I think this is something we all know … but not really. As in if you really think about it, you’ll be like “oh, well, duh.” And then you’ll feel sad … because it’s horrible. What am I talking about? Slavery. I know, it’s ugly and horrible … but it’s important to remember. After all, it’s American Indian/Native American Heritage Month … and a big part of history – for the States, and I’d say for the world.
In South Carolina, and to a lesser extent in North Carolina, Virginia, and Louisiana, Indian slavery was a central means by which early colonists funded economic expansion.
Earlier in the article, it says this
The African “role” encompasses the transportation, exploitation, and suffering of many millions in New World slavery, while Indians are described in terms of their succumbing in large numbers to disease, with the survivors facing dispossession of their land. This paradigm—a basic one in the history of colonialism—omits a crucial aspect of the story: the indigenous peoples of the Americas were enslaved in large numbers. This exclusion distorts not only what happened to American Indians under colonialism, but also points to the need for a reassessment of the foundation and nature of European overseas expansion.
Many other Indians were moved hundreds or thousands of miles within the Americas. Sioux Indians from the Minnesota region could be found enslaved in Quebec, and Choctaws from Mississippi in New England. A longstanding line of transportation of Indian slaves led from modern-day Utah and Colorado south into Mexico.
The paradigm of “what happened” to American Indians under European colonialism must be revised. Instead of viewing victimization of Africans and Indians as two entirely separate processes, they should be compared and contrasted. This will shed more light on the consequences of colonialism in the Americas, and how racism became one of the dominant ideologies of the modern world. It is time to assess the impact of slave trading and slavery on American Indian peoples, slave and free.
All those quotes were taken from Indian Slavery in the Americas by Alan Gallay. Which of course I understand is just one article, but I think it’s really thought provoking. You can also read the “About” article but I found that one really basic. Or even the Wikipedia article which… you know. Mixed bag there.
And of course if you want more general knowledge, The History Channel appears to have a great page on Native American Cultures.
I wanted to write this post because, well, social justice is important to me, but also, I heard a blip on NPR this week, that really made me think. How something so huge and so important in history just … isn’t talked about. It matters. It matters as to how we think about our history, and it matters because there is so much going on with the various tribes that are still [“relatively intact”] today. I don’t want to discuss that now because I haven’t done enough research but … it’s important. And if you feel so inclined as to do more research or have other questions, I’d love to hear it and help with what I can.