Friday, April 5

Where the Buffalo Roam

I can't speak for those educated elsewhere, but what I was taught in the British Columbia school system of the 1980s and early '90s about North America's native peoples increasingly appears to have been more myth than reality. This fascinating article, is only the latest evidence that the image the I was presented of pre-Columbus natives as Findhornian stewards of the North American wilderness owed more to the fantasies of '60s flowerheads than to the prehistoric record. Even as a young student, it was clear to me that something did not add up. The government textbooks' stories of natives as prescient conservationists who took only what they needs from nature and used everything they took did not square with the hunting practice of driving a herd of buffalos over a cliff and scavenging a few of the bodies. (Of course, it was questions like this one that were responsible for most of the trouble I got into in elementary school.)