Dr. Daniel Paul Indian Historian and a Mi'kmaq Elder 

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First Nations alarmed by destruction of our planet – Dr. Paul

Miq'ma

15 March, 2013 20:04  

As the environment is being destroyed and the planet continues to be raped for fossil fuels and natural resources, the effects of global warming are becoming more and visible worldwide. Although we may soon be reaching the point of no return Western governments and corporations continue to ignore this problem, which may lead to the very death of our planet and all of us. One group of people, the American Indians are doing what few others are, they are fighting to save the land and the planet they love and respect, like no other people’s on the Earth. Dr. Daniel Paul spoke with John Robles on this issue which is important to all of us.

Hello! This is John Robles, I'm speaking with Dr. Daniel Paul. He is an Indian historian and a Mi'kmaq elder. He is in Nova Scotia, Canada.

Robles: Hello Sir! How are you this evening?

Paul: Very good, thank you.

Robles: It’s a pleasure to be speaking with you again. Can you give our listeners a little bit of information about the protests that have been going on up there in Canada?

Paul: Well, actually the “Idle No More Protest, has not only been going on in Canada, but has been going on in the United States and it is to do with the environment, some pipelines and what have you, that are being built across North America, and one from Alberta down to Texas and the Gulf Coast.

And that created quite a stir, quite a controversy actually because people were upset that perhaps it might have some very detrimental effects on the environment. And so, that was part of the protest. And I guess the unilateral actions of the government with no consultation and all the rest of it, that is another issue that was propelling the controversy.

So, it is still on the go, it is not as pronounced as it was before but some people are still protesting.

Robles: How does that affect the Indian Nations in Canada and in the United States? Why is that important?

Paul: The environment mainly, that the people are concerned with, it’s all these different things that are being built, being developed, such as the oil sands in Alberta and again the pipeline that is supposed to be built from Alberta to Texas, and the chance of maybe a spill that would poison parts of the environment.

Fracking is going on in both countries at this point in time and a lot of people are very concerned that may affect the water supply in various areas and contaminate the water supply.

It is various, I guess an overview of the things that are concerning people in Canada, and in particular it is the perception by the First Nations’ people that the Canadian Government isn’t negotiating in good faith and maybe have a hidden agenda.

Robles: What might that be? Can you give us some details on that?

Paul: I guess what a lot of people are thinking is that perhaps the Federal Government is working towards the elimination of the First Nations in Canada and not working in good faith towards self-government and expanding the land base and Aboriginal rights and things of that nature.

Robles: Now, these pipelines, are they going to be infringing on Indian lands?

Paul: Well, in many cases they will be infringing in the sense that a great deal of that land in between Alberta and Texas is still up for negotiations.

Aboriginal rights have not been extinguished and the settlement is sort of somewhere down the road.

And what the people are looking at I believe is that perhaps the environment worldwide is not something that is causing great many people to be very concerned.

I know myself I have some shots from Antarctica and the penguins are not hatching as they used to.

So, global warming is beginning to concern a lot of people. And I think in this case the First Nation people in Canada have took it upon themselves to begin to do some protest about the march to world extinction if we don’t begin to become to, maybe, come to terms to what we are doing to the environment.

Robles: Well, they’ve been pretty much in denial I think about global warming for at least 10 years.

Reminder

Robles : Here in Moscow, in the winter now, you can pretty much just look out the window and see the results of global warming. Why is that important to the Indian people?

Paul: Well, it’s not only important to the Indian, the indigenous people of the Americas but it is also important to everybody across the world, including Russians and Germans, and English and so forth and so on.

And what is the point of no return? If you poison the environment enough, we will create a world that will not sustain life any longer. You know, how far down the road can we go before we begin to realize that perhaps we’ve gone too far. And when you’ve gone too far it’s a little too late to begin to turn back and to try to fix things.

Robles: Why do think people are not paying attention to this, in particular the US authorities, I mean they have all the data, they have all the information. I’m sure they know where things are headed. Why do you think they are ignoring the dangers?

Paul: Well, the world has one God, besides the God in heaven, or wherever people believe the God should be, but there is a God that’s universal and it crisscrosses all religions, and it is “greed”.

People are greedy and they will continue to go down a certain road and do what they do, and have no appreciation of what the consequences may be.

Robles: What are some of the effects of the global warming that you are alarmed with, that you’ve seen?

Paul: Here in Nova Scotia at this point in time, all winter long, I think we haven’t had more than five, perhaps 5 or 10 sunny days. It’s been nothing but cloud and drizzle, and fog, and snow, and all the rest, and it’s not a normal type of winter we have here. And it is warmer, a lot warmer.

Robles: How much warmer than normal?

Paul: If you are looking at Fahrenheit, we used to have 10-15 below zero which would be equal to -32 Celsius I suppose. And you can notice the difference, winters don’t come on, last winter we never had any snow until latter part of November.

And it just seems like the seasons are shrinking. And other parts of North America are suffering a great drought at this point in time. And things seem to be moving in a way that… it’s being predicted, that if we don’t begin to clean up our acts, violent weather is being created, unheard of blizzards are going on right now across North America, they seem to be coming one right after the other. And things of this nature just seem to be getting out of balance.

Robles: Kind of the same thing here in Russia with the winters. Normally it was like -20 -25 Celsius for most of the winter, now sometimes there is a couple weeks of that weather. It’s visible.

Paul: The weather that’s happening here is not happening elsewhere and vice versa, and new things are beginning to occur in other areas also.

It seems to me in Tornado Belt in the United States there are far more tornados beginning to occur and some are very early and some are very late in the season now.

Robles: Thank you very much Dr. Paul. I really appreciate you speaking with me.

Paul: Very good, and nice talking to you always. And I hope you’ll have nice and warm summer there in Moscow and we have a good one, get some sunshine here in Nova Scotia for a change.

Parting

You were listening to an interview with Dr. Daniel N Paul. He is an elder with the Mi'kmaq Tribe. 

Democracy Existed in the Americas Long Before the Europeans Invaded

Democracy existed in the Americas long before the Europeans invaded - Mi'kmaq Elder

4 December 2012, 10:03  Download audio file

An elder with the Mi'kmaq Nation, Dr. Daniel Paul, spoke with the VoR and revealed some of the true yet hidden history of the American Indian people, few of whom remain after the worst genocide in the history of all mankind. The Indians of the Americas practiced Democracy for centuries before the Europeans invaded and even the US Constitution was written based on Indian principles. The Indian people were a peaceful people who lived lives based on honor, mutual respect and reverence for the land.

This rare interview may give you a glimpse into a once proud and great nations, which are now gone.

Hello! This is John Robles, I’m speaking with Dr. Daniel N. Paul. He is a Mi'kmaq elder and an Indian historian.

Robles: Hello Sir! How are you this evening?

Paul: I’m very good, thank you.

Robles: Thanks for agreeing to speak with me. My first question – what was it like for the Indians when the Europeans first landed in North America?

Paul: When the Europeans first invaded the Americas, well, you have to go back when Columbus got lost and landed in what’s today called the Caribbean and attacked the Taino people there. That began the onslaught that was unstoppable from that point on. At that time the Mi'kmaq, for instance, probably had one of the highest standards of living in the world. Our people were well-fed, they had access to an ocean that was abundant, an area, their land base, was teeming with wildlife.

And our civilization was very advanced in humanities. We had such things as divorces and marriages and all the rest, child care, elderly care and so forth and so on. And the system was based on honor and the leadership of the Mi'kmaq nation, and most of the North American nations were democratically elected by the people. And in comparison the Europeans, at that point in time, the vast majority lived under kings and queens and other aristocratic despots. They had very little freedom and they were ruled with iron hands. So, there was a big difference.

Robles: So, would you say democracy began with the Indian nations?

Paul: Democracy was well-practiced in the Americas before the Europeans even knew what democracy was. For instance the United States Government, in 1988 I believe it was, passed a resolution recognizing the fact that their Bill of Rights and the Constitution was copied in a large part from the indigenous people of the Americas and the practices they had, in particular the Iroquois.

Robles: Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Paul: Well, the Iroquois had what is called the Great Law of the People and it spelled out how the people rule. It is quite a document, but essentially it spelled out the democratic principles that a nation should operate under, given: power to the people.

Robles: The true history of the Indian people has been hidden, not only by governments in North America but by governments all over the world. Can you tell us some of the facts that have been hidden?

Paul: Well, there are lots of facts. The biggest fact that’s hidden in this day and age, is that: when the Europeans first invaded they created a lot of propaganda about the people that were living here and depicted them to be bloodthirsty savages and uncivilized people and so forth and so on. And their story telling was so great that they believed it. In fact it was completely wrong. If the people of the Americas had been such terrifying warriors and what have you: How come the Europeans were able to dispossess the people of two continents?

The fact was that Europeans came here as, what I would call, barbarians, in the sense that they came well-armed and they were well-equipped to fight people who really had no weaponry comparable to what the Europeans had. And the reason why the Europeans developed such lethal weaponry was simply because they were fighting among themselves for centuries and had invented better ways to kill one another. And when they brought that over to this side of the ocean, it was… our people didn’t stand a chance. You’ll never hear that taught in school. It is well-hidden and the people here were peaceful people, and if the Europeans had come and interacted friendly with the people here, there would never have been any bloodshed spilled.

Robles: Can you give us an example how Indian tribes would resolve conflicts for example for territory? I remember hearing some stories about that and I thought it was very interesting.

Paul: There were some wars, there is no question about it. But the best I can tell you is; most of the civilizations on this side of the water were based on personal honor. People were taught to honor the elders from the time they were born and to respect one another, and the Great Spirit was of course the keystone among the people, believing in a higher power. Disputes were solved simply: one of the best things I ever read was simple that two men were having an argument between them, they were mad at one at another, so the Chief went to one of them and said: “Do you intend to hate him for the rest of your days?” and he said; “No!” and then he went to the other and asked him the same question. He said: “No”, and then he said: “Why don’t you get together now and get it over with and forgive one another, and that’s it?” And they did. And life went on as normal.

One thing you have to keep in mind when you are talking about North American civilizations, “Civilizations of the Americas,” greed was unknown, personal accumulation of wealth was unheard of. People didn’t know what that kind of thinking was about. And when you are looking at collecting gold and silver and what have you, that was something that was never a big factor in the civilizations on this side of water.

Robles: Can you tell us some of the things about Indian society and Indian culture that might be interesting to listeners?

Paul: Well, one of the things, I think perhaps not too many people would know about is simply the fact that these civilizations that existed in 1492, when Columbus got lost, were civilizations that were well-advanced in their own right. They were people who had developed a way of living. The Mi'kmaq society for instance, it was what I would call a Use Society. And from the time you were born and as you grew as a child you were taught to respect all your friends and neighbors and entire community and to put your community first before your own personal needs.

So, people worked together for the joint welfare of everybody, for the bountiful welfare of everybody and everybody prospered together. So there was no fighting among themselves to gain power or gain wealth, or anything like that, that was something that was unheard of. And the worship in the creator was something that they lived on. It was religion based on nature, they believed that the Great Spirit was in their people, in the trees and in the earth and in everything else. So, it was a civilization that worked quite well.

And I don’t think that at this point in time you could reinvent that kind of thinking among the people, or re-instill it because we are so corrupted by the European God that was imported into the Americas and that is greed. Greed is something that is very destructive and our people were doomed because they had no concept of what greed was, they couldn’t understand it. When you are looking at, Chief Sitting Bull him making a statement that if North America had been twice as large as it is, it still wouldn’t have been large enough for the Europeans, they still would have wanted it all.

Robles: You were listening to an interview with Dr. Daniel N. Paul. He is an elder with Mi'kmaq. Thanks for listening.

 Stay tuned to the Voice of Russia for part 2 of this interview.

You can learn more about the Mi'kmaq and American Indians by visiting Dr. Paul's website at: www.danielnpaul.com

Indians Were Classified as Wild Animals

First Nations alarmed by destruction of our planet – Dr. Paul

14 December 2012, 12:02    Download audio file

The Voice of Russia discussed the real history of Thanksgiving and the true history of the first relations between the American Indigenous peoples and the European invaders with Dr. Daniel Paul an Indian Historian and elder with the Mi'kmaq Nation. The secret hidden history of genocide, slavery and treachery is touched upon and some surprising details are revealed, such as the fact that the practice of scalping, began in Europe.

This is part 2 of a three part interview regarding American Indian History. You can find part 1 by clicking on this link: Dr.Daniel Paul Voice of Russia Interview Part 1.

Robles: Can you give us an idea of how many tribes there were in North America when the Europeans invaded?

Paul: In what’s Canada today, there were 34 different tribes and different nations. So, when you are looking at what’s the United States and Mexico and put them all together, I would imagine you are looking at probably somewhere in the neighborhood of 100-140 tribes. In NorthAmerica, that’s North America.

Robles: Can you tell us: what do you make of Columbus saying that they discovered America? I’ve always had a big problem with that. They discovered a land where… there were already people populating it.

Paul: Columbus discovered nothing! Okay? He didn’t discover America; America was here for a long-long time. And there is evidence that people resided in the Americas for up to 25,000 years now. So if Christopher Columbus is 25,000 years old, maybe he did discover America. And brought some invaders with him at the time but he certainly did not. I’ll put it this way my friend: if I need a new car, and you happen to park yours, and I go out and discover your car, what do you call that?

Robles: Of course theft, it’s stealing.

Paul: When you discover something that belongs to somebody else and you take it, I think you are committing theft. And when you kill a large amount of people in the process of stealing something, I think that’s called genocide.

Robles: That’s right. You wrote a very well written piece about the first Thanksgiving and the real history behind that quote; “holiday” in the US. Can you give us some other examples and tell us a little bit about Thanksgiving?

Paul: Columbus Day, in particular is the biggest lie, he didn’t discover America. And the Thanksgiving business was one of the biggest fairytales of all times. What actually happened was that the tribes of that area; what’s called New England and Massachusetts, where the Puritans landed and set up shop, they were very friendly people, and these people, when they set up shop there, began to farm and what have you and they were starving and the native people fed them and helped them out. And 20 years after, the Chief, who was the prime leader in helping these people survive, had his sons captured by these same people and sold into slavery.

There is a lot of misinformation out there: most people think that the first slaves that were sold in the Americas were people from Africa, and the actual fact: it’s not true. The merchandise that was sold in a lot of the slave markets in the earlier part was mostly the indigenous peoples from the Americas.

Thanksgiving is nothing but a fairytale, it is being enhanced. You tell a story and it invariably goes on and by the time and it gets around the world and gets back to you, it is a different story altogether. And the friendly interaction between the Europeans, the Puritans, and the tribes of that area never occurred. As a matter of fact there were scalp proclamations issued for many of them and there were massacres that happened. At one fort, in what is now Connecticut, was burnt to the ground and over 900 men, women and children were slaughtered in that particular area. So, the great interaction between the American Indian and the European is a lot of hogwash.

Reminder

Robles: I’ve read that at the actual Thanksgiving, they were actually giving thanks that is was so easy to slaughter the Indians and take their lands, is that true?

Paul: That’s more or less what is it all about. There is an old saying: “God help the oppressed! When the oppressed become the oppressor.” The puritans were being oppressed in England and when they came here, they saw their chance they became the oppressors of the people who, I guess extended an olive branch to them, when they first landed and helped them survive. So, really there is a great deal of treachery involved in the history of the Americas that is never talked about.

Even here in Nova Scotia, in Canada, there were three scalp proclamations issued for the Mi'kmaq by the British. The first one was in 1744, the Mi'kmaq had the fort Annapolis Royal surrounded and the governor of the fort at the time, sent a message to Governor William Shirley of the Mass Bay colony asking for assistance and he responded by declaring war upon the Mi'kmaq. And in that declaration he put a price on the heads of men, women and children, for their scalps. The scalps of men, women and children.

Robles: For the scalps of Indians. So, the whole scalping thing, that was something that the Europeans pretty much though up.

Paul: Scalping was going on in Europe for a couple of thousand years. It is not something that was invented on this side of the ocean, by no means.

Robles: I see, that is one of the biggest fables I think. Now you mentioned slaves a minute ago. I know Indians were treated much worse than the African slaves that were brought over. Can you tell us a little bit about that?

Paul:Well, the fact was that the slaves that they took from here, the indigenous people on this side of the ocean, didn’t stand up to mistreatment all that well, and a lot of them simply died on their owners, which made them unsuitable for that purpose. So, then they looked around for a new source and they decided that the Africans would do it and that’s when they started importing boat loads of people from Africa and sell them on slave markets here in America.

Robles: Why weren’t blacks annihilated?

Paul: The blacks were a property, and they had a property value. So, naturally the owners didn’t go out and slaughter them or anything like that because they’d be expending their own money. But they eventually classified our people, the indigenous people of the Americas, as wild animals with no value. So, they could go out and kill an Indian and not expect to suffer any consequences from anybody. You wouldn’t be sued for killing a “property”, if you went and killed somebody’s slave, you were probably sued and would have to pay to the owner of the slave money for destroying their property.

Robles: Could a society that was based and started in that way, could it ever be called democratic or free, or fair?

Paul: All these societies in the Americas, with very few exceptions, were built on genocide, on the slaughter of the indigenous people, the people who were wiped out. Some people put the estimate, for the Caribbean Taino people for instance, at being somewhere in the neighborhood of 5 to 10 million when Columbus landed there, within 50 years they were practically extinct. So, when you are looking at the overall total: it is almost unbelievable.

Close

Dr. Daniel Paul is an Indian Historian and an elder with the Mi'kmaq Nation

You can learn more about the Mi'kmaq and American Indians by visiting Dr. Paul's website at: www.danielnpaul.com

The Genocide of the American Indians Was the Worst Ethnic Cleansing in History

25 December 2012, 14:15     Download audio file

In the third and final part of an interview with Indian Historian and Mi'kmaq elder Dr. Daniel Paul, the discussion continues regarding the genocide of the American indigenous peoples. Dr. Paul discusses the disingenuous "apology" by the US Government which was attached to a Defense Bill, the continued suppression of the real history of North America in the school systems of the continent and the continued institutionalized racism Native Americans face.

This is John Robles. I am speaking with Dr. Daniel N. Paul, a Mi’kmaq Elder and an Indian Historian.

Robles: Could a society that was based and started in that way, ever be called democratic or free or fair?

Paul: All the societies in the Americas, with very few exceptions, were built on genocide, on the blood of the indigenous people. People were wiped out. Some people put the estimate for the Caribbean Taíno people, for instance, as being somewhere in the neighborhood of 5-10 million when Columbus landed there, but within 50 years they were practically extinct.

So when you are looking at the overall total, it is almost unbelievable, and they talk about barbarism, people don’t discuss it too often but the Spaniards were using human flesh to feed dogs. And scalp proclamations were one of the favorite things of the English here in the Americas, putting a price on the heads of men, women and children. And then the spreading the smallpox was another thing they used quite liberally in trying to eliminate populations. And then simple starvation, after they destroyed most of the food sources of the indigenous people and trading patterns, the people lived in a state of malnutrition and many were starving to death, and when you get to that state, even a common cold could be fatal to you.

So, our population in the Americas was reduced, I would say, almost by 90% by time it was all over. And even in this day and age the Mi’kmaq, for instance, in Nova Scotia were down to 1,400 in 1850 and that stayed around the same until the 1940s, and then the Canadian government began to get a little bit of a conscience, or what have you, and started improving health services and food rations and so forth and so on. And today our population is up to about 25,000 now. We’re slowly but surely making a comeback.

Robles: How are the other tribes faring in Canada and in the United States?

Paul: The United States has owned up to the atrocities that went on there, there’s an apology I believe, that was issued by the Congress in 2010 but it’s what I call a silent apology. It was never broadcast around the world or anything like that and it was part of a Defense Procurement Bill that went through the Congress. But when you are looking at the overall thing, that is not what we need done in these countries. What we have to see is that they change curriculums and began to place in those school curriculums, the real history of the peoples that were here before the Europeans invaded. And I don’t call it discovery, I call it an invasion.

It was an invasion by people that were superiorly armed and they brought their wars to the Americas. The French and British were fighting almost constantly on this side of the water, at the same time fighting constantly on the European soil. So, they didn’t bring peace and prosperity to the indigenous people in the Americas - we already had that. And we all had good standards of living and some people like to believe that all our ancestors were standing along the shores of the Americas, cheering on the Europeans for coming over and saving them and civilizing them and so forth and so on, which is a pile of bull.

Reminder

Robles: You mentioned the Taíno, I’m part Taíno Indian myselfwhy are groups such as the Taíno listed as being extinct when actually some people exist?

Paul: What’s happened here is, there are probably even some Beothuk, some people with some Beothuk blood in them. But when you can’t find a member of a tribe that is full-blooded, that is the point where you would call that tribe extinct in the sense that they are no longer with us in that sense, the Beothuk, for all intents and purposes, were wiped out. I believe there may be a few people around with some Beothuk blood in them but they didn’t live in the traditional way or what have you.

Robles: Can you describe a little bit the present state of the tribes in Canada and the United States?

Paul: We live under a state of systemic racism. In the United States and Canada you can’t have open discrimination against us anymore such as they had 30-40 years ago but we are still not viewed as equals in these societies and we are not treated as equals, and we are still seen by the vast majority of the people here, because of lack the lack of education, as people that came from barbarous tribes, savage tribes and not as people who came from civilized a community.

So, until we can overcome that kind of perception and like I said before, change curriculums in schools and begin to teach the truth, we still got a long way to go before we are treated as people who have come from civilizations that had every right to continue to exist and prosper in this world, and stop demeaning our people in the sense that we were never a civilized people, where in fact, we were.

And how to get that information out? It is slowly happening, it is going to take a long time and at the rate we’re going, I think we’ll be at it for a couple of centuries before we really make that final step. And one of the biggest steps has to be acceptance by Europeans that the genocide of the American Indians, the indigenous people of the Americas was probably one of the worst mass ethnic cleansings that this world has ever known and begin to make that part of history lessons, and so forth and so on.

There were great civilizations on this side of the water, there were rural civilizations, there were hunter-gathers civilizations, there were city dwellers and what have you, and all these. And how many people in Americas or around the world know that fact? Very few. And the reason that they don’t know is because it’s not taught.

Robles: By the ancestors of the people who committed genocide on them.

Paul: That’s right.

Robles: Thank you very much. I really appreciate you speaking with me.

You were listening to an interview with Dr. Daniel N. Paul, he’s an elder with Mi’kmaq Tribe, thanks for listening.

 

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