We Were Not the Savages is a history of the near demise, from a Mi'kmaq perspective, of ancient democratic North American First Nations, caused by the European invasion of the Americas, with special focus on the Mi'kmaq. Although other European Nations, Spain for instance, were in on the slaughter this history relates in detail the actions of only one, Great Britain.
In Great Britain's case it isn't hard to prove culpability because British colonial officials, while representing the Crown, recorded in minute detail the horrors they committed. When reading the records left behind by these individuals one gets the impression that they were proud of the barbarous crimes against humanity that they were committing while they were, using brute force, appropriating the properties of sovereign First Nations Peoples. From my knowledge of what they did I can, without fear of contradiction from men and women of good conscience, use uncivilized savagery to describe it.
The following are some of the methods they used to cleanse the land of its rightful owners: Bounties for human scalps, including women and children, out and out massacres, starvation and germ warfare. These cruel British methods of destruction were so effective that the British came close to realizing their cleansing goal. All North American civilizations under their occupation were badly damaged, many eliminated, and close to 95% of the people exterminated.
In fact, after reviewing the horrific barbarities that the European invaders subjected First Nations citizens too, one finds it almost impossible to comprehend how any managed to survive. That some North American First Nations Peoples did survive the best efforts of their tormentors to exterminate them - from 1497 to 1850s out and out genocide and starvation, and from the mid-1800s to the mid-1900s a malnutrition existence under the rule of Canada and the United States, is a testament to the tenacious courage and faith in the Great Spirit of our ancestors.
Today, although starvation and malnutrition have been mostly eliminated, the systemic racism instilled in the majority of Caucasians by colonial demonizing propaganda, which depicts our ancestors as the ultimate sub-human savages, is still widespread. This is witnessed by the level of discrimination still suffered, which is a very heavy burden for our Peoples to try to overcome.
Interestingly, although both claim to be compassionate countries with justice for all as a core value, Canada and the United States are not making any viable effort to substitute demonizing colonial propaganda with the truth. This is why I wrote We Were Not the Savages, my small effort to air as much of the truth as possible.
A Review of We Were Not the Savages for Rambles.Net by Alicia Karen Elkins
We Were Not the Savages: Collision between European & Native American Civilizations
Daniel N. Paul (Fernwood, 2006)
We Were Not the Savages is the Native American history book written for me. Here is a native author who used the Europeans' own documents to prove their dastardly deeds and show that, when compared to the Mi'kmaq, the Europeans were the honorless savages. Daniel N. Paul puts history under the microscope, and it does not look anything like the history textbooks utilized throughout North America.
Again, let me emphasize that Paul used the white man's documents, so it cannot be said he twisted the facts.
The author states his purpose as "to persuade the majority society to use whatever power they have to see that Canada makes meaningful amends for the horrifying wrongs of the past." In his foreword, he points out that Canada has kept these horrors under wraps for centuries.
I believe he has blown the lid off of the Canadian Pandora's Box! He got in several hits on the "south of the border" side of our continent to illustrate how the Canadian natives were seeing what happened to the American natives and building a healthy distrust and contempt for the whites. Meanwhile, the Canadian government was following the American lead. For example, Cornwallis issued his bounty for scalps in accordance with the practice in America.
This is 400 pages of history like you have never read it. After examining the pre-Columbian Mi'kmaq culture, government, beliefs and lifestyle (and comparing it to the Europeans), the author takes us on a journey through the centuries from the 1600s to the present. His writing style is beautiful. It is almost like he is saying: "Come, sit here and let me show you a story." He flows along with his shocking narrative through the eras and phases with perfect fluidity.
We Were Not the Savages is one heck of an impressive book. It is the work of a genius! It is an awesome piece of literature that every history buff should own.
Paul, born on the Indian Brook Reserve in Nova Scotia, is a justice of the peace for the province and a commissioner with the Nova Scotia Police Commission. He was employed by the Department of Indian Affairs from 1971 to 1986. In 1986 he became the founding executive director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi'kmaq.
Click to read the first pages of the history book's fourteen chapters
Click to read description of books contents
Click to read reviews of We Were Not the Savages
Click to read acknowledgements of those who assisted with the books production
Purchase information can be found on the right hand side of the HOME page
Amazon.Com Author's Page for Daniel Paul http://www.amazon.com/author/www.danielnpaul.com