Sunday, December 11, 2005

Great Contributions Of Indigenous People Of The World

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"The Circle has healing power. In the Circle, we are all equal. When in the Circle, no one is in front of you. No one is behind you. No one is above you. No one is below you. The Sacred Circle is designed to create unity. The Hoop of Life is also a circle. On this hoop there is a place for every species, every race, every tree and every plant. It is this completeness of Life that must be respected in order to bring about health on this planet."

~Dave Chief, Oglala Lakota~

1. Lacrosse a game invented by Native people is Canada's official sport. There are three basic forms—the southeastern, Great Lakes, and Haudenosaunee. Lacrosse was given its name by early French settlers, using the generic term for any game played with a curved stick (crosse) and a ball.

2. Toboggan comes from the Algonquian word odabaggan. The toboggan is an invention of the Eastern First Peoples. Indian hunters first built toboggans made of bark to carry game over the snow. The Inuit (sometimes called Eskimos) used to make toboggans of whalebone, otherwise a toboggan is made of strips of hickory, ash, or maple, with the front ends curved back.

3. Canoes were developed over the course of thousands of years by the native peoples of North America. The word 'canoe' originiated from the word 'kenu' - meaning dugout.

4. American Indians have participated with distinction in United States military actions for more than 200 years. As the 20th century comes to a close, there are nearly 190,00 Native American military veterans.

5. In the First World War, over 4000 members of Canadian First Nations groups volunteered to fight for the Allied Forces. In the Second World War, 3000 Canadian First Nations people offered their services as soldiers, and the Korean War saw several hundred First Nation warriors contributing their efforts, and often their lives, to the United Nations in the fight against North Korea.

6. One of the major reasons our armed forces were victorious in WW I, WW II and the Korean War was our ability to "crack" enemy codes. Our codes were never broken, in part because we empowered Native American People to devise their own codes based on their Native languages. Thousands of American soldiers owe their lives to these "Code Talkers." It is the highest irony that these codes were based on native languages, banned by law, and suppressed by the actions of the U.S. government and religious organizations that operated in concert to eradicate and destroy Native languages, cultures and traditions.

7. Most Native American tribes relied on three basic crops ­ corn, beans and squash; however, there were over 300 other food crops harvested in the New World, including six. kinds of corn, as well as, sweet potatoes, sunflowers, wild rice, vanilla beans, cocoa or chocolate, a wide variety of nuts, and many varieties of peppers.

8. The federal system does not trace its roots to Europe, but rather to Native American tribal organizations. Both Benjamin Franklin and George Washington were extremely knowledgeable about Native American social and political structures. Franklin urged our Founding Fathers to model our government on the League of Iroquois, while the United States Constitution was derived from the Iroquois Kaianerekowa or Great Law of Peace. Like the constitution of the United States the founding charter of the United Nations is based in large part on the principles of the Iroquois Confederacy.

9. Native American Indians provided quinine as the first effective treatment of malaria and utilized many plants that have resulted in remarkable contributions to 20th century medicine including aspirin­related tree bark extracts, laxatives, painkillers, antibacterial medicines, petroleum jelly and others.

10. Northern Woodlands Native people ‘invented’ the first diapers because they knew that sphagnum moss absorbed much liquid. Sphagnum was also used instead of cotton wadding in front-line hospitals during WW1.

11. It was the Native people that showed the settlers how to remove the poisonous shell from the cashews, revealing a delicious and nutritious nut inside.

12. Over 2000 years ago the Hohokam people played a game in which a ball was kicked, hit or thrown into goals at either end of a field. The players wore protective gear made of leather. This game was not unlike the game of football that is today still played.

13. There are a number of Olympic medalists (including the 2002 Winter games - men's curling).

14. Legendary Musician, Mohawk, Robbie Robertson has sold millions of recordings going way back as a founding member of "The Band".

Without thses great contributions from a number of Indigenous people from around the world our lives may not quite be the same as we know it today. There are many other great contributions from the indigenous people from around the world and these are but a few.

2 Comments:

Blogger Matt said...

I've always found the code stories fascinating. :)

8:36 PM  
Blogger Shelley Brant said...

Thank You Matt! Me too and I am very thankful to our Navajo brothers for their great contributions to the war effort.

12:40 PM  

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