Some required reading for Indians
By Doug George-Kanentiio
Above all, Seton notes, was the Native attitude of respect for all living things as expressed through the many social and private rituals of thanksgiving. Humility was valued as an essential characteristic of all true leaders. He also noted the resources of any given Native community were directed at providing for the needs of the young and old.
Seton also had great respect for the Iroquois, citing the Great Law of Peace as an example of what the Native mind had accomplished prior to European colonization. Seton concludes his book by observing “the civilization of the whiteman is a failure; it is visibly crumbling around us. It has failed every crucial test. No one who measures things by results can question this fundamental statement. Apparently, the money-madness is the main cause of it all.”
Wise words from a man who was fortunate enough to know us as we once were.
Garrick Mallery, the leading Smithsonian authority of his day, says: "The most surprising fact relating to the North American Indians, which until lately had not been realized, is that they habitually lived in and by religion to a degree comparable with that of the old Israelites under the theocracy. This was sometimes ignored, and sometimes denied in terms, by many of the early missionaries and explorers. The aboriginal religion was not their [the missionaries'] religion, and therefore was not recognized to have an existence or was pronounced to be satanic."
"Religion was the real life of the tribes, permeating all their activities and institutions."