Thursday, April 14, 2011

from John Fire Lame Deer

John (Fire) Lame Deer

"Before our white brothers arrived to make us civilized men, we didn't have any kind of prison. Because of this, we had no delinquents. Without a prison, there can be no delinquents. We had no locks nor keys and therefore among us there were no thieves. When someone was so poor that he couldn't afford a horse, a tent or a blanket, he would, in that case, receive it all as a gift.

We were too uncivilized to give great importance to private property. We didn't know any kind of money and consequently, the value of a human being was not determined by his wealth.

We had no written laws laid down, no lawyers, no politicians, therefore we were not able to cheat and swindle one another.

We were really in bad shape before the white men arrived and I don't know how to explain how we were able to manage without these fundamental things that (so they tell us) are so necessary for a civilized society."

- John (Fire) Lame Deer

Sioux Lakota - 1903-1976

To answer some questions as they pop into your minds… No, all was not as perfect as that sounds… sure, there were people who were unkind or ‘broke” the rules, who deliberately did wrong. Their punishment was ostracism. They were sent away NEVER to return. In time, bands of these “outlaws” joined together, and some became known as tribes in today’s terminology. Some of those tribes even decided to stop raiding other tribes and settle down and raise families. But even so, the original person who was kicked out, never returned to the home tribe or clan. These groups, or bands, were often used by the colonists to help destroy the people living in the area they wanted to use. They were easily bribed, often by alcohol, which was listed on import logs as “Indian control.”

If you can find some of the books written by native people, not people pretending to be Indians or to have an Indian spirit telling them things, the true histories are amazing.


ancient one said...

Where would we find these books... Do you have a list... I sure would like to read some...

troutbirder said...

We would be lucky to be so uncivilized. I do believe that these people had what Aldo Leopold later called "the land ethic." A form of wisdom which we sorely need.

Ginnie said...

My son and I were just talking today about what a shame it has been for "our people" to inflict our beliefs and ways to live on others who were perfectly happy before we came along to spoil it.