The title of this book We Were Not the Savages speaks to the truth of what happened when Europeans invaded Mi’kmaw lands in the 17th century. Prior to the European invasion the Mi’kmaq lived healthy lives and for thousands of years had lived in harmony with nature in the land they called Mi’kma’ki. This book sets the record straight. When the Europeans arrived they were welcomed and sustained by the Mi’kmaq. Over the next three centuries their language, their culture, their way of life were systematically ravaged by the newcomers to whom they had extended human kindness. The murderous savagery of British scalp proclamations, starvation, malnutrition and Canada’s Indian residential and day schools all but wiped out the Mi’kmaq. Yet the Mi’kmaq survived and today stand defending the land, the water and nature’s bounty from the European way of life, which threatens the natural world we live in and need to survive.
Since the first edition was published in 1993, Daniel Paul’s ongoing research confronts the mainstream record of Canadian settler colonialism and reveals that the mistreatment of Indigenous Peoples is not confined to the past. In this 4th edition the author shares his research, which catalogues not only the historical tragedy but the ongoing attempts to silence the Mi’kmaq and other Indigenous Peoples. Paul’s work continues to give the Mi’kmaq a voice that must be heard.
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