing light to Indigenous issues, which I feel is a bit separate from "race issues" (hence why I did not use the general discussion thread on racial issues that was already on this forum). It seems a bit criminal not to have an all-encompassing discussion on Native Americans, though we could also include other indigenous groups in North America and elsewhere. Anyways, if the mods allow it, use this thread to discuss all things Native American. And maybe if people want it, we could discuss other Indigenous groups elsewhere, not just in North America, though I assume that we have even less of an ability and knowledge to discuss "outside" Indigenous groups.

    This is mostly a Western forum, for better or for worse, in that we're mostly North American or European (and yes, I'm aware that there are people from outside the "Anglosphere" but we are essentially a forum of English-speakers). So given that the primary language of this forum is English (Anglosphere countries like USA, Canada, Britain, Australia, etc.) with a good chunk of English-speakers from the European mainland, I thought I'd limit it to that context... for now (due to the fact that speaking about Indigenous groups in Africa, Asia, and Latin America may be beyond us).

    BUT

    If anyone wants to go ahead and "break the ice" by talking about Indigenous groups outside the West, go ahead. I'm sorta just saying what I wanted this thread to start as, well, for now, anyways.

    Also: I felt that one thread about Christopher Columbus just didn't suffice. It may deserve its own discussion, but Native American issues are bigger than Columbus.

    So anyways:

    I posted this in another thread, but I thought I'd show this article to drive some initial discussion:

    How land acknowledgments for indigenous people sanitize history

    Posted in the Christopher Columbus thread, but I realized that it deserved to be here rather than there.
     
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  2. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Five Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    Retagged Senate.

    I’ll come back later with some other thoughts.
     
  3. Darth Punk

    Darth Punk JCC Manager star 6 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Nov 25, 2013
    Native Americentrism +1
     
  4. Rogue1-and-a-half

    Rogue1-and-a-half Manager Emeritus who is writing his masterpiece star 9 VIP - Former Mod/RSA

    Registered:
    Nov 2, 2000
    Is Standing Bear taught in school these days, I wonder? He wasn't when I was in school. He should be. It was his court case that, in 1879, more than a hundred years after the Founding Fathers boldly declared that "all men are created equal," established that Native Americans were human beings.
     
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  5. study3600

    study3600 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 16, 1999
    The Pine Ridge Reign of Terror, Leanoard Peltiers innocence though imprisoned, more recent atrocities.
     
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  6. CairnsTony

    CairnsTony Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    May 7, 2014
    It goes without saying that Australia's record in the matter of indigenous peoples is probably even worse.
     
  7. InterestingLurker

    InterestingLurker Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jun 15, 2011
    What were you going to say?

    Anyways:

    Over 530 Arrested in Historic Indigenous-Led Climate Protests in DC

     
  8. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Five Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    We open our union meetings with land acknowledgments; I had not considered the idea that it sanitizes history but that’s a fair point.

    I do think it’s important that American school children learn the indigenous history of the area where they live—the actual indigenous history, the fact that indigenous people had their own robust civilization and commerce, including extensive highways for transport, before European colonists arrived.
     
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  9. Runjedirun

    Runjedirun Force Ghost star 6

    Registered:
    Sep 3, 2012
    I know literally nothing about Indigenous history here in VA. In Oklahoma I saw license plates for Creek and Cherokee tribes. Tulsa is tribal land now and one of our Lyft drivers was Creek he explained that with his new Tribal ID he can travel to Mexico and Canada without a passport. I wanted to ask so many questions, but I didn't want to sound as ignorant as I am and I don't know...I'm shy!
     
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  10. Jedi Knight Fett

    Jedi Knight Fett PT Interview & Teh Mole Host star 10 VIP - Game Host

    Registered:
    Feb 18, 2014
    He is not. At least when I was there. No Native American was really
     
  11. Lowbacca_1977

    Lowbacca_1977 Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Jun 28, 2006
    It does always sorta surprise me that other places don't have better education on this; the local tribes were taught about in elementary school enough that I retained it more distinctly than many things from elementary school
     
  12. Darth_Duck

    Darth_Duck Force Ghost star 4

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2000
    Speaking of land acknowledgements...

    https://globalnews.ca/news/8268526/...-stop-making-indigenous-land-acknowledgments/

    In short, the NB government was fine making land acknowledgements about unceded and unsurrendered land when it was only theatre, and now that the people who didn't cede or surrender their land actually want their rights to their unceded and unsurrendered land meaningfully and legally acknowledged the land acknowledgements must stop.
     
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  13. Chancellor_Ewok

    Chancellor_Ewok Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2004
    A good starting point would be The Teaching Company. They produce university level on-going learning content, and they have a number of courses on the history and archaeology of the indigenous cultures of the Americas. They head hunt the best researchers and lectures and build their content around them. I’ve been taking courses with The Teaching Company since 2014 and all of their content is consistently excellent.

    Ancient Civilizations of North America
    https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/ancient-civilizations-of-north-america

    Maya to Aztec: Ancient Mezoamerica Revealed
    https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/maya-to-aztec-ancient-mesoamerica-revealed

    Lost Worlds of South America
    https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/lost-worlds-of-south-america

    Conquest of the Americas
    https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/conquest-of-the-americas

    Native Peoples of North America
    https://www.thegreatcourses.com/courses/native-peoples-of-north-america

    I
    ’ve recently started blogging my way through some of the courses that I’ve taken.

    The Museum of Everything
    https://tlongportfolio.wordpress.com/category/the-museum-of-everything/
     
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2021
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  14. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    I didn't learn of the medieval city of Cahoica until I was in college. And that's in my state. Although I did learn about Incas, Aztecs, and Maya pretty well since I took IB history of the Americas.

    Still I learned more from Five Iron Frenzy songs than I did from history class as far as Native American history teaching is concerned.
     
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  15. anakinfansince1983

    anakinfansince1983 Nightsister of Five Realms star 10 Staff Member Manager

    Registered:
    Mar 4, 2011
    I learned about what ***holes Cortes and Pizarro were when I took Latin American history for my second bachelors in Hispanic studies.

    What’s sad is that I once was in a religious phase and listened to a lot of Steven Curtis Chapman, and he has a song called Burn the Ships in which Cortes’ conquest is touted as a positive. [face_sick]

    I did not learn about indigenous people in North America and their civilizations until recently though.
     
  16. Chancellor_Ewok

    Chancellor_Ewok Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Nov 8, 2004
    The Conquistadors actually just got really, really lucky in South America. They encountered the Inca when they were in the middle of a civil war, and even then, the Inca came really close to completely expelling the Spanish from their empire in the 1570s.
     
  17. study3600

    study3600 Jedi Grand Master star 4

    Registered:
    Jul 16, 1999
    What Cortez did was deplorable; however his stratedgy of burning the ships was brilliant and the point of the song was that soldiers need to burn the ships to conquor or die. Had another man doing something good used the same strategy it would have still been a brilliant strategy, which was the point of the song. We all know Cortez and Pizarro were evil men and Columbus was also not without guilt.
     
    Last edited: Oct 17, 2021
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  18. blackmyron

    blackmyron Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2005
    I'm fascinated by the suggestion that the Mayans may have settled in Florida at one time - trade with locals was almost a certainty. Some of the historical evidence indicate that it involved gold and silver mining in the lower Appalachian Mountains that was transported to the coast of Florida, and thence to modern-day Mexico.
     
  19. Ghost

    Ghost Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Oct 13, 2003
    Land acknowledgements have gotten pushback here for being too radical and leftwing.
     
  20. Chancellor_Ewok

    Chancellor_Ewok Chosen One star 7

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    Nov 8, 2004
    God forbid that we should acknowledge that there were people living in North America twenty thousand years ago
     
  21. solojones

    solojones Chosen One star 10

    Registered:
    Sep 27, 2000
    Not to mention they brought diseases that did a lot of the work of conquering for them.
     
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  22. Barriss_Coffee

    Barriss_Coffee Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Jun 29, 2003
    Oh! This is my thing. There are only two things on this planet I know about, the AOTC Separatists and Maya archaeology.

    So the Maya in Florida thing is, on the whole, sketchy. But it has merit. The first part of the argument to delineate is: What are the Maya? The Aztecs are easy to define because they matched our idea of an empire. The Maya (who are still around today) never had anything close to that, because at the time their "Classic" cities reached their height ~700-800 AD they looked more like Greek city-states. Except the major difference is that there were a lot of small village-sized groups moving around in between the major cities, sometimes coming from the north/west or the south/east. That's why there are 20-something dialects of Mayan (often completely different) in Guatemala alone today. It's also why a lot of the Maya groups held out a lot longer after the initial conquest of the Yucatan. The Maya sort of had a set kind of "art" as part of their culture we can identify as "Maya", but moving further into Mexico or south toward Nicaragua and Costa Rica, things get fuzzy and begin to look distinctly non-Maya.

    (This gets weirder post-1000 AD when the Aztecs began to march upon the south and all cultural remains start to look Mexican. Nicaragua is full of modern geographic names in Nahuatl for a reason.)

    So back to Florida: there has been talk for a time that the Maya had contact with Florida, and Georgia, and Alabama, and some wilder rumors of further inland. There's very little evidence. There is, however, quite a lot of evidence for some of the broader pan-Mesoamerican cultural traits showing up in that area and the eastern US, as well as the Caribbean Islands. These include the ball game, the Hero Twin myth, and early dependence on certain domesticated crops like corn, squash, tobacco, and a few others less common today (although past 500 AD everyone across the Americas was eating these so it's not so good for the regular trade/migration argument). Most of the evidence cited for contact with Florida was based on pyramid or stepped-shaped structures in some areas, which sort of ignores the fact that a lot of people independently invented that design everywhere in the world, and there were pyramid-shaped (and other shaped) mounds all throughout the eastern US going back millennia.

    So far, there's no good "smoking gun" proof of frequent (or even occasional) contact, let alone whole groups migrating up in one go. Good proof would come from similarities in the ancient DNA of humans, plants, or animals (either directly from the specimens, or based on the decedents today and tracking backwards). Ancient DNA still mostly sucks for the humid areas of southern US and Mesoamerica. What we have so far shows no evidence of anything Maya (humans, maize, chocolate, turkeys, dogs, whathaveyou) making a direct hop from the Yucatan to Florida. There is better evidence of this around the Gulf coast, perhaps because people moved around by boat. But a real direct link between the Maya in southern Mexico/Guatemala/Belize with Florida is lacking.

    However, it's worth taking a look at the Caribbean islands a moment. Most of the island societies seem to have had a strong association with South America, mainly the Venezuela area. The language groups throughout the Amazon are very similar to those in the southern Caribbean islands. Recent ancient DNA on humans from the islands also confirms this link, and (my personal favorite), the domesticated guinea pigs from the Andes made it all the way through the Antilles up to Puerto Rico by at least 1000 AD, probably much earlier. We don't have these strong links between the Yucatan Maya and the islands.

    That said, now I'm going to undermine some of the above. The thing about archaeology in the Americas is that the archaeologists who publish, mainly the academic ones (as opposed to government contract/rescue ones who rarely publish), tend to work in the SAME areas. The other regions are ignored. A large part of the Gulf of Mexico, from Tabasco through the Florida panhandle, is devoid of good archaeology. There's been a focus on the colonial/historic centers like Veracruz the city (because Cortes, and it's a big city now), and some of the flooding sites in the US Gulf coast, but not a whole ton. I probably know the majority of the tiny handful of Cuban archaeologists, and they're mostly tied up teaching with little money to excavate. Cuba is HUGE, but there's been very little work done there. Similarly, a lot of the islands have only a couple of active projects at any given time. Even the stuff that has been excavated, decades ago, hasn't been gone through in many cases. One I can think of offhand is En Bas Saline in Haiti, which is one of the first places Columbus set down. It was excavated in the 1970s, but they still haven't gone through it all. In fact, I saw the collection once and it was just a bazillion boxes of unopened material in a storage shed yet to be gone through. Most archaeological collections from the Caribbean end up like that. People get burned out due to lack of resources to support excavations out there, and lack of interest from the countries (which makes sense, they have a lot more important issues to deal with right now than what happened millennia ago). Also in the case of the Gulf Coast of Mexico, it's super dangerous. I know a few archaeologists who quit after trying projects in that area, despite the cool ruins along that way. This is one of the reasons Olmec archaeology has practically ground to a halt in recent decades.

    I will end this rant by saying that no, there's no strong evidence that the Maya had regular contact with Florida, or (as has been posited) a group migrated permanently up there. But I wouldn't be surprised if a few ended up that way at one point or another. They certainly did to the south. And I suspect they might have reached the islands, especially Cuba, but evidence is lacking. But evidence is also lacking because there are so few people looking.
     
  23. blackmyron

    blackmyron Chosen One star 6

    Registered:
    Oct 29, 2005
    Fun fact: Robert H. Barlow, who lived in Deland,FL in the 1930s and was a personal correspondent of HP Lovecraft (HPL came to Florida to visit, Barlow published the only HPL book in his lifetime, and made executor of his will) later went on to become one of foremost experts on the Mayan language in the world.
    Most of this comes from research for fiction writing plus a general love of history. I admit, though, the evidence is circumstantial at best, and relies on stories of far off rich settlements that natives told the Spanish so they would go off on a wild goose chase.
     
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  24. Mar17swgirl

    Mar17swgirl Chosen One star 7

    Registered:
    Dec 26, 2000
    They would've brought the diseases even if their intentions were completely benign - I don't think people of that time knew how devastating it can be when you introduce new viruses/bacteria to a naive population.
     
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  25. Gamiel

    Gamiel Chosen One star 8

    Registered:
    Dec 16, 2012
    Just want to say that if anybody have questions about the Sami (the indigenous people of northen Norway, Sweden, Finland, and the Kola Peninsula in Russia) do I have some knowledge.