NATIONAL NATIVE AMERICAN HERITAGE DAY!
Anthropologists tell us there were anywhere from 50 to 90 million people comprising the more than 500 tribes of indigenous peoples in North America in 1492, when the first Europeans “discovered” them.
Before a century passed, 80 to 90% would be dead from European diseases, and the survivors were destined to endure 400 years of genocide and displacement.
Today, Native American population for all of North America is less than 18 million, most of them in Mexico. In the USA, indigenous peoples make up only about 1% of the population, mostly residing on semi-autonomous reservations where neglect and poverty are rampant.
They do not indulge in bitterness and resentment, however, proud of their heritage and customs, and still exhibit a determination to live in harmony with nature and their fellow man, sharing life’s joys and challenges.
Our First People’s wisdom, their love and their reverence for life remains intact, and today we remember their lost world and celebrate their contributions.
•Suggested Activities: Unlearning the Hollywood version of events.