By Ward Churchill, Howard Zinn
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Extra info for From a Native Son: Selected Essays on Indigenism, 1985-1995
Domination are abundantly clear. The 1 . 6 million American Indi ans within the United States remain, nominally at least, the largest per 51 capita land owners in North America. Given the extent of resources within their land base, Indians should by logical extension comprise the wealthiest "ethnic group" in North American society. Instead, according to the federal government's own statistics, they are the poorest, demonstrating far and away the lowest annual and lifetime incomes, the highest rate of unemployment, lowest rate of p ay when employed, and lowest level of educational attainment of any North American population aggregate.
Here, the bodies of indigenous knowledge evidenced in the context of Native North America at the point of the European invasion-Iarge-scale societies which had per fected way s of organizing themselves into psy chologically fulfilling wholes, experiencing very high standards of material life, and still maintaining environmental harmony -shine like a beacon in the night. The information required to recreate this reality is still in place in many indigenous cultures. The liberation of significant sectors of Native America stands to allow this knowledge to once again be actualized in the "real world," not to recreate indigenous societies as they once were, but to recreate themselves as they can be in the future.
To this must be added dozens of lethal outbreaks of measles, whooping cough, tuberculosis, bubonic plague, typhus, cholera, typhoid, diphtheria, scarlet fever, pleurisy, mumps, venereal disease, and the common cold ? The corre sponding attrition of native population by disease has usually been treated as a tragic but wholly inadvertent and unintended by-product of contact between Indians and Europeans. Such was certainly not the case in all instances, however, as is attested to by the fact that the so-called "King Philip 's War" of 1675-76, fought between the Wam panoag and Narragansett nations and English colonists, resulted largely from the Indians' belief that the latter had deliberately incul cated smallpox among them.