"We Were Not
The Savages"

Bouton d'or Acadie

Benjamin Franklin
1706 - 1790

Franklin wrote the following after a large group of innocent Indians were massacred because of the actions of others from another Tribe:

"If an Indian injures me, does it follow that I may revenge that Injury on all Indians?

"It is well known that Indians are of different Tribes, Nations and Languages, as well as the White People.

"In Europe, if the French, who are White People, should injure the Dutch, are they to revenge it on the English, because they too are White People?

"The only Crime of these poor Wretches seems to have been, that they had a reddish brown Skin, and black Hair; and some People of that Sort, it seems, had murdered some of our Relations.

"If it be right to kill Men for such a Reason, then, should any Man, with a freckled Face and red Hair, kill a Wife or Child of mine, it would be right for me to revenge it, by killing all the freckled red-haired Men, Women and Children, I could afterwards any where meet with."

The Paradoxical Commandments
Dr. Kent M. Keith

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway.

If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway.

If you are successful, you win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway.

The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway.

Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable. Be honest and frank anyway.

The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds. Think big anyway.

People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway.

What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway.

People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway.

Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway.

© Copyright
Kent M. Keith 1968, renewed 2001

Mother Teresa thought so highly of the Paradoxical Commandments that she put a version of them on the wall of her children's home in Calcutta, with the following added.

You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God. It was never between you and them anyway

First Nation Prayer
Author Unknown

I give you this one thought to keep— I am with you still – I do not sleep.

I am a thousand winds that blow; I am the diamond glints on snow;

I am the sunlight on ripened grain, I am the gentle autumn rain.

When you awaken in the morning rush I am the swift, uplifting rush

Of quiet birds in circled flight. I am the soft stars that shine at night

Do not think of me as gone – I am with you still – in each new dawn.

We Were Not the Savages

First Nations History

We Were Not the Savages

Book was launched September 30, 2022, Fourth Edition now available in book stores and the Net

NOTE: Three previous editions of We Were Not the Savages have been published - 1993, 2000, and 2006. The 1993 Edition, published by Nimbus, was taken out of print in 1996. A fully revised edition, with lots of new information, was published by Fernwood Publishing in 2000 - it is now out of print. The 2006 Edition was taken out of print 2022. The new Fourth updated edition, described below, with more new data, published by Fernwood, was launched September 30, 2022.

Information about Fourth Edition:

Library and Archives Canada Cataloguing in Publication
Title: We were not the savages : collision between European and North American civilizations / by Daniel N. Paul.
Names: Paul, Daniel N., author.
Description: 4th edition. | Includes bibliographical references and index.
Identifiers: Canadiana (print) 20220265828 | Canadiana (ebook) 20220265887 | ISBN 9781773635637 (softcover) | ISBN 9781773635842 (EPUB) | ISBN 9781773635859 (PDF)
Subjects: CSH: First Nations—Maritime Provinces—History. | CSH: First Nations—First contact with Europeans—Maritime Provinces. | CSH: First Nations—Maritime Provinces— Government relations. | CSH: First Nations, Treatment of—Maritime Provinces—History. | LCSH: Maritime Provinces—Race relations—History. | LCSH: Maritime Provinces—Ethnic relations—History.
Classification: LCC E99.M6 P38 2022 | DDC 971.5004/97343—dc23

Canadians to order click Fernwood Publishing
Fourth Edition - We Were Not the Savages

Bookstores and other retailers of Books, to order: UTP (University of Toronto Press)

Americans to order click Columbia University Press
Fourth Edition - We Were Not the Savages

Signed copies are available at several locations in Nova Scotia:

Millbrook Mi'kmaw Community, Power Center, highway 102:
Millbrook Heritage and Cultural Center:
Glooscap Trading Post:
Membertou Mi'kmaw Community: Petroglyphs Gift Shop:
Halifax Historic Properties: Garrefour Atlantic and the Puffin Gallery:

Due to my age, I will be 84 in December, the fourth edition will be the final edition. This final edition includes such items as reconciliation, Indian Day and Residential school settlements, Double standard by governments when it comes to relating and teaching Indigenous History and European History, and lots more. A quote from the Foreword, written by Dr. Pamela Palmater, professor and Chair in Indigenous Governance, Ryerson University

“While I have learned a great deal from the writings of Indigenous Peoples from all over Turtle Island, there is one book that has been my anchor: We Were Not the Savages, by Mi’kmaw Elder and author Dr. Daniel N. (Danny) Paul. I have relied on his book as both a shield against the longstanding, widespread anti-Indigenous racism in society and as a powerful sword of knowledge, challenging racist and false government propaganda about our peoples. This book has grounded me in my own journey to learn more about my Mi’kmaw history and culture. Its core message rings as true today in the fourth edition as it did when it was first published in 1993. The so-called “Indian problem” has never been about us. There is nothing wrong with our people; we were not the savages — the leaders of the invading European countries were. This truth has stuck with me ever since.”

January 31, 2023 - Review

We Were Not the Savages is something rare and wonderful, a comprehensive history of an indigenous American people, written by a member of the nation, covering in detail the times before European colonisation, the brutal period of conquest, and the struggle for justice that continues to the present day. The book is disarmingly and engagingly written. Every story within it is either carefully documented with citations to archival material or scholarly sources, or else deeply informed by Paul's personal experience and what he has learned from his neighbours. Those of you who have read earlier editions of this book should pick up this one. Paul has thoroughly rewritten the book, updating the scholarship, adding personal material, and carrying the story forward to the present day. Our understanding of the history of north-eastern North America has been transformed since the publication of the first edition of We Were Not the Savages. Especially in Nova Scotia, the impact of that transformation is visible on the landscape. If you want to understand what's happened, you need to read the fourth edition.

Professor Geoffrey Plank,
School of History, University of East Anglia, Norwich, England

Daniel N. Paul
September 30, 2022
Fernwood Publishing

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

We Were Not the Savages



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