native-americansGuess who was standing on the beach in 1492 getting “discovered” by Christopher Columbus? Guess who taught the Pilgrims how to survive New England Winters? Yes, those we celebrate on this


The people usually left out of Columbus Day celebrations called the Americas “The World,” not the New World, and didn’t exactly reap the multicultural benefits one might associate with the interaction of foreign societies.

Before Europeans established so much as a toehold in North America, an estimated 90% of the continent’s population was killed by Old World diseases that spread from coast to coast within a generation, killing millions who had never even heard of the existence of white men, much less met one.

Meanwhile, in South America, the Spanish and Portuguese Empires destroyed and enslaved the thriving civilizations they encountered. Still, these cultures somehow survived the centuries of disease, genocide and diaspora to live on; stoic, generous of heart and dignified, deeply grounded in nature-based spirituality.

Native Americans bring their own unique perspective to the human experience, and their humanity and reverence for the world we all share has been an enduring inspiration.

•Suggested Activities: Living in harmony with men and nature.

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