MHO Home   Forum Home   Help   Register   Login
 
 
Welcome to MilitaryHistoryOnline.com.
You are not signed in.
The current time is: 12/10/2018 3:18:11 PM
 (1866-1899) Other 19th Century Battles
AuthorMessage
Page 2 of 2 (Page: 1  2) 
George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 8288

Re: The Controversial Battle of the Little Big Horn! What say you??
Posted on: 4/3/2018 2:36:51 PM
Thanks for the response jahenders.

There is a debate over charges that genocide was practiced in North America and I think that it depends upon how the word is defined.

So if we accept that the extermination of a group of unwanted people must be planned and carried out as state policy, then, except in individual cases, the answer would be no, there was no genocide.

I can offer an example from Nova Scotia when the British General Edward Cornwallis offered a bounty on the scalp of any Mi'kmaq First Nations person.

By the most conservative definition of genocide I think that that qualifies though there are those who will argue that Cornwallis was just defending his territory. That he was sitting on traditional Mi'kmaq lands in the Halifax area seems to be lost on those who defend Cornwallis.

Modern Mi'kmaq call that policy cultural genocide. I call it ethnic cleansing but the effect is the same.

But if there is no direct authorization to eliminate a people but the result is the same as a result of specific policies directed against the people, is that not also genocide by indirect action?

So the slaughtering of the buffalo, and the herding of different tribes into smaller areas so that they compete for territory and food, the introduction of alcohol and perhaps the intentional introduction of disease in smallpox ridden blankets, and in the case of my country, the scooping of children and sending them to residential schools to have the "Indian driven out of the Indian", may all constitute elements of genocide.

It all depends upon how strict the definition shall be.

Cheers,

George

Michigan Dave
Muskegon, Michigan, MI, USA
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major


Posts: 4288

Re: The Controversial Battle of the Little Big Horn! What say you??
Posted on: 4/11/2018 9:22:10 AM
Hi George,

Most 1st Nations Peoples & even more so US Native Americans have indeed been treated unfairly, even in this take on a Pacific NW Tribe, a lot is written on the unfairness of the "white man"!?

[Read More]

BTW what a wonderful colorful civilized culture!

What say you?
MD

It seems that no American tribe was treated fairly?
---------------
"The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract."

George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 8288

Re: The Controversial Battle of the Little Big Horn! What say you??
Posted on: 4/11/2018 10:16:05 AM
Great site Dave.

In Canada we are just now coming to grips with the fact that the indigenous cultures that were the first to settle North America are complex cultures with fascinating rules of behaviour and government. That they were treated as savages to be tamed or killed is something that we have to deal with today.

The FN in the link may not have ever signed a treaty with the white settlers of British Columbia or with the Government of Canada.

There were many treaties signed in the east and including my province of Ontario. Many FN are accusing the government of allowing the treaties to be violated and the courts are deciding the extent of the violations and the amount of money to be awarded.

example:
The Algonquin Anishinabe Nation, just two years ago has gone to court to prove that they never signed their rights away to the lands upon which sits downtown Ottawa, the nation's capital. That includes the Parliament buildings.

The western plains FN's signed what are called the "numbered treaties".

Brian can confirm whether any west coast FN has ever signed a treaty at all. If not, any of the lands settled by Europeans and other Canadians are subject to court challenges.

I don't feel the need to apologize for the behaviour of people who came before me but I do feel the need to make things as right as we can.

So we won't be moving the Parliament buildings any time soon, but there will be a financial cost to the taxpayers should the courts find in favour of the claimants.

jahenders
Colorado Springs, CO, USA
top 25
E-6 Staff Sergeant


Posts: 488

Re: The Controversial Battle of the Little Big Horn! What say you??
Posted on: 4/11/2018 11:37:02 AM

Quote:
Thanks for the response jahenders.

There is a debate over charges that genocide was practiced in North America and I think that it depends upon how the word is defined.
:
But if there is no direct authorization to eliminate a people but the result is the same as a result of specific policies directed against the people, is that not also genocide by indirect action?

So the slaughtering of the buffalo, and the herding of different tribes into smaller areas so that they compete for territory and food, the introduction of alcohol and perhaps the intentional introduction of disease in smallpox ridden blankets, and in the case of my country, the scooping of children and sending them to residential schools to have the "Indian driven out of the Indian", may all constitute elements of genocide.

Cheers,
George


You're right that definitions matter and few can doubt that native groups were treated poorly.

As far as the examples you mention that you state could "constitute elements of genocide" those vary:
- Slaughtering the buffalo could be an element of genocide if/where it was done specifically to destroy a key food source and, thus, starve natives to death. If, instead, it's done because you're wanton, reckless, and kill far more animals than you can use, then you're guilty of being a fool and a jerk, but not intentional genocide. The reality is probably some of one and some of the other.

- Herding tribes into areas that can't support them could certainly be an element of genocide, especially if it's done wantonly such that there's no way they can sustain themselves and they're not allowed to leave.

- The introduction of alcohol is dubious. It was (at least initially) introduced as a trade good that the natives value. It may certainly have contributed to native decline and some providers may have felt that, "If they 'indians' want to drink themselves to death, that's there business." However, I'm not aware of any examples of conscious government efforts to provide the natives with alcohol in order to kill them off. They might have been fine with alcohol mollifying natives, but the same could be said of British sailors' rations of rum and few would call that genocide.

- Though there are historical quotes suggesting it, most 'smallpox' blanket claims have been debunked as faction. Here's an example of multiple such examples being shown false. https://quod.lib.umich.edu/p/plag/5240451.0001.009/--did-the-us-army-distribute-smallpox-blankets-to-indians?rgn=main;view=fulltext

- Sending kids to 'white' schools may be an example of "cultural dilution" but it's hard to call it genocide unless every child was seized and taken to re-education camps. In many cases, sending kids to better schools could also be called "opportunity," making it more likely that the child will grow up to be a contributing member of society.

So, nothing of these may be nice things, but I don't think most can be considered genocide.


George
Centre Hastings, ON, Canada
top 5
E-9 Cmd Sgt Major
Posts: 8288

Re: The Controversial Battle of the Little Big Horn! What say you??
Posted on: 4/11/2018 12:36:47 PM
Hello jahenders,

It seems that while their was no official policy to exterminate the buffalo, there were a number of high ranking officers who realized that the effect of the demise of the buffalo would be to force the Indians to become dependent upon the white man for food and hence would compel them to enter the reserve lands.

[Read More]

That the Indians were to be removed from their traditional lands and lifestyle is clear government policy, I believe.

As well, the Indians were not granted reserve lands that were always of the best quality and indeed if it was later discovered that the lands granted did indeed harbour something of value, like a precious metal, then those reserves were taken away.

Alcohol was introduced to the Indians by the initial conqueror and then by the trading companies who carried the items that the Indians may have wanted. That the product was pushed upon these people seems clear and it is addictive.


The US Cavalry has insisted that they never gave smallpox infected blankets to any Plains Indians. And there are many articles written that debunk the theory.

However, there are many pieces of evidence that elimination of Indians was on the mind of Europeans and that the use of smallpox infected blankets was considered as a means to effect genocide.


Quote:
Sir Jeffery Amherst, commander of British forces in North America, wrote July 7, 1763,


"Could it not be contrived to Send the Small Pox among those Disaffected Tribes of Indians?

We must, on this occasion, Use Every Stratagem in our power to Reduce them."

He ordered the extirpation of the Indians and said no prisoners should be taken. About a week later, he wrote to Bouquet: "You will Do well to try to Innoculate the Indians by means of Blanketts as well as to try Every other method that can serve to Extirpate this Execrable Race."


Captain Simeon Ecuyer of the British forces, is purported to have distributed smallpox infected blankets to the Indians around Fort Pitt in 1763, during Pontiac's Rebellion. Ecuyer, if he did it, did it before the Amherst letters were written.

From what I have read, it has been difficult to prove whether the events actually occurred and that the subsequent outbreaks of smallpox may be attributed to a distribution of blankets. That it was considered, is irrefutable.


Quote:
Sending kids to 'white' schools may be an example of "cultural dilution" but it's hard to call it genocide unless every child was seized and taken to re-education camps.


Yes and that it is what happened. In Canada anyway.

Children were taken from their parents and sent hundreds of kilometres away to residential schools where they were punished for speaking their native tongues, where they were forced to adopt the religion of the Catholic or Anglican brothers who ran the schools.
They experienced physical and sexual abuse. The goal was to drive the Indian out of the Indian and this policy goes back to the roots of the country.

In the late '50's and into the '80's, FN children were taken from their parents and put up for adoption. Almost all were adopted by white parents.
This event has been called the "sixties scoops" but the removal of children by the government child services of the provinces was done without the approval of the parents. Were some of the kids living poorly? Yes. But in too many cases, kids were removed because someone from another culture decided what was best for them.


And in the US? Boarding schools for Indians were established in the 1870's even as the US was fighting the Indians.

Richard Pratt, US Army, said in a speech in 1892 regarding the residential schools that he had helped develop


Quote:
"A great general has said that the only good Indian is a dead one.

In a sense, I agree with the sentiment, but only in this: that all the Indian there is in the race should be dead. Kill the Indian in him, and save the man."



The schools were not dissimilar to the Canadian residential schools and the experiences were just as traumatic.

And since the system was developed during the period of war against the Plains Indians, many of the first children to be taken were from the most recently pacified tribes.


Genocide? Not in the most strict definition of the word.

But ask the First Nations people what they call the treatment by the white people over the centuries. They call it cultural genocide.

Cheers,

George







Page 2 of 2 (Page: 1  2) 
 Forum Ads from Google