Response to a certain comment posted within a newsletter I get. See this post. In this commentary, (which I would post except that I deleted the e-mail) he scoffs at those who believe in "noble savages" who were peaceful and in harmony with everything and everyone around them.
I expect that the "Noble savage" commentary was at least in part, directed towards me. This may come as a surprise, but I actually agree with you on that. I don't believe that First Nations were always "noble" or peaceful and living in harmony with each other and everything. Certainly, the Mohawks were not.
I believe in giving credit where it is due, and Saints Jean de Bréboeuf and Gabriel Lallement and the other martyrs deserve credit. As do the French for moving the Hurons to Loretteville (outside Québec City) to keep them from being decimated by the Iroquois.
Not all First Nations were the same, and some were certainly more peaceful than others. I read somewhere that the Iroquois/Mohawk believed that all the nations should be one. Which is why they attacked the others. Something like the Greeks, the Romans, the Vikings, and Arabs. Within their own society, they were generally peaceful, civilized people. To those they conquered, or wished to conquer, they were not.
The greeks gave us great philosophers, but I would not have desired to be among the Hebrew people that were tortured and killed by Greek conquerors because they refused to give up adoring the one true God.
Many good things have come to the First Nations, as well as to those of us of European descent, because of the coming together of these cultures. I for one definitely appreciate Maple Syrup and snowshoes.
Mistakes have been made in the past, and there have been many misunderstandings because truly, the mind of the First Nations does not work like the mind of "whitemen".
Part of the problem of the Cree people may have come from well-intentioned people trying to give them an education but going about it the wrong way, but certainly, a good part of the problem comes also from themselves. Broken families, alcohol and drug abuse is certainly a big problem. Family is key. Those I grew up with who had strong families behind them are doing very well in life now.