The University of New Hampshire has approved a new minor. Students will be able to study Native American and Indigenous Studies. My question? Which history will they teach? The Social justice version or reality?
Given what we know of UNH, the knee-jerk reaction is that it will be the standard white-hate, European patriarchal colonialism voodoo that sprouts out of similar curricula. Propaganda. And it will (more than likely) avoid facts that matter.
- North America has no indigenous people, none truly native to the continent.
- Those that arrived conquered those who came before (repeatedly) before Europe discovered this land.
- Indians cleared and burned forests to create farmland they worked until it was depleted
- From New England to the Southwest, wherever Indian populations were dense, and farming was intense, deforestation was common.
- The buffalo hunting tribes herded hundreds of animals over cliffs then took only choice cuts leaving tons of meat to rot.
- The Chipewayan Indians would slaughter large numbers of caribou and musk ox, eat only a few tongues, and leave the rest to rot.
- Indians manipulated the land to improve hunting. Upland wooded areas from east to west were burned to remove the undergrowth and increase forage for deer, elk, and bison.
- In some cases, game populations were overharvested or even driven to extinction.
- Indians owned land and passed down hereditary rights to their property.
- Property rights were often recognized, protected, and trespass was not allowed with the owner’s permission.
- Recognized hunting areas of tribes and families were protected and restricted for use by others over generations.
- Indians amassed property and wealth.
Less indigenous and more like the folks who were here when the Europeans arrived. And less like the picture painted by Hollywood (or perhaps UNH courses of study) and more like families and tribes exhibiting a nature common to all humans. The need to utilize resources to survive, with varying degrees of understanding about supply and demand, abundance, and scarcity.
The settling and conquest of North America have been an ongoing process of many thousands of years – one that continues to this day. If UNH is interested in teaching that, it might be a worthy course of study. If it degenerates into white-man hating fantasies to advance Marxist-Socialist Social justice narratives, then it is a real waste of natural resources. The minds of future generations.