Anarchists Cory Johnston (in Saskatchewan) and Damien Marie AtHope (in Florida) seek to learn more about the indigenous peoples of the Americas (First Nations/Native Americans) where they both live.

The First Nations of Saskatchewan are: Nêhiyawak (Plains Cree), Nahkawininiwak (Saulteaux), Nakota (Assiniboine), Dakota and Lakota (Sioux), and Denesuline (Dene/Chipewyan).” ref

Native Americans in Florida are: Ais, Apalachee, Calusa, Creek, Miccosukee, Seminole, Timucua, and Yemassee.” ref

Damien and Cory live around a 40 hr. drive apart.

Damien is an Anarchist-Socialist

Anarchist relates to being against hierarchy and Socialist is about economic equity to put it simply. No rulers and no masters. No one really owns the earth and all humanity is one family. No borders and no nations, just people supporting others in solidarity as an equal humanity. Not the full explanation just my own highlight explanation, for a quick reference. We rise by helping each other and Damien welcomes all good humans.

Damien was born and raised in Southern California but traveled to 48 states in America and 4 provinces of Canada. He also lived in several states in America, including Hawaii not listed.

And what areas are native american or first nations peoples’ land? Link:


LAND BACK: Returning the Land

“Four Indigenous leaders share insights about the growing landback movement and what it means for the planet.” ref

Land Back (or #LandBack) is a decentralised campaign by Native Americans in the United States and Indigenous peoples in Canada that seeks to reestablish Indigenous sovereignty, with political and economic control of their unceded traditional lands. Activists have also used the Land Back framework in Mexico, and scholars have applied it in New Zealand and Fiji. Land Back is part of a broader Indigenous struggle for decolonisation. Land Back aims to reestablish Indigenous political authority over territories that Indigenous tribes claim by treaty. Scholars from the Indigenous-run Yellowhead Institute at Toronto Metropolitan University describe it as a process of reclaiming Indigenous jurisdiction. The NDN collective describes it as synonymous with decolonisation and dismantling white supremacy. Land Back advocates for Indigenous rights, preserves languages and traditions, and works toward food sovereignty, decent housing, and a clean environment. They say that the campaign enables decentralised Indigenous leadership and addresses structural racism faced by Indigenous people that is rooted in theft of their land.ref

Native American Slavery?

“Native American slavery “is a piece of the history of slavery that has been glossed over,” Fisher said. “Between 1492 and 1880, between 2 and 5.5 million Native Americans were enslaved in the Americas in addition to 12.5 million African slaves.” ref

“The untold history of Native American enslavement. Long before the trans-Atlantic African slave trade was established in North America, Europeans were conducting a trade of enslaved Indigenous peoples, beginning with Christopher Columbus on Haiti in 1492.” ref

Colonization vs Colonialism

“When attempting to understand controversial issues, whether historical or contemporary, one must not get tripped up by the lingo. In this age of political correctness and sensitivity, the terminology will keep changing but that does not detract from what has already transpired or is currently ongoing. The purpose of defining terminology is so that everyone is starting from the same foundational base. Although the words colonization and colonialism are similar, their definitions show slight differences in meaning.” ref

“According to the Oxford Dictionary:

Colonization: is the action or process of settling among and establishing control over the indigenous people of an area.

Colonialism: is the policy or practice of acquiring full or partial political control over another country, occupying it with settlers, and exploiting it economically.” ref

“Colonialism is broader in that it refers to entire countries rather than an area and adding the economic exploitation factor. Whether the term being used is colonization or colonialism, the long-standing effects on Indigenous Peoples in Canada and other colonized countries remains the same.” ref


“When Europe showed up in North America, Indigenous people were not nomads, not few, not savages, not impoverished, not recent immigrants, and were not looking for salvation. Yes, Indigenous people had commerce, travel, economies, permanency, stewardship, inheritances, artistry, drama, ceremony, mourning, health care, politics, justice, penance, peacekeeping, and STILL DO.” – Department of Anticolonial History

“Hate of others” is a disgusting display of foolishness.

Bigotry is the shame people smear all over themselves trying to look better than others.


In Canada up until 1975, most of British Columbia, Québec, Yukon, and Nunavut were unceded territory. Since then, there have been some new treaties seeking to fill in these gaps, such as the 1975 James Bay and Northern Quebec Agreement and the 1993 Nunavut Land Claims Agreement. Below is where things stood before 1975. The white areas of the map were those not covered by any treaty.” ref 

What we mean when we say Indigenous land is ‘unceded’

“To be more precise: the Maritimes, nearly all of British Columbia, and a large swath of eastern Ontario and Quebec, which includes Ottawa, sit on territories that were never signed away by the Indigenous people who inhabited them before Europeans settled in North America. In other words, this land was stolen. (It’s worth noting that territories covered by treaties also weren’t necessarily ceded ⁠— in many cases, the intent of the agreements was the sharing of territory, not the relinquishing of rights.)” ref

The Environmental Context of (Settler) Colonialism in Canada

In the wake of the Idle No More movement, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, Indigenous-led critiques of Canada 150 and, most recently, efforts by multiple First Nations to locate burial sites at former residential schools (to name just four catalysts), historians have increasingly sought to situate and interrogate Canada as a settler colonial nation. Environmental historians have much to contribute to this work. In Canada as elsewhere, settler colonizers sought, in part, to dispossess Indigenous peoples of their traditional territories through slow and fast forms of violence and to remake these lands in the image of those they had left behind. As Shiri Pasternak and Hayden King note, the theft of Indigenous lands and waters and their development by governments and corporations are foundational components of Canada’s political and economic landscapes, in the past and present.ref

“Yet settler colonialism sensu stricto has not always been the dominant form of colonialism in what is presently Canada, as measured either in terms of space or time. Liza Piper and John Sandlos observe that the successful creation of what Alfred Crosby called Neo-Europes was very much the exception rather than the rule. These agricultural Arcadias were “limited to relatively discrete temperate areas such as the southern Prairies, southern Ontario, the St. Lawrence Valley, and Prince Edward Island.” Likewise, scholars have dated the rise and consolidation of settler colonial forms of occupation and rule to roughly the late eighteenth century in the eastern parts of Canada, roughly the late nineteenth century in its western portions, and (though this is certainly debatable) roughly the late twentieth century in the North. Allan Greer has argued that two alternate forms of colonialism—imperial/commercial penetration, and extractivism—better capture the presence of Europeans, and the spiralling consequences of their presence, in arctic and subarctic Canada.ref

Colonialism Is Alive and Well in Canada

“When I hear about the arrest of peaceful land protectors, I think about all the times I’ve heard that colonialism happened “a long time ago.” It never ended. When I see colonial violence in action I grieve not only for those brave people who stand peacefully as they are overwhelmed on their own lands, but also for future generations who will be forced to pay for our hubris. The ongoing “colonial violence” that Hayalthkin’geme speaks to is not only manifest in Wet’suwet’en territory as hereditary leaders, community members, and supporters are arrested for defending those territories. Colonialism remains embedded in the legal, political, and economic context of Canada today.” ref

A Brief and Brutal History of Canadian Colonialism

Despite the painful history, there’s always been Indigenous resistance. Is settler society finally waking up (from 2021)? In the weeks since the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc First Nation announced it had found the remains of 215 children at what was once Canada’s largest residential school in Kamloops, an opportunity to reconcile a painful past, a troubling present and a hopeful future might be emerging.” ref

“The Truth and Reconciliation Commission had previously confirmed 51 deaths at the Kamloops Indian Residential School, but the Tk’emlúps te Secwépemc community had long believed there were many more former students buried in unmarked graves. The discovery of 215 children’s remains using ground-penetrating radar confirmed the horrific truth, and the ensuing grief among Indigenous peoples was public and palpable.” ref

“In addition to the shock and outrage, and in spite of this deep sorrow, First Nations have courageously responded with compassion and solidarity. Since the grim revelation on May 27, people have travelled from hundreds of kilometres away to Kamloops to support one another and pay homage to the lost children. Honour songs have been sung, prayers said, burnings and smudges offered, tears shed and community connections reaffirmed.” ref

Experiences of Indigenous Women under Settler Colonialism

If the meta-narrative of Canadian history excluded Indigenous peoples’ stories, it rendered Indigenous women doubly invisible. Indigenous women show up at the peripheries of older settler histories, often exoticized by European observers whose understanding of sexual relationships were peculiarly rigid. Individual women slip in and out of the fur trade records if and when they married and then were deserted by European and Canadian men; they might reappear if they married a successor trader from Montréal or Scotland. A small number loom large. There’s Kateri Tekakwitha, the first Indigenous person in North America to be canonized by the Pope. The campaign to recognize Kateri began in 1680, shortly after her death at about twenty-four years of age, and culminated in sainthood in 2012. Her story—or versions of it—is familiar to the Catholic Indigenous communities and beyond. Another widely-known character is Thanadelthur (ca. 1697 to 1717), held out as a heroic figure in bringing peace to the Dënesųlįné (Chipewyan) and Cree of western Hudson’s Bay. But for all of that, she was dead by the time she was about twenty years old. Konwatsi’tsiaienni (a.k.a. Molly Brant) had a longer career as a diplomat and leader of her people, the Kanien’kehá:ka, and a life that ran from ca. 1736 to 1796.” ref

“There are other female figures who stand out in the meta-narratives, but not many, and none are so prominent as these three. By the time the Dominion of Canada had taken over responsibility for colonial relations with Indigenous people, Victorian society had ceased to see women as participants in political life: Indigenous women were treated by the Canadians as outsiders in treaty negotiations, and they were excluded from federally-recognized leadership positions within their communities. “Colonial values,” as Carmen Watson points out:

. . . thus began to relegate Indigenous women to apolitical environments, effectively restructuring the socio-political dynamics that had existed pre-contact. Colonizers viewed Indigenous men as the gateway to establishing political, or seemingly political relationships. Women, however, were seen as an impediment to the process, taking up spots that could be occupied by men.

Given this erasure over the course of hundreds of years of colonial history-making, how do we go about recovering and making sense of the histories of Indigenous women?” ref

“The Canadian Indian residential school system was a network of boarding schools for Indigenous peoples. The network was funded by the Canadian government‘s Department of Indian Affairs and administered by Christian churches. The school system was created to isolate Indigenous children from the influence of their own culture and religion in order to assimilate them into the dominant Canadian culture. Over the course of the system’s more than hundred-year existence, around 150,000 children were placed in residential schools nationally. By the 1930s, about 30 percent of Indigenous children were attending residential schools. The number of school-related deaths remains unknown due to incomplete records. Estimates range from 3,200 to over 30,000, mostly from disease.” ref

“The system had its origins in laws enacted before Confederation, but it was primarily active from the passage of the Indian Act in 1876, under Prime Minister Alexander MacKenzie. Under Prime Minister John A. Macdonald, the government adopted the residential industrial school system of the United States, a partnership between the government and various church organizations. An amendment to the Indian Act in 1894, under Prime Minister Mackenzie Bowell, made attendance at day schools, industrial schools, or residential schools compulsory for First Nations children. Due to the remote nature of many communities, school locations meant that for some families, residential schools were the only way to comply. The schools were intentionally located at substantial distances from Indigenous communities to minimize contact between families and their children. Indian Commissioner Hayter Reed argued for schools at greater distances to reduce family visits, which he thought counteracted efforts to assimilate Indigenous children. Parental visits were further restricted by the use of a pass system designed to confine Indigenous peoples to reserves. The last federally-funded residential school, Kivalliq Hall in Rankin Inlet, closed in 1997. Schools operated in every province and territory with the exception of New Brunswick and Prince Edward Island.” ref

“The residential school system harmed Indigenous children significantly by removing them from their families, depriving them of their ancestral languages, and exposing many of them to physical and sexual abuse. Conditions in the schools led to student malnutrition, starvation, and disease. Students were also subjected to forced enfranchisement as “assimilated” citizens that removed their legal identity as Indians. Disconnected from their families and culture and forced to speak English or French, students often graduated being unable to fit into their communities but remaining subject to racist attitudes in mainstream Canadian society. The system ultimately proved successful in disrupting the transmission of Indigenous practices and beliefs across generations. The legacy of the system has been linked to an increased prevalence of post-traumatic stress, alcoholism, substance abuse, suicide, and intergenerational trauma which persist within Indigenous communities today.” ref

“Starting in the late 2000s, Canadian politicians and religious communities have begun to recognize, and issue apologies for, their respective roles in the residential school system. Prime Minister Stephen Harper offered a public apology on his behalf and that of the other federal political party leaders. On June 1, 2008, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada (TRC) was established to uncover the truth about the schools. The commission gathered about 7,000 statements from residential school survivors through various local, regional, and national events across Canada. In 2015, the TRC concluded with the establishment of the National Centre for Truth and Reconciliation and released a report that concluded that the school system amounted to cultural genocide. Ongoing efforts since 2021 have identified thousands of probable unmarked graves on the grounds of former residential schools, though no human remains have been exhumed. During a penitential pilgrimage to Canada in July 2022, Pope Francis reiterated the apologies of the Catholic Church for its role, also acknowledging the system as genocide. In October 2022, the House of Commons unanimously passed a motion calling on the federal Canadian government to recognize the residential school system as genocide.” ref


by Acco-Carrière, Anne

Description: “This short story chronicles four Cree-Métis brothers and their times during the Second World War and a shaman`s prophesy regarding their return to northern Saskatchewan following the war’s conclusion. This document is copyrighted to the author and can only be used for reading purposes only. Any further use shall require the permission of the author.” ref


“Saskatchewan is a province in Western Canada, bordered on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the east by Manitoba, to the northeast by Nunavut, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota. Saskatchewan and Alberta are the only landlocked provinces of Canada. Saskatchewan has been inhabited for thousands of years by indigenous groups. Europeans first explored the area in 1690 and first settled in the area in 1774. It became a province in 1905, carved out from the vast North-West Territories, which had until then included most of the Canadian Prairies. Saskatchewan is the only province without a natural border. As its borders largely follow the geographic coordinates of longitude and latitude, the province is roughly a quadrilateral, or a shape with four sides.” ref

“In 1992, the federal and provincial governments signed a historic land claim agreement with First Nations in Saskatchewan. The First Nations received compensation which they could use to buy land on the open market for the bands. They have acquired about 3,079 square kilometres (761,000 acres; 1,189 sq mi), new reserve lands under this process. Some First Nations have used their settlement to invest in urban areas, including Regina and Saskatoon. The name of the province is derived from the Saskatchewan River. The river is known as ᑭᓯᐢᑳᒋᐘᓂ ᓰᐱᐩ kisiskāciwani-sīpiy (“swift flowing river”) in the Cree languageHenday’s spelling was Keiskatchewan, with the modern rendering, Saskatchewan, being officially adopted in 1882 when a portion of the present-day province was designated a provisional district of the North-West Territories.” ref

“Saskatchewan is part of the western provinces and is bounded on the west by Alberta, on the north by the Northwest Territories, on the north-east by Nunavut, on the east by Manitoba, and on the south by the U.S. states of Montana and North Dakota. Saskatchewan has the distinction of being the only Canadian province for which no borders correspond to physical geographic features (i.e. they are all parallels and meridians). Along with Alberta, Saskatchewan is one of only two land-locked provinces.” ref

“Saskatchewan has been populated by various indigenous peoples of North America, including members of the SarceeNiitsitapiAtsinaCreeSaulteauxAssiniboine (Nakoda), Lakota and Sioux. The first known European to enter Saskatchewan was Henry Kelsey from England in 1690, who travelled up the Saskatchewan River in hopes of trading fur with the region’s indigenous peoples. Fort La Jonquière and Fort de la Corne were first established in 1751 and 1753 by early French explorers and traders. The first permanent European settlement was a Hudson’s Bay Company post at Cumberland House, founded in 1774 by Samuel Hearne. The southern part of the province was part of Spanish Louisiana from 1762 until 1802.” ref

“In 1803, the Louisiana Purchase transferred from France to the United States part of what is now Alberta and Saskatchewan. In 1818, the U.S. ceded the area to Britain. Most of what is now Saskatchewan was part of Rupert’s Land and controlled by the Hudson’s Bay Company, which claimed rights to all watersheds flowing into Hudson Bay, including the Saskatchewan River, Churchill, Assiniboine, Souris, and Qu’Appelle River systems. In the late 1850s and early 1860s, scientific expeditions led by John Palliser and Henry Youle Hind explored the prairie region of the province.ref

“In 1870, Canada acquired the Hudson’s Bay Company’s territories and formed the North-West Territories to administer the vast territory between British Columbia and Manitoba. The Crown also entered into a series of numbered treaties with the indigenous peoples of the area, which serve as the basis of the relationship between First Nations, as they are called today, and the Crown. Since the late twentieth century, land losses and inequities as a result of those treaties have been subject to negotiation for settlement between the First Nations in Saskatchewan and the federal government, in collaboration with provincial governments.ref

“In 1876, following their defeat of United States Army forces at the Battle of the Little Bighorn in Montana Territory in the United States, the Lakota Chief Sitting Bull led several thousand of his people to Wood Mountain. Survivors and descendants founded Wood Mountain Reserve in 1914. The North-West Mounted Police set up several posts and forts across Saskatchewan, including Fort Walsh in the Cypress Hills, and Wood Mountain Post in south-central Saskatchewan near the United States border.ref

“Many Métis people, who had not been signatories to a treaty, had moved to the Southbranch Settlement and Prince Albert district north of present-day Saskatoon following the Red River Rebellion in Manitoba in 1870. In the early 1880s, the Canadian government refused to hear the Métis’ grievances, which stemmed from land-use issues. Finally, in 1885, the Métis, led by Louis Riel, staged the North-West Rebellion and declared a provisional government. They were defeated by a Canadian militia brought to the Canadian prairies by the new Canadian Pacific Railway. Riel, who surrendered and was convicted of treason in a packed Regina courtroom, was hanged on November 16, 1885. Since then, the government has recognized the Métis as an aboriginal people with status rights and provided them with various benefits.” ref

The First Nations of Saskatchewan are:

Nêhiyawak (Plains Cree):

“The Cree (Creenéhinawnéhiyawnihithaw, etc.; French: Cri) are a North American Indigenous people. They live primarily in Canada, where they form one of the country’s largest First Nations. In Canada, over 350,000 people are Cree or have Cree ancestry. The major proportion of Cree in Canada live north and west of Lake Superior, in OntarioManitobaSaskatchewanAlberta, and the Northwest Territories. About 27,000 live in Quebec. In the United States, Cree people historically lived from Lake Superior westward. Today, they live mostly in Montana, where they share the Rocky Boy Indian Reservation with Ojibwe (Chippewa) people. The documented westward migration over time has been strongly associated with their roles as traders and hunters in the North American fur trade.” ref


“Cree language (also known as Cree–MontagnaisNaskapi) is a dialect continuum of Algonquian languages spoken by approximately 117,000 people across Canada, from the Northwest Territories to Alberta to Labrador. If considered one language, it is the aboriginal language with the highest number of speakers in Canada.” ref

ref, ref, ref

Speakers of Algonquian languages stretch from the east coast of North America to the Rocky Mountains. The proto-language from which all of the languages of the family descend, Proto-Algonquian, was spoken around 2,500 to 3,000 years ago. The Algonquian family, which is a branch of the larger Algic language family, is usually divided into three subgroups: Eastern Algonquian, which is a genetic subgroup, and Central Algonquian and Plains Algonquian, both of which are areal groupings. In the historical linguistics of North America, Proto-Algonquian is one of the best-studied, most thoroughly reconstructed proto-languages. It is descended from Proto-Algic. Proto-Algic is the proto-language from which the Algic languages (Wiyot languageYurok language, and Proto-Algonquian) are descended. It is estimated to have been spoken about 7,000 years ago somewhere in the American Northwest, possibly around the Columbia Plateau.” ref, ref, ref

The Cree are generally divided into eight groups based on dialect and region. These divisions do not necessarily represent ethnic sub-divisions within the larger ethnic group:

  • Naskapiand Montagnais (together known as the Innu) are inhabitants of an area they refer to as Nitassinan. Their territories comprise most of the present-day political jurisdictions of eastern Quebec and Labrador. Their cultures are differentiated, as some of the Naskapi are still caribou hunters and more nomadic than many of the Montagnais. The Montagnais have more settlements. The total population of the two groups in 2003 was about 18,000 people, of which 15,000 lived in Quebec. Their dialects and languages are the most distinct from the Cree spoken by the groups west of Lake Superior.
  • Atikamekware inhabitants of the area they refer to as Nitaskinan (Our Land), in the upper St. Maurice River valley of Quebec (about 300 km or 190 mi north of Montreal). Their population is around 8,000.
  • East Cree– Grand Council of the Crees; approximately 18,000 Cree (Iyyu in Coastal Dialect / Iynu in Inland Dialect) of Eeyou Istchee and Nunavik regions of Northern Quebec.
  • Moose Cree– Moose Factory in the Northeastern Ontario; this group lives on Moose Factory Island, near the mouth of the Moose River, at the southern end of James Bay. (“Factory” used to refer to a trading post.)
  • Swampy Cree– this group lives in northern Manitoba along the Hudson Bay coast and adjacent inland areas to the south and west, and in Ontario along the coast of Hudson Bay and James Bay. Some also live in eastern Saskatchewan around Cumberland House. Their dialect has 4,500 speakers.
  • Woodland Creeand Rocky Cree  – a group in northern Alberta, Manitoba, and Saskatchewan.
  • Plains Cree– a total of 34,000 people in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Montana.” ref

“Due to the many dialects of the Cree language, the people have no modern collective autonym. The Plains Cree and Attikamekw refer to themselves using modern forms of the historical nêhiraw, namely nêhiyaw and nêhirawisiw, respectively. Moose Cree, East Cree, Naskapi, and Montagnais all refer to themselves using modern dialectal forms of the historical iriniw, meaning ‘man.’ Moose Cree use the form ililiw, coastal East Cree and Naskapi use iyiyiw (variously spelled iiyiyiuiiyiyuu, and eeyou), inland East Cree use iyiniw (variously spelled iinuu and eenou), and Montagnais use ilnu and innu, depending on dialect. The Cree use “Cree,” “cri,” “Naskapi, or “montagnais” to refer to their people only when speaking French or English. As hunter-gatherers, the basic unit of organization for Cree peoples was the lodge, a group of perhaps eight or a dozen people, usually the families of two separate but related married couples, who lived together in the same wigwam (domed tent) or tipi (conical tent), and the band, a group of lodges who moved and hunted together.” ref

“In the case of disagreement, lodges could leave bands and bands could be formed and dissolved with relative ease. However, as there is safety in numbers, all families would want to be part of some band, and banishment was considered a very serious punishment. Bands would usually have strong ties to their neighbours through intermarriage and would assemble together at different parts of the year to hunt and socialize together. Besides these regional gatherings, there was no higher-level formal structure, and decisions of war and peace were made by consensus with allied bands meeting together in council. People could be identified by their clan, which is a group of people claiming descent from the same common ancestor; each clan would have a representative and a vote in all important councils held by the band (compare: Anishinaabe clan system).” ref

“Each band remained independent of each other. However, Cree-speaking bands tended to work together and with their neighbors against outside enemies. Those Cree who moved onto the Great Plains and adopted bison hunting, called the Plains Cree, were allied with the Assiniboine, the Metis Nation, and the Saulteaux in what was known as the “Iron Confederacy“, which was a major force in the North American fur trade from the 1730s to the 1870s. The Cree and the Assiniboine were important intermediaries in the Indian trading networks on the northern plains.” ref

“When a band went to war, they would nominate a temporary military commander, called a okimahkan. loosely translated as “war chief”. This office was different from that of the “peace chief”, a leader who had a role more like that of diplomat. In the run-up to the 1885 North-West RebellionBig Bear was the leader of his band, but once the fighting started Wandering Spirit became war leader. The name “Cree” is derived from the Algonkian-language exonym Kirištino˙, which the Ojibwa used for tribes around Hudson Bay. The French colonists and explorers, who spelled the term KilistinonKiristinonKnisteneauxCristenaux, and Cristinaux, used the term for numerous tribes which they encountered north of Lake Superior, in Manitoba, and west of there. The French used these terms to refer to various groups of peoples in Canada, some of which are now better distinguished as Severn Anishinaabe (Ojibwa), who speak dialects different from the Algonquin.” ref

“Depending on the community, the Cree may call themselves by the following names: the nēhiyawak, nīhithaw, nēhilaw, and nēhinaw; or ininiw, ililiw, iynu (innu), or iyyu. These names are derived from the historical autonym nēhiraw (of uncertain meaning) or from the historical autonym iriniw (meaning “person”). Cree using the latter autonym tend to be those living in the territories of Quebec and Labrador.” ref

“The Cree language (also known in the most broad classification as Cree-Montagnais, Cree-Montagnais-Naskapi, to show the groups included within it) is the name for a group of closely related Algonquian languages, the mother tongue (i.e. language first learned and still understood) of approximately 96,000 people, and the language most often spoken at home of about 65,000 people across Canada, from the Northwest Territories to Labrador. It is the most widely spoken aboriginal language in Canada. The only region where Cree has official status is in the Northwest Territories, together with eight other aboriginal languages.” ref

“In Canada, Cree are the largest group of First Nations in Canada, with 220,000 members and 135 registered bands. Together, their reserve lands are the largest of any First Nations group in the country. The largest Cree band and the second largest First Nations Band in Canada after the Six Nations Iroquois is the Lac La Ronge Band in northern Saskatchewan.” ref

“Given the traditional Cree acceptance of mixed marriages, it is acknowledged by academics that all bands are ultimately of mixed heritage and multilingualism and multiculturalism was the norm. In the West, mixed bands of Cree, Saulteaux and Assiniboine, all partners in the Iron Confederacy, are the norm. However, in recent years, as indigenous languages have declined across western Canada where there were once three languages spoken on a given reserve, there may now only be one. This has led to a simplification of identity, and it has become “fashionable” for bands in many parts of Saskatchewan to identify as “Plains Cree” at the expense of a mixed Cree-Salteaux history. There is also a tendency for bands to recategorize themselves as “Plains Cree” instead of Woods Cree or Swampy Cree. Neal McLeod argues this is partly due to the dominant culture’s fascination with Plains Indian culture as well as the greater degree of written standardization and prestige Plains Cree enjoys over other Cree dialects.” ref

“The Métis (from the French, Métis – of mixed ancestry) are people of mixed ancestry, such as Cree (or Anishinaabe) and French, English, or Scottish heritage. According to Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development Canada, the Métis were historically the children of French fur traders and Cree women or, from unions of English or Scottish traders and northern Dene women (Anglo-Métis). The Métis National Council defines a Métis as “a person who self-identifies as Métis, is distinct from other Aboriginal peoples, is of historic Métis Nation Ancestry and who is accepted by the Métis Nation.” ref

“Cree are the most populous and widely distributed Indigenous peoples in Canada. Other words the Cree use to describe themselves include nehiyawak, nihithaw, nehinaw and ininiw. Cree First Nations occupy territory in the Subarctic region from Alberta to Quebec, as well as portions of the Plains region in Alberta and Saskatchewan. According to 2016 census data, 356,655 people identified as having Cree ancestry and 96,575 people speak the Cree language. In the 2016 census, 356,655 people identified as having Cree ancestry. Cree live in areas from Alberta to Quebec in the Subarctic and Plains regions, a geographic distribution larger than that of any other Indigenous group in Canada.” ref

“Moving from west to east, the main divisions of Cree, based on environment, language and dialect are Plains Cree (paskwâwiyiniwak or nehiyawak) in Alberta and Saskatchewan, Woods Cree (sakâwiyiniwak) in Saskatchewan and Manitoba, Swampy Cree (maskêkowiyiniwak) in Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario, and James Bay/Eastern Cree (Eeyouch) in Québec; Moose Cree (in Ontario) is considered a sub-group/dialect of Swampy Cree. The suffix –iyiniwak, meaning people, is used to distinguish people of particular sub-groups. For example, the kâ-têpwêwisîpîwiyiniwak are the Calling River People, while the amiskowacîwiyiniwak are the Beaver Hills People.” ref

“The Eastern Cree are closely related, in both culture and language, to the Innu (Montagnais-Naskapi) and Atikamekw. Many Cree First Nations in western provinces have blended populations of Ojibwa, Saulteaux, AssiniboineDenesuline and others. In addition, the Oji-Cree of Manitoba and Ontario are a distinct people of mixed Cree and Ojibwa culture and heritage. Many Métis people also descend from Cree women and French Canadian fur traders and voyageurs. (See also Fur Trade.)” ref

“For thousands of years, the ancestors of the Cree were thinly spread over much of the woodland area that they still occupy. Known as the Ndooheenou (“nation of hunters”), the Cree followed seasonal animal migrations to obtain meat for food and animal hides and bones for the making of tools and clothing. They traveled by canoe in summer, and by snowshoes and toboggan in winter, living in cone- or dome-shaped lodges, covered in animal skins. (See also Architectural History of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.) Many Cree still consider hunting an important part of their culture and way of life; the hunting and trapping of moosecaribourabbit and other animals is fairly common in Cree communities.” ref

“After the arrival of Europeans, participation in the fur trade pushed Swampy Cree west into the Plains. During this time, many Cree remained in the boreal forest and the tundra area to the north, where a stable culture persisted. They continued to rely on hunting moose, caribou, smaller game, geeseducks and fish, which they preserved by drying over fire. The Cree also traded meat, furs and other goods in exchange for metal tools, twine and European goods. Plains Cree exchanged the canoe for horses, and subsisted primarily through the buffalo hunt.” ref

“Cree lived in small bands or hunting groups for most of the year, and gathered into larger groups in the summer for socializing, exchanges and ceremonies. They historically had cultural, trade and social relations with other Algonquian-speaking nations, most directly with the Innu (Montagnais-Naskapi), Algonquin and Ojibwa.” ref

“Although the Cree strived to maintain a communal and egalitarian society, some individuals were regarded as more powerful, both in the practical activities of hunting and in the spiritual activities that influenced other persons. (See also Shaman.) Leaders in group hunts, raids and trading were granted authority in directing such tasks, but otherwise the ideal was to lead by means of exemplary action. Some of the most well-known Cree chiefs and leaders include Mistahimaskwa (Big Bear), Pitikwahanapiwiyin (Poundmaker) and Piapot — all of whom strove to maintain traditional ways of life in the face of change after the arrival of Europeans.” ref

“The Cree participated in a variety of cultural ceremonies and rituals, including the Sun Dance (also known as the Thirst Dance, and particularly celebrated by the Plains Cree), powwows, vision quests, feasts, pipe ceremonies, sweat lodges and more. Many of such rituals were banned by the Indian Act until 1951; however, the traditions survive to this day.” ref

“One of such ceremonies is the “walking out ceremony” — a ritual in which children are officially welcomed into the community. Cree tradition dictates that children’s feet are not to touch the ground outside of a tent until the ceremony takes place. Therefore, the ritual is usually held as soon as a child is able to stand or walk on their own. The morning of the ceremony, the child — dressed in traditional clothing — awaits the arrival of the Elders. Once they arrive, the Elders send the child outside of the tent. Accompanied by an adult, the children walk around a designated area outside the tent. Usually, they are told to mimic hunting or other traditional roles of adults. Once they have done this, the children re-enter the tent and give the Elders gifts. The community gathered inside the tent embraces the children as new members of their society. A feast usually follows.” ref

“Art and music are important elements of Cree culture. Well-known for their beadwork, Cree women created beautiful and functional clothing, bags, and furniture. Plains Cree peoples also decorated the outsides of their tipis with paint. A well-known modern Cree artist is George Littlechild. Drumming is significant to the Cree as well as to most other Indigenous nations. Drums are sacred, and the music that comes from them is likened to the heartbeat of the nation. Drum music can be heard at festivals and religious ceremonies.” ref

Religion and Spirituality

“The Cree worldview describes the interconnectivity between people and nature; health and happiness was achieved by living a life in balance with nature. Religious life was based on relations with animal and other spirits which often revealed themselves in dreams. People tried to show respect for each other by an ideal ethic of non-interference, in which each individual was responsible for his or her actions and the consequences of those actions. Food was always the first priority, and would be shared in times of hardship or in times of plenty when people gathered to celebrate by feasting.” ref

“The Cree worldview also incorporates Trickster (wîsahkêcâhk) mythology. A trickster is a cultural and spiritual figure that exhibits great intellect, but uses it to cause mischief and get into trouble. The Cree believe one can learn important lessons about how to live — and not to live — good lives from the examples set by the tricksters. One common trickster figure in Cree spirituality is Wisakedjak — a demigod and cultural hero that is featured in some versions of the Cree creation story. (See also Religion and Spirituality of Indigenous Peoples in Canada.)” ref

Nahkawininiwak (Saulteaux):

“The Saulteaux otherwise known as the Plains Ojibwe, are a First Nations band government in OntarioManitobaSaskatchewanAlberta and British ColumbiaCanada. They are a branch of the Ojibwe who pushed west. They formed a mixed culture of woodlands and plains Indigenous customs and traditions. The Saulteaux are a branch of the Ojibwe Nations within Canada. They are sometimes called the Anihšināpē (Anishinaabe). Saulteaux is a French term meaning “people of the rapids,” referring to their former location in the area of Sault Ste. Marie. They are primarily hunters and fishers, and when still the primary dwellers of their sovereign land, they had extensive trading relations with the French, British and later Americans at that post.” ref

“The Saulteaux historically were settled around Lake Superior and Lake Winnipeg, principally in the areas of present-day Sault Ste. Marie and northern Michigan. Pressure from European Canadians and Americans gradually pushed the tribe westward to ManitobaSaskatchewan and Alberta, with one community in British Columbia. Today most of the Saulteaux live in the Interlake District; Swan River, Duck Bay, Camperville, the southern part of Manitoba, and in Saskatchewan (Kamsack and surrounding areas). Because they were forced to move to land ill-suited for European crops, they were lucky to escape European-Canadian competition for their lands and have kept much of that assigned territory in reserves. Generally, the Saulteaux have three major divisions.” ref

“Western Ojibwa (also known as NakawēmowinSaulteaux, and Plains Ojibwa) is a dialect of the Ojibwe language, a member of the Algonquian language family. It is spoken by the Saulteaux, a subnation of the Ojibwe people, in southern Manitoba and southern SaskatchewanCanada, west of Lake Winnipeg. Saulteaux is generally used by its speakers, and Nakawēmowin is the general term in the language itself.” ref

The Saulteaux or Plains Ojibway (Nahkawininiwak in their language) speak a language belonging to the Algonquian language family; Algonquian people can be found from Newfoundland to the Rocky Mountains, and from Hudson Bay to the southeastern United States. Algonquian languages comprise Algonkin, Blackfoot, Cheyenne, Cree, Delaware, Menominee, Ojibwa, Ottawa, Potawatomi, Sauk/Fox, and Nahkawiwin (Saulteaux). The name Saulteaux is said to come from the French word saulteurs, meaning People of the Rapids; this name refers to the location around the St. Mary’s River (Sault Ste. Marie), where French fur traders and the Ojibwa met to trade in the late 17th century. Amongst some storytellers there is a migration story that predates contact with the people of France and England. It relates the movement of the people to the west, where they began to settle and set up with their neighbors, the Lakota and Dakota, alliances which allowed for peaceful coexistence. It was during the fur-trade rivalry between the French and English that these alliances were broken.” ref

“With the fur trade in decline, the disappearance of the bison, and the increase of settlers of European origin, the Nahkawininiwak, along with other plains First Nations, began the treaty-making process with the newly developed government of Canada. Nahkawininiwak leaders signed, on behalf of their various bands, Treaties 1 and 2. Later, in 1874 and 1876, Nahkawininiwak were signatories to Treaties 4 and 6. These four treaties ceded to the government of Canada much of the land of southern Manitoba and southern Saskatchewan, as well as portions of Alberta. In return, the First Nations were promised annuities ($3-$5 per person per year), reserves, education, as well as hunting, fishing and trapping rights.” ref

“In Saskatchewan, the following First Nations communities have Nahkawininiwak speakers: Cote, Cowessess, Fishing Lake, Gordons, Keeseekoose, Key, Muskowpetung, Nut Lake, Pasqua, Poorman, Sakimay, Saulteaux, and Yellowquill. In addition, the following communities have a mixture of NahkawininiwakNêhiyawêwin and other languages: Cowessess, Gordons, White Bear, and Keeseekoose. There is some movement to adopt the original name of Anishinabe, which is the name that the Ojibway people used in earlier times to identify themselves. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, many of the ceremonies and traditional beliefs of the Nahkawininiwak were banned by law. In the 21st century some of these ceremonies are being revived, belief systems such as the Midewiwiwin are being reintroduced, and some Nahkawininiwak have adopted Plains ceremonies such as the Sun Dance.” ref


Nakota (Assiniboine):

“Nakota (or Nakoda or Nakona) is the endonym used by those Assiniboine Indigenous people in the US, and by the Stoney People, in Canada. The Assiniboine branched off from the Great Sioux Nation (aka the Oceti Sakowin) long ago and moved further west from the original territory in the woodlands of what is now Minnesota into the northern and northwestern regions of Montana and North Dakota in the United States, and ManitobaSaskatchewan, and Alberta in Canada. In each of the Western Siouan language dialectsnakotadakota and lakota all mean “friend.” ref

“The Western Siouan languages, also called Siouan proper or simply Siouan, are a large language family native to North America. They are closely related to the Catawban languages, sometimes called Eastern Siouan, and together with them constitute the Siouan (Siouan–Catawban) language family. Linguistic and historical records indicate a possible southern origin of the Siouan people, with migrations over a thousand years ago from North Carolina and Virginia to Ohio. Some continued down the Ohio River, to the Mississippi and up to the Missouri. Others went down the Mississippi, settling in what is now Alabama, Mississippi and Louisiana. Others traveled across Ohio to what is now Illinois, Wisconsin, and Minnesota, home of the Dakota.” ref

Siouan or Siouan–Catawban is a language family of North America that is located primarily in the Great PlainsOhio, and Mississippi valleys and southeastern North America with a few other languages in the east.” ref

“Historically, the tribes belonging to the Sioux nation have generally been classified into three large language groups:

  • Lakota(Thítȟuŋwaŋanglicized as Teton), who form the westernmost group.
  • Dakota, (Dakhótiyapi– Isáŋyathi anglicized as Santee) originally the easternmost group
  • Nakota, originally the two central tribes of the Yankton and the Yanktonai” ref

“The Assiniboine separated from the Yankton-Yanktonai grouping at an early time. For a long time, very few scholars criticized this classification. In 1978, Douglas R. Parks, A. Wesley Jones, David S. Rood, and Raymond J. DeMallie engaged in systematic linguistic research at the Sioux and Assiniboine reservations to establish the precise dialectology of the Sioux language. They ascertained that both the Santee and the Yankton/Yanktonai referred (and refer) to themselves by the autonym “Dakota.” The name of Nakota (or Nakoda) was (and is) exclusive usage of the Assiniboine and of their Canadian relatives, the Stoney. The subsequent academic literature, however, especially if it is not produced by linguistic specialists, has seldom reflected Parks and DeMallie’s work. The change cannot be regarded as a subsequent terminological regression caused by the fact that Yankton-Yanktonai people lived together with the Santee in the same reserves.” ref

“Currently, the groups refer to themselves as follows in their mother tongues:

“The Assiniboine are a Siouan-speaking people closely related linguistically to the Sioux and Stoney. Folk tradition suggesting a separation from the Yanktonai Sioux is not supported linguistically or historically. Linguistically, Nakota is on a continuum with the other Sioux dialects, no closer to one than the other, suggesting that the Assiniboine diverged from the Sioux at the same time the other Sioux dialects were differentiating from one another. The name Assiniboine derives from Ojibwa assini?- pwa? n, “stone enemy,” meaning “stone Sioux”—often with the –ak plural suffix, later a final –t, and by the 19th century the final –n or –ne. Nakota is their name for themselves and the language that they speak.” ref

“Assiniboines were first encountered by Europeans in the woodlands and parklands, already adept canoe users in their role as trade middlemen. In 1737 La Vérendrye distinguished the Woodland Assiniboines, who knew how to take fur-bearing animals, from the Plains Assiniboines, who had to be taught. Communal buffalo hunting utilized dogs until horses were acquired. Assiniboines utilized the buffalo pound to entrap and process much larger quantities than could be taken by single hunters.” ref

“In the 17th century, Assiniboine territory extended westward from Lake Winnipeg and the Forks of the Red and Assiniboine rivers into much of central and southern Saskatchewan. From the earliest descriptions, the Assiniboines allied with Algonquian-speaking Crees, and later, in the early to mid-19th century, with Saulteaux or western Ojibwas. Historical sources suggest a westward expansion of Assiniboine territory during the 18th century through the parklands of the central Saskatchewan River and into eastern Alberta; but these farthest reaches represented interaction spheres, and not a migration of fully articulated social groups reflecting the fur traders’ knowledge of the western prairies.” ref

“Alexander Henry the Younger listed in 1808 only one of eight Assiniboine bands occupying territory within the boundaries of the United States, along the Souris River in North Dakota. Population movements during the early 19th century shifted Assiniboine territory southward, and by 1840 three-quarters of the nation lived along the Missouri in the area of northwestern North Dakota and northeastern Montana. By the mid-19th century, Assiniboine territory extended east from the Moose and Wood mountains to the Cypress Hills, and north to south from the North Saskatchewan River to the Milk and Missouri rivers. Assiniboines first learned of the jurisdiction of the United States with the visit of Lewis and Clark, which marked the beginning of their incorporation.” ref

“The population history of the Assiniboines remains incomplete until well into the 19th century. A number of major disease episodes proved to be quite intrusive. The population was estimated at 10,000 before one-half to two-thirds were wiped out in the smallpox epidemic of 1780–81; the 1819–20 epidemic of measles and whooping cough again reduced the population by one-half. After the steamboats brought smallpox to the upper Missouri in the late 1830s the population began to recover, but as much as 60% of the population had been lost. After a slow recovery, two more smallpox epidemics struck the Assiniboine in 1856–57 and in 1869 before the population began another recovery.” ref

“By the last decades of the 19th century, Assiniboine reservations and reserves were located in Montana and Saskatchewan within the larger region they had occupied during the previous century. In Montana, the Upper Assiniboines were located with the Atsina Gros Ventre on the Fort Belknap Reservation, and the Lower Assiniboines with Yanktonai, Sisseton/Wahpeton Dakota and a small number of Hunkpapa and other Teton stragglers of Sitting Bull’s followers on the Fort Peck Reservation. In Saskatchewan, Assiniboines within Treaty 4 were the reserve bands of Pheasant’s Rump, Ocean Man, Carry the Kettle and Long Lodge, and Piapot’s Cree-speaking Assiniboines; and Assiniboines within Treaty 6 were the bands of Grizzly Bear’s Head and Lean Man, which often were known as the Battleford Stoneys.” ref

“Assiniboine population figures in the initial reservation/reserve period were complicated by tribally undifferentiated figures for the shared reservations in Montana, and similarly for some of the reserves in Canada. Contemporary population figures reflect the mixed heritage of many intermarriages: Carry the Kettle 2,009; Ocean Man 346; Pheasant Rump Nakota 316; White Bear 1,898; Mosquito, Grizzley Bear’s Head 1,049; Fort Belknap 2,245; and Fort Peck 4,197. Reservations in Montana and reserves in Saskatchewan remain homes for these respective tribes and First Nations. In every case, a large proportion of their populations reside off-reserve, mostly in cities, encouraged to do so both by increased economic opportunities and by various government policy initiatives in the decades following World War II. Since the 1970s, Nakota reserves in Saskatchewan have been leaders in the successful pursuit of land claims known as “specific claims,” and this has resulted in resources for a wide range of economic development initiatives. A fluorescence of religious practice has occurred in the last three decades, as communities support one another in their search for health and well-being.” ref

Dakota and Lakota (Sioux):

“The Lakota (pronounced [laˈkˣota]LakotaLakȟóta/Lakhóta) are a Native American people. Also known as the Teton Sioux (from Thítȟuŋwaŋ), they are one of the three prominent subcultures of the Sioux people. Their current lands are in North and South Dakota. They speak Lakȟótiyapi—the Lakota language, the westernmost of three closely related languages that belong to the Siouan language family.” ref

“The seven bands or “sub-tribes” of the Lakota are:

“Notable Lakota persons include Tȟatȟáŋka Íyotake (Sitting Bull) from the Húnkpapȟa, Maȟpíya Ičáȟtagya (Touch the Clouds) from the Miniconjou, Heȟáka Sápa (Black Elk) from the Oglála, Maȟpíya Lúta (Red Cloud) from the Oglála, Tamakhóčhe Theȟíla (Billy Mills) from the Oglála, Tȟašúŋke Witkó (Crazy Horse) from the Oglála and Miniconjou, and Siŋté Glešká (Spotted Tail) from the Brulé. More recent activists include Russell Means from the Oglála.” ref

Siouan language speakers may have originated in the lower Mississippi River region and then migrated to or originated in the Ohio Valley. They were agriculturalists and may have been part of the Mound Builder civilization during the 9th–12th centuries CE. Lakota legend and other sources state they originally lived near the Great Lakes: “The tribes of the Dakota before European contact in the 1600s lived in the region around Lake Superior. In this forest environment, they lived by hunting, fishing, and gathering wild rice.” ref

“They also grew some corn, but their locale was near the limit of where corn could be grown.” This may be conflation with the Algonquian-speaking groups typically in that region, though Siouan peoples probably migrated there later. In the late 16th and early 17th centuries, Dakota-Lakota speakers lived in the upper Mississippi Region in what is now organized as the states of MinnesotaWisconsinIowa, and the Dakotas. Conflicts with Anishnaabe and Cree peoples pushed the Lakota west onto the Great Plains in the mid- to late-17th century.” ref

“Early Lakota history is recorded in their winter counts (Lakotawaníyetu wówapi), pictorial calendars painted on hides, or later recorded on paper. The ‘Battiste Good winter count’ records Lakota history back to 900 CE when White Buffalo Calf Woman gave the Lakota people the White Buffalo Calf Pipe. After 1720, the Lakota branch of the Seven Council Fires split into two major sects, the Saône, who moved to the Lake Traverse area on the South Dakota–North Dakota–Minnesota border, and the Oglála-Sičháŋǧu, who occupied the James River valley. However, by about 1750 the Saône had moved to the east bank of the Missouri River, followed 10 years later by the Oglála and Brulé (Sičháŋǧu).” ref

“Around 1730 Cheyenne people introduced the Lakota to horses, which they called šuŋkawakaŋ (“dog [of] power/mystery/wonder”). After they adopted horse culture, Lakota society centered on the buffalo hunt on horseback. The total population of the Sioux (Lakota, SanteeYankton, and Yanktonai) was estimated at 28,000 in 1660 by French explorers. The Lakota population was estimated at 8,500 in 1805; it grew steadily and reached 16,110 in 1881, one of the few Native American tribes to increase in population in the 19th century. The number of Lakota has increased to more than 170,000 in 2010, of whom about 2,000 still speak the Lakota language (Lakȟótiyapi).” ref

“The large and powerful ArikaraMandan, and Hidatsa villages had long prevented the Lakota from crossing Missouri. However, the great smallpox epidemic of 1772–1780 destroyed three-quarters of these tribes. The Lakota crossed the river into the drier, short-grass prairies of the High Plains. These newcomers were the Saône, well-mounted and increasingly confident, who spread out quickly. In 1765, a Saône exploring and raiding party led by Chief Standing Bear discovered the Black Hills (the Paha Sapa), then the territory of the Cheyenne. Ten years later, the Oglála and Brulé also crossed the Missouri. Under pressure from the Lakota, the Cheyenne moved west to the Powder River country. The Lakota made the Black Hills their home.” ref

“Dakota peoples emerged from a long history linked to the demise of Hopewell and later Mississippian archaeological cultures, and arrived in Minnesota/Wisconsin taking advantage of the region’s mosaic of forests, lakes and prairies. The ancestral Dakota were associated with the specific mid-western Woodland archaeological complexes: the Initial (c. 200 BCE–CE 500) and the Terminal (c. AD 500–1680) traditions. Concentrated at the Mississippi River headwaters in the parkland transitions zones between forest and prairie, the Dakota exploited the plentiful resources of these ecotones. Linguistically part of the Siouan language family, dialects emerged to distinguish the Dakota proper (Mdewakanton, Wahpeton, Sisseton, and Wapakute) and middle division (Yanktonai and Yankton) from the western division Lakota (Teton).” ref

“Dakota expansions onto the eastern prairies in the mid-17th century were a response to the population increases that came with access to French trade goods, including firearms. In the early 18th century, as Ojibwa-Dakota conflict increased over control of hunting territories and access to traders in the Mississippi watershed, the Lakotas moved west onto the prairies, crossed the Missouri to the high plains, and continued their expansion westward to control the Black Hills. As horses came through the trade networks, Lakotas expanded in number and flourished because of the abundant game resources. Their expansions were composed of forays into neighboring regions that comprised the border regions and territories of their enemies: Lake of the Woods and Rainy Lake, Turtle Mountains/Pembina Hills, as well as the Souris, White Earth, and Missouri-Yellowstone Rivers regions.” ref

“The Dakota, once abandoned by the French in the early 18th century, became allies of the British and were increasingly bound to them by treaties and trade alliances, involving fighting as British allies in the War of 1812. From the arrival of the Americans with the Pike expedition to the upper Mississippi in 1805, uneasiness characterized relations for much of the next decades. While the French had been acculturated as kinsmen, the English replaced these roles imperfectly; and when the Americans arrived, they did not grasp the importance of reciprocity for the Dakota. Treaties of friendship and trade gave way to extorted land cessions; the American appetite for land and resources was never satiated.” ref

“By the 1850s the Dakota were left with reservations upon which they were allowed to reside only at the discretion of the President of the United States. This dependency left them vulnerable and periodically destitute. Minnesota became a territory in 1849 and a state in 1858, surrounding them and filling up their former lands. While less circumscribed, the Lakota and Yankton-Yanktonai participated in the 1851 Fort Laramie Treaty that began a process of fixing the boundaries of tribal territorial domains, with pledges of annuities for cessation of intertribal warfare. However, as the United States drifted toward civil war, promises to Indians were all but forgotten amidst the graft and corruption in the Indian service.” ref

“The collision of events and circumstances that led to the Dakota outbreak were numerous. The breaking point was reached between August and December of 1862, when young men refused to watch their families starve any longer. With the onset of fighting, the diaspora of many Dakota began as vast numbers fled onto the prairies of eastern Dakota Territory, then north into Canada—first to the vicinity of the Red River settlement, then westward into present-day western Manitoba. Standing Buffalo led his followers back into Montana Territory, where he was killed in battle on June 5, 1871. His son, taking his father’s name, led part of this group back into Canada, eventually settling on the Standing Buffalo reserve in 1878.” ref

“White Cap had led followers into Manitoba and eventually into what became Saskatchewan, but when forced by the Métis to join in the fighting in 1885, White Cap’s group was punished; however, once rehabilitated they were given a reserve at Moose Woods. A group led by Hupa Yakta, previously affiliated with White Cap in 1890, asked for a reserve at Round Plain, which came to be called Wahpeton. Most of the followers of Sitting Bull went south and preceded his surrender to US authorities on July 19, 1881; however, a small group of Lakota remained and struggled for survival at the edges of Moose Jaw, and were finally granted a reserve at Wood Mountain in 1910. While reserves at Oak River, Birdtail, and Oak Lakes had been established for Dakota in the 1870s, and others for the Portage la Prairie bands in 1886 in Manitoba, the Dakota communities in Saskatchewan and Manitoba remained extremely isolated.” ref

“The contemporary Dakota/Lakota communities in Saskatchewan have remained outside of treaty, and have had differential relations with the various jurisdictions among which they must deal. A contemporary movement among the Sioux in Saskatchewan is pressing for treaty adhesions to bring them into full status and equal relations with Canada, as are the other First Nations within Saskatchewan.” ref


“Males carrying C-M130 are believed to have migrated to the Americas some 6,000-8,000 years ago, and was carried by Na-Dené-speaking peoples into the northwest Pacific coast of North America.” ref 

Dené–Yeniseian languages? (I think similar to the Sami or Ainu peoples, Dené–Yeniseian peoples who migrated related to beliefs that were likely “paganistic” Shamanism, with heavy totemism themes)

“Dené–Yeniseian is a proposed language family consisting of the Yeniseian languages of central Siberia and the Na-Dené languages of northwestern North America. Reception among experts has been somewhat favorable; thus, Dené–Yeniseian has been called “the first demonstration of a genealogical link between Old World and New World language families that meets the standards of traditional comparativehistorical linguistics,” besides the Eskimo–Aleut languages spoken in far eastern Siberia and North America.” ref

“Na-Dene (/ˌnɑːdɪˈneɪ/; also Nadene, Na-Dené, Athabaskan–Eyak–Tlingit, Tlina–Dene) is a family of Native American languages that includes at least the Athabaskan languages, Eyak, and Tlingit languages. Haida was formerly included, but is now considered doubtful. By far the most widely spoken Na-Dene language today is Navajo. In February 2008, a proposal connecting Na-Dene (excluding Haida) to the Yeniseian languages of central Siberia into a Dené–Yeniseian family was published and well-received by a number of linguists. It was proposed in a 2014 paper that the Na-Dene languages of North America and the Yeniseian languages of Siberia had a common origin in a language spoken in Beringia, between the two continents.” ref

Denesuline (Dene/Chipewyan):

“The Dene people are an indigenous group of First Nations who inhabit the northern boreal and Arctic regions of Canada. The Dene speak Northern Athabaskan languagesDene is the common Athabaskan word for “people”. The term “Dene” has two usages. More commonly, it is used narrowly to refer to the Athabaskan speakers of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut in Canada, especially including the Chipewyan (Denesuline), Tlicho (Dogrib), Yellowknives (T’atsaot’ine), Slavey (Deh Gah Got’ine or Deh Cho), and Sahtu (the Eastern group in Jeff Leer’s classification; part of the Northwestern Canada group in Keren Rice‘s classification). However, it is sometimes also used to refer to all Northern Athabaskan speakers, who are spread in a wide range all across Alaska and northern Canada. The Southern Athabaskan speakers, however, also refer to themselves by similar words: Diné (Navajo) and Indé (Apache).” ref

“Dene are spread through a wide region. They live in the Mackenzie Valley (south of the Inuvialuit), and can be found west of Nunavut. Their homeland reaches to western Yukon, and the northern part of British ColumbiaAlbertaSaskatchewanManitobaAlaska and the southwestern United States. Dene were the first people to settle in what is now the Northwest Territories. In northern Canada, historically there were ethnic feuds between the Dene and the Inuit. In 1996, Dene and Inuit representatives participated in a healing ceremony to reconcile the centuries-old grievances. Behchoko, Northwest Territories is the largest Dene community in Canada.” ref

“The Dene include five main groups:

  • Chipewyan(Denesuline), living east of Great Slave Lake, and including the Sayisi Dene living at Tadoule Lake, Manitoba
  • Tlicho(Dogrib), living between Great Slave and Great Bear Lakes
  • Yellowknives(T’atsaot’ine), living north of Great Slave Lake
  • Slavey(Deh Gah Got’ine or Deh Cho), the North Slavey (Sahtu, (Sahtúot’ine), including the Locheux, Nahanni, and Bear Lake peoples) living along the Mackenzie River (Deh Cho) near Great Bear Lake, the South Slavey southwest of Great Slave Lake and into Alberta and British Columbia.
  • Sahtu(Sahtúot’ine), including the Locheux, Nahanni, and Bear Lake peoples, in the central NWT.” ref

“Although the above-named groups are what the term “Dene” usually refers to in modern usage, other groups who consider themselves Dene include:

“The Denesuline (also known as Chipewyan) are Indigenous people in the Subarctic region of Canada, with communities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, and the Northwest Territories. Linguistically, the Denesuline are closely related to the Tlicho, Slavey, and Yellowknives, neighboring Dene who speak similar languages and whose territories share borders. Traditional Denesuline territory includes northern portions of ManitobaSaskatchewanAlberta, and the southern part of the Northwest Territories and Nunavut. With the exception of Nunavut, contemporary Denesuline communities exist in the same areas, generally between Lake Athabasca and Great Slave Lake.” ref

“The Denesuline (also known as Chipewyan) are Indigenous Peoples in the Subarctic region of Canada, with communities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta and the Northwest Territories. The Denesuline are Dene, and share many cultural and linguistic similarities with neighboring Dene communities. As of 2015, there were more than 23,000 registered members of Denesuline First Nations. The 2011 National Household Survey recorded 12,950 speakers of the Denesuline language. Denesuline are closely associated with other Dene groups as well as northern Cree and Métis, who may share their communities and also speak Denesuline. As such, population and language numbers are approximations.” ref

“The word “Dene” means “people” and serves many purposes. It is a collective term for people previously known as Athapaskans, and is often used as an equivalent to the Athapaskan language group. Dene may refer to the collective group (including Denesuline, TlichoSlaveyYellowknives and others) as well as the specific Denesuline language. The 2011 National Household Survey recorded 12,950 speakers of the Denesuline language. There are two dialects of Denesuline — the “k” dialect is far less common than the “t” dialect — and many communities are attempting to revive the language through youth education programs.” ref

“Traditional Denesuline socio-territorial organization was based on hunting the migratory herds of barren-ground caribou. Hunting groups consisted of two or more related families that joined with other such groups to form larger local and regional bands, coalescing or dispersing with the herds. Leaders had limited, non-coercive authority which was based upon their ability, wisdom and generosity. Spiritual power was received in dream visions and exercised by shamans, and reflected a worldview intertwined with the natural world. Catholic missionaries were successful in converting the majority of Dene in the area, superseding traditional belief systems.” ref

“In Denesuline tradition, it was Thanadelthur, also known as the “Slave Woman,” who guided an employee of the Hudson’s Bay Company into Denesuline territory and introduced her people to Europeans. This successful meeting led the HBC in 1717 to establish Prince of Wales Fort, or Churchill, for the Denesuline fur trade. The fur trade aggravated relations between Denesuline and their southern neighbors, the Cree. Peaceful relations began to be established between Denesuline and Cree between 1716 and 1760, but in some places hostility continued much later. The fur trade also affected their relations in the late 18th century with their northern neighbors, Inuit, whom they termed hotel ena or “enemies of the flat area.” ref

Hudson Bay to Great Slave Lake in the late 18th and early 19th centuries. The Yellowknives took advantage of their strategic location and in the early 19th century, briefly occupied the Yellowknife River region, displacing its Tlicho inhabitants until they retaliated in 1823. Some Denesuline began to hunt and trap in the full boreal forest, where fur-bearing animals were more abundant, and they extended their territories to the south. Some even began to occupy the northern edge of the parkland, where they hunted bison. Others remained more independent from the trade, though some were willing to trade food provisions. By the late 19th century most contemporary Denesuline communities had settled in their current territories. Epidemics of European diseases decimated the population, with the first great smallpox epidemic occurring in 1781–82, and other epidemics continuing through the first half of the 20th century.” ref

Settler colonialism in Canada is the continuation and the results of the colonization of the assets of the Indigenous peoples in Canada. As colonization progressed, the Indigenous peoples were subject to policies of forced assimilation and cultural genocide. The policies signed many of which were designed to both allowed stable houses. Governments in Canada in many cases ignored or chose to deny the aboriginal title of the First Nations. The traditional governance of many of the First Nations was replaced with government-imposed structures. Many of the Indigenous cultural practices were banned. First Nation’s people status and rights were less than that of settlers. The impact of colonization on Canada can be seen in its culture, history, politics, laws, and legislatures. The current relationship of Indigenous peoples in Canada and the Crown is one that has been heavily defined by the effects of settler colonialism and Indigenous resistance. Canadian Courts and recent governments have recognized and eliminated many discriminatory practices.” ref

The Reality of Saskatchewan’s Colonial Violence

The recent attack on Colby Tootoosis is not an isolated incident, but rather part of the ongoing struggle between Indigenous people and settler colonialism in Saskatchewan. There are few places in Saskatchewan – both historically and in the present – that better exemplify the evolution of Indigenous-settler relations than the Battlefords region. The region once served as the Canadian government’s operations base during the North-West Resistance, and has been a flashpoint in the ongoing struggle between Indigenous Peoples and colonizers. Most recently, Battleford was where Colby Tootoosis, a Cree man from Poundmaker First Nation, was assaulted by white settlers in an unprovoked attack that happened in front of his six-year-old daughter.” ref

“Consisting of the city of North Battleford on the north side of the North Saskatchewan River and the town of Battleford to the south, the Battlefords have earned their name as a site of monumental struggle between Indigenous nations and the intrusion of settler colonialism. An ongoing struggle with a historical basis, from the earliest point in the history of European contact in the Plains, almost two centuries before Saskatchewan was called Saskatchewan, the area was home to fur trading outposts where Europeans traded with Indigenous nations – relationships that, if not friendly, were at least practical.” ref 

“In 1875, six years after the Dominion of Canada purchased Rupert’s Land from the Hudson’s Bay Company in preparation for mass settlement in the region, Battleford was founded, and in 1876 became home to a North-West Mounted Police (NWMP) outpost. Here, the NWMP would maintain their offensive against the Indigenous communities whose knowledge and trade had long kept Europeans in the area alive. The Battlefords have earned their name as a site of monumental struggle between Indigenous nations and the intrusion of settler colonialism.” ref

“As Indigenous-European relations transitioned into an outright occupation of Indigenous land, Fort Battleford would play a role in the North-West Resistance. It was here that Cree bands sympathetic to the Métis cause would conduct raids to access weapons, horses, and food to prepare them to join the fight against colonization, while settlers took refuge in the NWMP’s palisade. Later, Chief Pitikwahanapiwiyin and others would surrender here. In November 1885, eight warriors of the resistance were publicly hanged at Battleford.” ref

“This is the largest mass execution in Canadian history and a symbolic turning point in Indigenous-settler relations that demonstrated the ferocity and brutality the Canadian state and its legal system were prepared to use in order to keep Indigenous resistance at bay. Like other places in the province with high proportions of Indigenous residents, North Battleford has been subjected to unflattering scrutiny from outside Saskatchewan. In 2017, Maclean’s magazine dubbed North Battleford “Canada’s most dangerous place.” ref

CCF Colonialism in Northern Saskatchewan – Battling Parish Priests, Bootleggers, and Fur Sharks, By David Quiring

“Saskatchewan’s Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF), the forerunner of the NDP, is often remembered for its humanitarian platform and its pioneering social programs. But during the twenty years it governed, it wrought a much less scrutinized legacy in the northern regions of the province. Until the 1940s, churches, fur traders, and other influential newcomers held firm control over Saskatchewan’s northern region. Following its rise to power in 1944, the CCF made aggressive efforts to unseat these traditional powers and install a new socialist economy and society in largely Aboriginal communities.” ref

“The next two decades brought major changes to the region as well-meaning government planners grossly misjudged the challenges that confronted the north and failed to implement programs that would meet its needs. Northerners lacked the voice and political clout to determine policies for their half of the province, and the CCF effectively created a colonial apparatus, imposing its own ideas and plans in those communities without consulting residents. While it did ensure that parish priests, bootleggers, and “fur sharks” no longer dominated the north, it failed to establish a workable alternative.” ref

“In an elegantly written history that documents the colonial relationship between the CCF and northern Saskatchewan, David Quiring draws on extensive archival research and oral history to offer a fresh look at the CCF era. This examination will find a welcome audience among historians of the north, Aboriginal scholars, and general readers interested in Canadian history.” ref

Canada’s Colonial Genocide of Indigenous Peoples: A Review of the Psychosocial and Neurobiological Processes Linking Trauma and Intergenerational Outcomes

Abstract: The policies and actions that were enacted to colonize Indigenous Peoples in Canada have been described as constituting cultural genocide. When one considers the long-term consequences from the perspective of the social and environmental determinants of health framework, the impacts of such policies on the physical and mental health of Indigenous Peoples go well beyond cultural loss. This paper addresses the impacts of key historical and current Canadian federal policies in relation to the health and well-being of Indigenous Peoples. Far from constituting a mere lesson in history, the connections between colonialist policies and actions on present-day outcomes are evaluated in terms of transgenerational and intergenerational transmission processes, including psychosocial, developmental, environmental, and neurobiological mechanisms and trauma responses. In addition, while colonialist policies have created adverse living conditions for Indigenous Peoples, resilience and the perseverance of many aspects of culture may be maintained through intergenerational processes.” ref

Our Colonial History in Canada, the colonial agenda and Bill C-15: It’s all smoke and Mirrors?

“The stated purpose of Bill C-15 is to begin aligning Canadian law with the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People (UNDRIP). When asked to write a piece on Bill C-15, I took a day to reflect on the history of this once-“land of the free” and on my concerns, fears, and hopes. UNDRIP provides hope for a more just, sustainable, and decolonized future at a time in history when ecosystems are collapsing as a consequence of global over-exploitation of Creation. Some call this “development,” but in reality, it’s a time of human-caused climate change unprecedented in its magnitude and reach.” ref

“An authentic, bottom-up enforcement of the articles of UNDRIP will usher in a future when as human beings we are walking together on a new path and have reconciled our relationships with each other and, more importantly, with the land beneath our feet. However, one of my greatest fears is that colonial states around the world will foolishly implement UNDRIP’s articles top-down and, in the process, stand as a barrier to that path of hope. Canada began the process of implementing UNDRIP unilaterally and top-down, ensuring that Canada’s own version, with its own definition of self-determination, becomes entrenched in law through Bill C-15. I have concerns about the process.” ref 

“First, provincial education systems have failed to teach the true history of this land, leading to widespread ignorance and blind acceptance of the colonial agenda. There should be an education process led by informed grassroots voices that ensures that free, prior, and informed consent is obtained for any decisions made that will impact our rights. Second, as Indigenous peoples we have the right as recognized by UNDRIP to participate in the process through representatives chosen by ourselves with procedures determined by us. The Assembly of First Nations (AFN) is front-and-centre as the lead organization representing Indigenous peoples. The true rights-holders are the grassroots voices, not AFN. ” ref

“Also, neo-colonialism is pervasive among those in the positions of power, authority, and control within Canada’s colonial Indigenous governance system. Governance is a colonial institution that is contrary to traditional Indigenous leadership models. We are now being colonized/recolonized by some of our own Indigenous people. I fear that foolish actions of our own will lead to the end of ourselves as distinct peoples.

Not just any individual who calls themselves Indigenous can be part of this process in an authentic way.– Wendy Lynn Lerat” ref


Moose Mountain Medicine Wheel 

On top of a wind-swept hill in southeastern Saskatchewan, there’s a cairn of boulders connected to a large circle of rocks surrounding it by five lines of stones resembling spokes in a wheel. The Moose Mountain Medicine Wheel has been a sacred site for Northern Plains Indians for more than 2,000 years. And yet its origins and purpose remain hidden amid the fog of pre-history. Theories, from the scientific to the other-worldly, abound. But one thing is certain: medicine wheels like the one at Moose Mountain are disappearing, one stone at a time.” ref

And First Nations peoples and archaeologists, alike, fear they may be gone by the next generation. The Moose Mountain Medicine Wheel was first noted by Canadians of European ancestry in an 1895 report written by land surveyors. The report described the central cairn of the wheel as being about 14 feet high, says Ian Brace, an archaeologist with the Royal Saskatchewan Museum in Regina. “The central rock cairn is now about a foot-and-a-half high,” says Brace. “There’ve been people from all points on the globe who’ve not only visited the site, but taken a rock home with them.” ref

“Theft, vandalism and agriculture have reduced to about 170 the number of medicine wheels on the Northern Plains of North America. Brace says he can’t even guess how many wheels once graced the plains. But if the destruction of tipi rings is any indication of the degree of desecration besetting medicine wheels, “in my life time, they might just disappear”. Though medicine wheels are sacred to all plains Indian groups, their symbolism and meaning vary from tribe to tribe.” ref

“The oldest wheels date back about 4,000 years, to the time of the Egyptian pyramids and the English megaliths like Stonehenge. (Moose Mountain has been radio-carbon dated to 800 BCE, however, Brace says it’s possible an older boulder alignment exists beneath the exposed one.) The Blackfoot, first of the current Indian groups on the plains of what are now Saskatchewan and Alberta, arrived about 800 CE.” ref

“When the Blackfoot arrived in the new environment it was already populated by two groups of people called the “Tunaxa” and the “Tunaha”, according to Blackfoot oral history. Brace and others believe the three groups assimilated and the Blackfoot carried on the tradition of building medicine wheel monuments. Alberta and Saskatchewan host the majority of known medicine wheels. Others are located in North Dakota, Montana, and Wyoming.” ref

“Like the Blackfoot before them, Indian groups who migrated to the Northern Plains adopted the medicine wheel as a cultural and spiritual icon. Simon Kytwayhat, a Cree elder who lives in Saskatoon, says he learned his Cree perspective on the meaning of the medicine wheel from elders. Kytwayhat’s interpretation associates the four directions represented on the wheel with the four races and their attributes — the circle and the number four are sacred symbols in First Nations’ spirituality.” ref

“South, says Kytwayhat, stands for the color yellow, the Asian people, the Sun, and intellect, while west represents the black race, the color black, the Thunderbird, and emotion. North is associated with the color white, the white man, winter and physicality — “white people sometimes rush into things without considering the consequences” — and east is identified with the color red, the Indian person, spirituality, and the eagle.” ref

“The eagle has great vision, and so do those who follow the spiritual path in life.” Kytwayhat said he used to blame the white man for all the troubles experienced by Indians. “In time, I came to see the real meaning of the medicine wheel is the brotherhood of man. How you treat others comes back to you around the circle.” ref

“If First Nations’ peoples have divergent views on the meaning of the medicine wheel, members of the non-Native community, including scientists, are often poles apart. The Mormon Church believes the wheels were built by the Aztecs, and Swiss author Erich von Daniken contends they’re a link to pre-historic astronauts. New-Agers, meanwhile, embrace them as spiritual symbols and construct their own near existing sites.” ref

“In the 1970s, Colorado astronomer John Eddy proposed wheels like Moose Mountain and Bighorn, in Wyoming, were calendars whose cairns and spokes aligned with celestial markers like Rigel, Aldebaran and Sirius to forecast events like the return of the buffalo. “It’s all over the map,” says Ernie Walker, head of the Department of Anthropology and Archaeology at the University of Saskatchewan in Saskatoon.” ref

“We don’t know whether some have astronomical alignments or not — if some do, they’re very much in the minority. A lot of (archaeologists) doubt it.” Brace says the astronomical theory is easily debunked by simply imagining someone trying to carry out celestial alignments over the 17-foot crest that separates one side of the Moose Mountain wheel from the other. “Even standing on a horse, you can’t see the other side.”

“Archaeologists and Blackfoot elders appear to agree on at least one kind of medicine wheel. Walker says most archaeologists of the Northern Plains recognize eight different classes or styles of medicine wheels. “Lo-and-behold, the Blackfoot elders have routinely referred to one of these eight styles — although they don’t call it that — and they strongly indicate these were monuments to particular people, or events that happened in the past. I think there’s some consensus on that.” ref

“Brace points out the most recent wheel was constructed in Alberta in 1938, as a memorial to a renowned Blackfoot leader. Brace has come up with a medicine wheel definition that allows him to categorize the 12 to 14 Saskatchewan wheels, which range in diameter from 45 to 144 metres (160 yards), into four groups: burial; surrogate burial; fertility symbol; and “medicine hunting.” ref

“Burial and surrogate burial, as the names imply, are grave sites and memorials. The longest line of boulders in such wheels points to the direction of the honoree’s birth, while shorter ones point to places of courageous acts or remarkable deeds. Fertility wheels have the same pattern of radiating lines and circles employed as fertility symbols on the pottery and birch-bark “bitings” of other pre-historic, North American cultures, he says. The fertility wheels contain buried offerings their builders believed would increase the number of buffalo. “Medicine hunting”, meanwhile, may explain the origin of the Moose Mountain Medicine Wheel, says Brace.” ref

“If the people went into a particular place and they were without resources, they’d take the shoulder blade of the animal they wanted to hunt and put it in the fire. As the bone dried out, it would crack, and at the end of the crack you’d get blobs of fat. “They would interpret (the cracks with the blobs of fat) as indicating the directions they’d have to go to find those food resources, or people who had food to share. The cracks where fat did not accumulate would indicate a poor direction to go.” ref

“Brace suspects the medicine hunting wheel was created, and likely amended over time, to serve as a permanent hunting guide to succeeding generations of nomadic Indians. Permanent, that is, until the white culture came into contact with the red. In the 1980s, the land encompassing the Moose Mountain Medicine Wheel came under the jurisdiction of a First Nation band. Because visitors wishing to view it must first get permission from the band council, at least some degree of security is now assured, says Brace.” ref

“But most of Saskatchewan’s medicine wheels are on Crown, public and privately-owned land. Although they’re “protected” under provincial legislation that allows for fines of up to $3,000 for anyone caught desecrating a medicine wheel, enforcement is difficult. Most of the surviving medicine wheels are situated “off the beaten path”, accessible only to those bent on finding them, says Brace. The same remoteness that protects the wheels from the ravages of high foot traffic, however, also protects the unscrupulous from being caught stealing or vandalizing them.” ref

“It’s a problem that has no easy solution, but Brace says there may be hope in the Indian land-claims process. If ownership of the medicine-wheel sites located on public and Crown land could be transferred to Indian bands, and if Indian families could be induced to reside on the sites, security would be greatly enhanced. In the mean time, people wishing to see a medicine wheel might consider a visit to Wanuskewin Heritage Park, near Saskatoon. There’s no better place to learn about the people to whom the circles remain sacred, and the science that seeks to know why. Readers may also be interested in our story about rock carvings at St. Victor, in south-central Saskatchewan, and rock paintings in northern Saskatchewan on the Churchill River.” ref

“Moose Mountain Upland, Moose Mountain Uplands, or commonly Moose Mountain, is a hilly plateau located in the south-east corner of the Canadian province of Saskatchewan, that covers an area of about 13,000 km2 (5,000 sq mi). The upland rises about 200 m (660 ft) above the broad, flat prairie which is about 600 m (2,000 ft) above sea level. The highest peak is “Moose Mountain” at 830 m (2,720 ft) above sea level. The area was named Moose Mountain because of the large number of moose that lived in the area. When it was originally used by fur tradersMétis, and the Indigenous peoples, the plateau was called Montagne a la Bosse, which is French for “The Mountain of The Bump or Knob.” ref

Before the most recent continental glaciation 23,000 years ago, Moose Mountain was capped by Tertiary-age gravels. As the ice began to retreat about 17,000 years ago from southern Saskatchewan, the highest hills formed nunataks in the ice sheet. The protrusion of the Moose Mountain Upland initiated an interlobate area between two glacial lobes, the Weyburn Lobe and the Moose Mountain Lobe. On the southern side of the upland, in the interlobate area, a short lived glacial lake named Lake Arcola formed. The Moose Mountain Creek Spillway drained the area southward into the Souris Spillway. As the ice was melting away, large chunks were left behind forming depressions called kettles or potholes (locally, the depressions are called sloughs) in the ground. The retreating ice also left small shallow lakes, knobs, and moraines dotted all over Moose Mountain and the surrounding prairies.” ref

“This region of North America is referred to as the Prairie Pothole Region.

A large portion of the Canadian prairies is classified as having a knob and kettle topography. It is believed that this topography was formed by glacial movement. As the glaciers advanced, till was pushed into mounds in some locations and in other locations large blocks of the glacier ice were buried. After the glacier retreated these large buried blocks of ice melted leaving a depression that geologists call a kettle. These kettles are the wetlands or sloughs that are prevalent on the prairie landscape.” ref

Indigenous people have lived in the area of southern Saskatchewan for about 11,000 years and were originally nomadic hunters and gatherers. The area provided plenty of big game such as buffalo, deer, and elk as well as a variety of berries such as saskatoons, blueberries, and raspberries and edible plants like wild rice, turnips, and onions. The earliest archaeological evidence of First Nations in the Moose Mountain area is the Moose Mountain Medicine Wheel which carbon dates to about 800 BCE. The Medicine Wheel is located on the plateau’s highest peak and is under jurisdiction of the Pheasant Rump Nations Band.” ref

“From the 1700s a large network of trails were developed that criss-crossed the prairies that the Métis, First Nations, and other fur traders used as a transportation network for furs and other goods. One of the trails, the Fort ElliceWood Mountain Trail ran along the east and to the south of the Moose Mountain Upland. It was mainly a provisions trail transporting pemmican from buffalo hunting grounds near Wood Mountain back to Port Ellice. It operated from 1757 to about the 1850s. Since there are no major waterways near Moose Mountain and since beaver are not native to the area (two breeding pairs were introduced in 1923 and thrived), it did not play a significant role in the fur trade. Also, combined with its unsuitability for agriculture, much of the plateau remained in situ until the late 1800s. Even today much of the area remains undeveloped and in a natural state.” ref

“One of the first major trails to be built was the Christopher Trail. It was built from Kenosee Lake to Cannington Manor in the 1890s by the Christopher family, who were German immigrants that had a homestead 7 miles east of Kenosee Lake, and the Fripp brothers who owned land on the north-east corner of Kenosee Lake (where the village of Kenosee Lake sits today). Fred Christopher and his two sons cut through 6.4 kilometres of bush going from east to west and the Fripp brothers, Harold and Percy, started at Kenosee Lake and cut through 4.8 kilometres of bush to meet near the middle. Along the trail, two human skeletons were found near a lake. That lake was named Skeleton Lake. Today, that trail is a well-travelled gravel road that runs from Kenosee Lake to Cannington Manor.” ref

“The first road to Kenosee Lake was built in 1905 and went from about 3 miles west of Carlyle north into the upland past the lakes of McGurk, Stevenson, and Hewitt to the west side of Kenosee Lake, near where the Bible camps are today. At that time, there was a resort on the west side of the lake called Arcola Resort. The south side of Moose Mountain Upland rises sharply above the flat plains while the north side has a more gradual ascent. Compared to the surrounding landscape, the upland, which appears oval in shape when viewed from above, is quite hilly and heavily wooded.” ref

“Moose Mountain at 830 metres above sea level is the highest peak and is located on the south side of the plateau near the middle. Highway 605 passes to the west of it. In the vicinity there are other unnamed hills over 800 metres. The next highest named hill is Heart Hill on the eastern side of the plateau located on White Bear First Nations. It is 774 metres high. The only other named summit in the region is Lost Horse Hill with a much lower elevation than most of the plateau at just over 660 metres. Lost Horse Hill is part of the Lost Horse Hills, which are a cluster of rolling hills partially on the Ocean Man Indian Reserve. These hills are located on the far west side of the plateau at the point where the plateau tapers off, south of Moose Mountain Lake and just west of the junction of Moose Mountain and Wolf Creeks. Highway 47 traverses the eastern slope of Lost Horse Hill.” ref

Moose Mountain

  • Location: 49°47′0″N, 102°35′2″W
  • 830 meters above sea level
  • Prominence: 216 metres
  • 27th highest named peak in Saskatchewan

Heart Hill

  • Location: 49°45′0″N, 102°12′2″W
  • 774 metres above sea level
  • Prominence: 37 metres
  • 36th highest named peak in Saskatchewan

Lost Horse Hill

  • Location: 49°53′0″N, 103°3′2″W
  • 660 metres above sea level
  • Prominence: 24 metres
  • 71st highest named peak in Saskatchewan” ref

“At the heart of Moose Mountain Upland is Moose Mountain Provincial Park, which features the Moose Mountain Chalet and an 18-hole golf course. The development of the park and the building of the Chalet between 1931 and 1933 were part of an effort by the Saskatchewan Government to get people working during the Great Depression. The chalet and golf course were built in tandem with the idea of bringing wealthy people to the park. The largest lake on the plateau, Kenosee Lake, is found in the park. Kenosee Lake is stocked with fish, has a beach area, docks, miniature golf, and camping. Overlooking the lake is the Kenosee Inn & Cabins which features a conference room, 30 hotel rooms, and 23 cabins. Three Christian camps, Kenosee Lake Bible Camp.” ref

“Clearview Christian Camp, and Kenosee Boys & Girls Camp are located on the western shore of the lake in Christopher Bay at the site of the former Arcola Resort. Also on the lake is the village of Kenosee Lake which has services such as a gas station, restaurant, and convenience store. To the east of the village, just off Highway 9, is Kenosee Superslides. There is also a ball diamond and hiking trails. Red Barn Market is located five kilometres north of Kenosee Lake near, the intersection of highways 9 and 48. In the winter there is ice fishing, a tobogganing hill, and sledding. On the White Bear First Nation, there is the Bear Claw Casino & Hotel, Carlyle Lake Resort, and White Bear Lake Golf Course.” ref

“At the far western end of the upland, there are two other parks. At the south end of Moose Mountain Lake by the dam, there’s Lost Horse Hills Heritage Park. It’s a small park with a picnic area and dock and is accessed off Highway 47. At the north end of Moose Mountain Lake on the north side of Highway 711, is Saint Clair National Wildlife Area. It is one of 28 Prairie National Wildlife Areas in Saskatchewan. In 1974 Saskairie, a Nature Conservancy of Canada property, was established on the southern slope of Moose Mountain Upland. It is three-quarters of a section located along the southern border of Moose Mountain Provincial Park and along the eastern shore of Kippan Lake, about 2 miles west from the south-western most corner of White Bear Indian Reserve.” ref


Thomas F. Kehoe and Alice B. Kehoe
Plains Anthropologist
Published By: Taylor & Francis, Ltd.

“Eleven boulder configurations in Saskatchewan were examined in 1975 for possible astronomical alignments. Three were found to contain alignments to summer solstice phenomena. Ethnographic interviewing failed to discover any tradition of solstice marking in the historic tribes of the Northwestern Plains, but did suggest that the boulder configurations may have been constructed for the private observations of calendar-keeping shamans. Ethnoarchaeological mapping of a 1975 Sun Dance camp revealed that the ceremonial structures were aligned to sunrise, but whether this was deliberate, and if deliberate, traditional, could not be determined.” ref


“A map of known medicine wheels.” ref

Medicine Wheels?

“Medicine wheels have been identified in South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Alberta, and Saskatchewan. The oldest identified medicine wheel is the 5,500-year-old Majorville Cairn in southern Alberta.” ref

“To some indigenous peoples of North America, the medicine wheel is a metaphor for a variety of spiritual concepts. A medicine wheel may also be a stone monument that illustrates this metaphor. Historically, most medicine wheels follow the basic pattern of having a center of stone, and surrounding that is an outer ring of stones with “spokes” (lines of rocks) radiating from the center to the cardinal directions (east, south, west, and north). These stone structures may be called “medicine wheels” by the nation which built them, or more specific terms in that nation’s language.” ref

“Physical medicine wheels made of stone were constructed by several different indigenous peoples in North America, especially the Plains Indians. They are associated with religious ceremonies. As a metaphor, they may be used in healing work or to illustrate other cultural concepts. The medicine wheel has been adopted as a symbol by a number of pan-Indian groups, or other native groups whose ancestors did not traditionally use it as a symbol or structure. It has also been appropriated by non-indigenous people, usually those associated with New Age communities.” ref

“The Royal Alberta Museum (2005) holds that the term “medicine wheel” was first applied to the Big Horn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming, the southernmost archeological wheel still extant. The term “medicine” was not applied because of any healing that was associated with the medicine wheel, but denotes that the sacred site and rock formations were of central importance and attributed with religious, hallowed, and spiritual significance.” ref

“As a metaphor, the concept of the sacred hoop of life, also used by multiple Nations, is sometimes conflated with that of the medicine wheel. A 2007 Indian Country Today article on the history of the modern Hoop Dance defines the dancer’s hoop this way: The hoop is symbolic of “the never-ending circle of life.” It has no beginning and no end. Intentionally erecting massive stone structures as sacred architecture is a well-documented activity of ancient monolithic and megalithic peoples.” ref

“The Royal Alberta Museum posits the possible point of origin, or parallel tradition, to other round structures such as the tipi lodge, stones used as “foundation stones” or “tent-pegs“:

Scattered across the plains of Alberta are tens of thousands of stone structures. Most of these are simple circles of cobble stones which once held down the edges of the famous tipi of thePlains Indians; these are known as “tipi rings.” Others, however, were of a more esoteric nature. Extremely large stone circles – some greater than 12 meters across – may be the remains of specialceremonial dancestructures. A few cobble arrangements form the outlines of human figures, most of them obviously male. Perhaps the most intriguing cobble constructions, however, are the ones known as medicine wheels.” ref

“Stone medicine wheels are sited throughout the northern United States and southern Canada, specifically South Dakota, Wyoming, Montana, Alberta and Saskatchewan. The majority of the approximately 70 documented stone structures still extant are in Alberta, Canada. One of the prototypical medicine wheels is in the Bighorn National Forest in Big Horn County, Wyoming. This 75-foot-diameter (23 m) wheel has 28 spokes, and is part of a vast set of old Native American sites that document 7,000 years of their history in that area. Medicine wheels are also found in Ojibwa territory, the common theory is that they were built by the prehistoric ancestors of the Assiniboine people. Larger astronomical and ceremonial petroforms, and Hopewell mound building sites are also found in North America.” ref

“In defining the commonalities among different stone medicine wheels, the Royal Alberta Museum cites the definition given by John Brumley, an archaeologist from Medicine Hat, that a medicine wheel “consists of at least two of the following three traits: (1) a central stone cairn, (2) one or more concentric stone circles, and/or (3) two or more stone lines radiating outward from a central point.” From the air, a medicine wheel often looks like a wagon wheel lying on its side. The wheels can be large, reaching diameters of 75 feet.” ref

“The most common variation between different wheels are the spokes. There is no set number of spokes for a medicine wheel to have although there are usually 28, the same number of days in a lunar cycle. The spokes within each wheel are rarely evenly spaced, or even all the same length. Some medicine wheels will have one particular spoke that is significantly longer than the rest. The spokes may start from the center cairn and go out only to the outer ring, others go past the outer ring, and some spokes start at the outer ring and go out from there.” ref

“Sometimes there is a passageway, or a doorway, in the circles. The outer ring of stones will be broken, and there will be a stone path leading in to the center of the wheel. Some have additional circles around the outside of the wheel, sometimes attached to spokes or the outer ring, and sometimes floating free of the main structure.” ref 

“While alignment with the cardinal directions is common, some medicine wheels are also aligned with astronomical phenomena involving the sun, moon, some stars, and some planets in relation to the Earth’s horizon at that location. The wheels are generally considered to be sacred sites, connected in various ways to the builders’ particular culture, lore and ceremonial ways. Other North American indigenous peoples have made somewhat-similar petroforms, turtle-shaped stone piles with the legs, head, and tail pointing out the directions and aligned with astronomical events.” ref

“Stone medicine wheels have been built and used for ceremonies for millennia, and each one has enough unique characteristics and qualities that archaeologists have encountered significant challenges in determining with precision what each one was for; similarly, gauging their commonality of function and meaning has also been problematic.” ref

“One of the older wheels, the Majorville medicine wheel located south of Bassano, Alberta, has been dated at 3200 BCE (5200 years ago) by careful stratification of known artifact types. Like Stonehenge, it had been built up by successive generations who would add new features to the circle. Due to that and its long period of use (with a gap in its use between 3000 and 2000 years ago, archaeologists believe that the function of the medicine wheel changed over time.” ref

“Astronomer John Eddy put forth the suggestions that some of the wheels had astronomical significance, where spokes on a wheel could be pointing to certain stars, as well as sunrise or sunset, at a certain time of the year, suggesting that the wheels were a way to mark certain days of the year. In a paper for the Journal for the History of Astronomy Professor Bradley Schaefer stated that the claimed alignments for three wheels studied, the Bighorn medicine wheel, one at Moose Mountain in southeastern Saskatchewan, and one at Fort Smith, Montana, there was no statistical evidence for stellar alignments.” ref

“The Bighorn Medicine Wheel is the best known of those found on the Northern and Northwestern Plains, and was the first structure of its type to be systematically studied by professional anthropologists and archaeologists. The Bighorn Medicine Wheel is located at an elevation of 9,642 feet on a high, alpine plateau near the crest of the Bighorn Mountains of north central Wyoming, about 30 miles east of Lovell. Native Americans regard the Medicine Wheel as an essential but secondary component of a much larger spiritual landscape composed of the surrounding alpine forests and mountain peaks, including Medicine Mountain.” ref

“The most conspicuous feature of the Medicine Wheel is a circular alignment of limestone boulders that measures about 80 feet in diameter and contains 28 rock “spokes” that radiate from a prominent central cairn. Five smaller stone enclosures are connected to the outer circumference of the wheel. A sixth and westernmost enclosure is located outside the Medicine Wheel but is clearly linked to the central cairn by one of the “spokes.” The enclosures are round, oval, or horseshoe-shaped and closely resemble Northern and Northwestern Plains fasting (vision quest) structures described by early researchers. Though obscured by a century of non-native use by loggers, ranchers, miners, and recreationalists, the surrounding 15,000 acres contain numerous historic and prehistoric sites including tipi rings, lithic scatters, buried archaeological sites, and a system of relict prehistoric Indian trails.” ref

“Archaeologists generally believe that the Medicine Wheel was constructed over a period of several hundred years during the Late Prehistoric Period. Ceramic shards recovered from the eastern half of the Medicine Wheel have been associated with the Shoshone and Crow tribes. Early nineteenth century glass beads were found near the central cairn, and a wood sample from one of the cairns was tentatively dated to 1760 by means of dendrochronological techniques. Hearth charcoal and preserved wood fragments recovered from archaeological sites in the area yielded radiocarbon dates ranging from the modern era to nearly 7,000 years ago.” ref

“Diagnostic artifacts and other archaeological materials found in close association with the Medicine Wheel itself tend to date to the latter half of the Late Prehistoric Period, from about 900 to 1800. Although these diagnostic artifacts and radiocarbon dates fail to decisively explain the construction and use of the Medicine Wheel, the evidence indicates that prehistoric Native Americans used the general area for nearly 7,000 years. Whether this prehistoric occupation was oriented towards ceremonial or spiritual use—with the Medicine Wheel/Medicine Mountain as the central focus—is a speculative issue that archaeological data may not be able to resolve. It is clear, however, that the Medicine Mountain area was known to and used by prehistoric Native Americans long before the Medicine Wheel was constructed.” ref

“Archaeological evidence cannot definitively identify which tribes used the Medicine Wheel. However, in addition to the above-referenced ceramics associated with the Shoshone and Crow, researchers have noted substantial archaeological evidence supporting an extensive Crow presence on the western slopes of the Big Horn Mountains beginning in the late sixteenth century (or possibly earlier) as well as evidence of a substantial Shoshone occupation in the nearby western Big Horn Basin. Horseshoe-shaped enclosures like those found at the Medicine Wheel have been associated with the Crow Indian fasting (vision quest) rituals.” ref

“Based on exhaustive ethnohistorical research, anthropologist Karl Schlesier has suggested that the Bighorn Medicine Wheel, as well as the Moose Mountain wheel in Saskatchewan, may represent tribal boundary markers as well as Cheyenne ritual lodges that predate sun dance ceremonies. Archaeoastronomer John Eddy demonstrated that the Medicine Wheel likely served as an ancient astronomical observatory, noting several important star alignments involving the central and circumferential cairns.” ref

“Along with the ceremonial and/or spiritual prehistoric sites, the Medicine Mountain area contains many contemporary Native American traditional use areas and features, including ceremonial staging areas, plant gathering areas, sweat lodge sites, altars, offering locales, and recent fasting (vision quest) enclosures. Ethnographic evidence demonstrates that the Medicine Wheel and the surrounding landscape is and has been a major ceremonial and traditional use area for many regional Indian tribes, including Arapaho, Bannock, Blackfeet, Cheyenne, Crow, Kootenai-Salish, Plains Cree, Shoshone, and Sioux. These tribes generally venerate the Medicine Wheel because it embodies powerful spiritual principles that figure prominently in tribal and family ceremonial traditions.” ref

“Native American oral traditions and ethnohistory are also relevant to the question of the origins and use of the Medicine Wheel. A Crow legend recounts the construction of the Medicine Wheel by Burnt Face, who fasted there in order to heal his disfigurement. According to Blackfeet traditions, Scar Face traveled to the Medicine Wheel in the distant past, where his disfigurement was removed and he was given instructions for building a sweathouse and conducting the sun dance, information, which he carried back to his tribe.” ref

“In the 1910s, the Crow Indian Flat-Dog reported to anthropologist Robert Lowie that the Medicine Wheel was the “Sun’s Lodge,” that many Crow went there to fast, and that the structure was very ancient. When interviewed by George Bird Grinnell in 1921, an elderly Cheyenne Indian named Elk River compared the Medicine Wheel to the Cheyenne sun dance lodge. Anthropologist James Howard cited an ethnohistorical transcription in which John Bull, a Ponca chief, testified the Medicine Wheel “represents a sun dance circle.” ref

“Native American oral traditions also clearly affiliate Medicine Mountain and the Medicine Wheel with several historically prominent Indian chiefs. Plenty Coups was the last hereditary chief of the Mountain Crow tribe, as well as the most prominent Crow statesman during the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries. According to Crow tribal oral traditions, Plenty Coups fasted at the Medicine Wheel, once with Chief Joseph of the Nez Perce. Chief Joseph is perhaps best known for leading a band of 700 Nez Perce in a desperate, brilliant, and ultimately futile 1877 military campaign to withdraw his tribe to a Canadian sanctuary among the northern Sioux. Chief Joseph twice asked the Crow Chief Spotted Tail to take him to the Wheel to fast and pray—once after he was incarcerated by the military, and later when he became ill with tuberculosis. Chief Washakie, the celebrated head chief of the Eastern Shoshone until his death in 1900, reportedly acquired much of his power at the Medicine Wheel and was sometimes joined in prayer by the Crow.” ref

“To many longtime Euro-American residents of the northern Bighorn Basin, the Medicine Wheel represents a popular area for camping, hunting, fishing, and picnicking. The first documentary reference to the Wheel occurred in 1895, when Paul Francke described his hunting exploits in an article published in Forest and Stream. At the turn of the nineteenth century, miners and loggers exploited the natural resources near the Medicine Wheel, contributing significantly to the local economy. Later, the area served as an important summer range for domestic sheep and cattle. Local residents have always expressed a proprietary interest in the Medicine Wheel. Boy scouts from the nearby town of Lovell built a protective rock wall around the Medicine Wheel sometime in the early 1920s, and prominent local politicians were instrumental in the Wheel’s designation as a National Historic Landmark in 1970. The Landmark documentation was revised in 2011 to include a rapidly expanding body of ethnographic information regarding Native American traditional cultural knowledge of the Medicine Mountain landscape, and the designation was renamed the Medicine Wheel/Medicine Mountain National Historic Landmark. Today, the Medicine Wheel is managed by the U.S. Forest Service. Visiting the site requires a 3-mile round trip walk at more than 9,000-foot elevation. Visitors with impaired mobility are permitted to drive to the Medicine Wheel.” ref

Who built the Great Medicine Wheels?

The Medicine Wheels in North America were built by the ancient Plains Indians, nomadic tribes including the Sioux (Lakota, Dakota, Nakota), Cheyenne, Crow, Blackfoot, Arapaho, Cree, Shoshoni, Comanche, and Pawnee. Because they followed herds of buffalo and deer, they were typically on the move most of the year. At one time the Plains Indians occupied all of central North America, from the North Saskatchewan River, in Canada, to Texas, and from the valleys of the Mississippi and the Missouri to the foot of the Rockies.” ref

“Since they rarely stayed in one place, they did not need to build permanent structures out of stone. Thus architectural evidence of the ancient plains Indians is almost non-existent. Along with the lack of permanent buildings, they did not have a written language. Their lore was passsed down in stories told through generations. Even though they left no books to guide us, much of their story can be gleaned in their art and artifacts. Many of these objects reflect their fascination and respect for the Sun and sky. They looked at the heavens with wonder and awe just as we continue to do today. It appears these ancient Plains Indians were deeply connected to their environment and their mythology is rich with celestial themes.” ref

“Medicine Wheels vary in age by centuries. The current Bighorn Medicine Wheel in Wyoming is thought to be about 200 years old, thus still fairly “new.” However, there is some evidence that the wheel existed for much longer than that, and that the current wheel is only the last example of a wheel at Bighorn. The Moose Mountain wheel in Saskatchewan is thought to be about 2000 years old, thus built around the time of Christ. Moose Mountain is so similar to Bighorn that some believe it was the model for the younger wheel. The oldest wheel known is in Majorville Canada. Archaeologists have set its age at 5000 years, around the time of the Great pyramids of Egypt. There is some evidence that some of the older wheels have been adjusted over the centuries to correct for the shift in alignment of the solstice.” ref

Addressing the theme of the 4 of July, let’s expose the American colonization support. America’s 4 of July “independence” from the British Empire is actually the establishment of the American Empire, stolen land, genocide, colonization wars and oppression, slavery and discrimination.

I pledge a grievance to the flag of the stolen land of America and to the bigotry as well as discrimination on which it was founded and fails. Under capitalism greed, which leaves so many to suffer as they strive to survive. Without true liberty and barely justice for but a few.

Timeline of “freedom” in the US? Yeah, Not much freedom…


“In North America, colonial powers entered into numerous treaties with native peoples to acquire land in exchange for goods and currency. In this way huge portions of North America, via convoluted “chains of title,” came to be claimed by what are now Canada and the United States. For much of the land in these two states, the government can point to a particular legal document which enacted the transfer in ownership. But for large expanses of the land, Canada and the US do not possess even the most tenuous legal claim. This land is considered “unceded.” In the United States, the most obvious tract of unceded territory is the land around the original 13 British colonies on the Eastern seaboard. Another notable piece is eastern Texas, which was “[s]eized by force of arms by the Republic of Texas and the United States in the nineteenth century.” ref


“European colonization of North America expanded through Spanish colonists establishing themselves in present-day Florida in the 1500s and English colonists doing so farther up the East Coast in the 1600s. North America’s Indigenous peoples preserved their cultures and dignity through this period, despite facing violent dispossession by the colonists; enslaved Africans did as well, amid the horrors of their forced transportation to North America and inhumane treatment by their enslavers.” ref

During European colonization of North America, several empires from Europe—primarily SpainPortugalBritainFranceRussia, the NetherlandsDenmark, and Sweden—began to explore and claim the land, natural resources and human capital of the Americas, resulting in the displacement, disestablishment, enslavement, and in many cases, genocide of the indigenous peoples, and the establishment of several settler colonial states.” ref

“The rapid rate at which Europe grew in wealth and power was unforeseeable in the early 15th century because it had been preoccupied with internal wars and it was slowly recovering from the loss of population caused by the Black Death. The Ottoman Empire‘s domination of trade routes to Asia prompted Western European monarchs to search for alternatives, resulting in the voyages of Christopher Columbus and the accidental re-discovery of the New World.” ref

Beginning with the first wave of European colonization, the religious discrimination, persecution, and violence toward the Indigenous peoples’ native religions was systematically perpetrated by the European Christian colonists and settlers from the 15th–16th centuries onwards. During the Age of Discovery and the following centuries, the Spanish and Portuguese colonial empires were the most active in attempting to convert the Indigenous peoples of the Americas to the Christian religion.” ref 

“Pope Alexander VI issued the Inter caetera bull in May 1493 that confirmed the lands claimed by the Kingdom of Spain, and mandated in exchange that the Indigenous peoples be converted to Catholic Christianity. During Columbus‘s second voyage, Benedictine friars accompanied him, along with twelve other priests. With what was called the “spiritual conquest.” Several mendicant orders were involved in the early campaign to convert the Indigenous peoples. In densely populated regions, friars mobilized Indigenous communities to build churches, making the religious change visible; these churches and chapels were often in the same places as old temples, often using the same stones. “Native peoples exhibited a range of responses, from outright hostility to active embrace of the new religion.” ref 

“As slavery was prohibited between Christians and could only be imposed upon non-Christian prisoners of war and/or men already sold as slaves, the debate on Christianization was particularly acute during the early 16th century, when Spanish conquerors and settlers sought to mobilize Indigenous labor. Later, two Dominican friars, Bartolomé de Las Casas and the philosopher Juan Ginés de Sepúlveda, held the Valladolid debate, with the former arguing that Native Americans were endowed with souls like all other human beings, while the latter argued to the contrary to justify their enslavement. In 1537, the papal bull Sublimis Deus definitively recognized that Native Americans possessed souls, thus prohibiting their enslavement, without putting an end to the debate. Some claimed that a native who had rebelled and then been captured could be enslaved nonetheless.” ref

With the arrival of European colonists, enslavement of Indigenous peoples “became commodified, expanded in unexpected ways, and came to resemble the kinds of human trafficking that are recognizable to us today”. While disease was the main killer of indigenous peoples, the practice of slavery and forced labor was also significant contributor to the indigenous death toll. With the arrival of Europeans other than Spanish, enslavement of native populations increased since there were no prohibitions against slavery until decades later. It is estimated that from Columbus’s arrival to the end of the 19th century between 2.5 and 5 million Native Americans were forced into slavery. Indigenous men, women, and children were often forced into labor in sparsely populated frontier settings, in the household, or in the toxic gold and silver mines.” ref

Eventually, most of the Western Hemisphere came under the control of Western European governments, leading to changes to its landscape, population, and plant and animal life. In the 19th century over 50 million people left Western Europe for the Americas. The post-1492 era is known as the period of the Columbian exchange, a dramatically widespread exchange of animals, plants, culture, human populations (including slaves), ideas, and communicable disease between the American and Afro-Eurasian hemispheres following Columbus’s voyages to the Americas. Most scholars writing at the end of the 19th century estimated that the pre-Columbian population was as low as 10 million; by the end of the 20th century most scholars gravitated to a middle estimate of around 50 million, with some historians arguing for an estimate of 100 million or more.” ref


Map of North America (1656–1750). France in blue, Great Britain in pink and purple, and Spain in orange.” ref

Colonization of the United States

Several European countries attempted to found colonies in the Americas after 1500. Most of those attempts ended in failure. The colonists themselves faced high rates of death from disease, starvation, inefficient resupply, conflict with Native Americans, attacks by rival European powers, and other causes.” ref

“Spain had numerous failed attempts, including San Miguel de Gualdape in South Carolina (1526), Pánfilo de Narváez‘s expedition to Florida’s Gulf coast (1528–36), Pensacola in West Florida (1559–61), Fort San Juan in North Carolina (1567–68), and the Ajacán Mission in Virginia (1570–71). The French failed at Parris Island, South Carolina (1562–63), Fort Caroline on Florida’s Atlantic coast (1564–65), Saint Croix Island, Maine (1604–05), and Fort Saint Louis, Texas (1685–89). The most notable English failures were the “Lost Colony of Roanoke” (1583–90) in North Carolina and Popham Colony in Maine (1607–08). It was at the Roanoke Colony that Virginia Dare became the first English child born in America; her fate is unknown.” ref

“Colonists came from European kingdoms that had highly developed military, naval, governmental, and entrepreneurial capabilities. The Spanish and Portuguese centuries-old experience of conquest and colonization during the Reconquista, coupled with new oceanic ship navigation skills, provided the tools, ability, and desire to colonize the New World. These efforts were managed respectively by the Casa de Contratación and the Casa da Índia.” ref

“England, France, and the Netherlands had also started colonies in the West Indies and North America. They had the ability to build ocean-worthy ships but did not have as strong a history of colonization in foreign lands as did Portugal and Spain. However, English entrepreneurs gave their colonies a foundation of merchant-based investment that seemed to need much less government support.” ref

“Initially, matters concerning the colonies were dealt with primarily by the Privy Council of England and its committees. The Commission of Trade was set up in 1625 as the first special body convened to advise on colonial (plantation) questions. From 1696 until the end of the American Revolution, colonial affairs were the responsibility of the Board of Trade in partnership with the relevant secretaries of state, which changed from the Secretary of State for the Southern Department to the Secretary of State for the Colonies in 1768.” ref

“Russia explored the area that became Alaska, starting with the Second Kamchatka expedition in the 1730s and early 1740s. Their first settlement was founded in 1784 by Grigory Shelikhov. The Russian-American Company was formed in 1799 with the influence of Nikolay Rezanov, for the purpose of buying sea otters for their fur from native hunters. In 1867, the U.S. purchased Alaska, and nearly all Russians abandoned the area except a few missionaries of the Russian Orthodox Church working among the natives.” ref

“Spain established several small outposts in Florida in the early 16th century. The most important of these was St. Augustine, founded alongside Mission Nombre de Dios in 1565 but repeatedly attacked and burned by pirates, privateers, and English forces, and nearly all the Spanish left after the Treaty of Paris (1763) ceded Florida to Great Britain. Certain First Spanish Period structures remain today, especially those made of coquina, a limestone quarried nearby.ref

“The British attacked Spanish Florida during numerous wars. As early as 1687, the Spanish government had begun to offer asylum to slaves from British colonies, and the Spanish Crown officially proclaimed in 1693 that runaway slaves would find freedom in Florida in return for converting to Catholicism and four years of military service to the Spanish Crown. In effect, Spaniards created a maroon settlement in Florida as a front-line defense against English attacks from the north. This settlement was centered at Fort Mose. Spain also intended to destabilize the plantation economy of the British colonies by creating a free black community to attract slaves. Notable British raids on St. Augustine were James Moore’s 1702 raid and James Oglethorpe‘s 1740 siege.ref

“In 1763, Spain traded Florida to Great Britain in exchange for control of Havana, Cuba, which the British had captured during the Seven Years’ War. Florida was home to about 3,000 Spaniards at the time, and nearly all quickly left. Britain occupied Florida but did not send many settlers to the area. Dr. Andrew Turnbull‘s failed colony at New Smyrna, however, resulted in hundreds of Menorcans, Greeks, and Italians settling in St. Augustine in 1777. During the American Revolution, East and West Florida were Loyalist colonies. Spain regained control of Florida in 1783 by the Peace of Paris which ended the Revolutionary War. Spain sent no more settlers or missionaries to Florida during the Second Spanish Period. The inhabitants of West Florida revolted against the Spanish in 1810 and formed the Republic of West Florida, which was quickly annexed by the United States. The United States took possession of East Florida in 1821 according to the terms of the Adams–Onís Treaty.ref

“The predominant culture of the south was rooted in the settlement of the region by British colonists. In the seventeenth century, most voluntary colonists were of English origins who settled chiefly along the coastal regions of the Eastern seaboard. The majority of early British settlers were indentured servants, who gained freedom after enough work to pay off their passage. The wealthier men who paid their way received land grants known as headrights, to encourage settlement.ref

“The French and Spanish established colonies in Florida, Louisiana, and Texas. The Spanish colonized Florida in the 16th century, with their communities reaching a peak in the late 17th century. In the British and French colonies, most colonists arrived after 1700. They cleared land, built houses and outbuildings, and worked on the large plantations that dominated export agriculture. Many were involved in the labor-intensive cultivation of tobacco, the first cash crop of Virginia.ref

“With a decrease in the number of British willing to go to the colonies in the eighteenth century, planters began importing more enslaved Africans, who became the predominant labor force on the plantations. Tobacco exhausted the soil quickly, requiring new fields to be cleared on a regular basis. Old fields were used as pasture and for crops such as corn and wheat, or allowed to grow into woodlots.ref

“Rice cultivation in South Carolina became another major commodity crop. Some historians have argued that slaves from the lowlands of western Africa, where rice was a basic crop, provided key skills, knowledge and technology for irrigation and construction of earthworks to support rice cultivation. The early methods and tools used in South Carolina were congruent with those in Africa. British colonists would have had little or no familiarity with the complex process of growing rice in fields flooded by irrigation works.ref

“In the mid- to late-18th century, large groups of Scots and Ulster-Scots (later called the Scots-Irish) immigrated and settled in the back country of Appalachia and the Piedmont. They were the largest group of colonists from the British Isles before the American Revolution. In a census taken in 2000 of Americans and their self-reported ancestries, areas where people reported ‘American‘ ancestry were the places where, historically, many Scottish, Scotch-Irish and English Borderer Protestants settled in America: the interior as well as some of the coastal areas of the South, and especially the Appalachian region. The population with some Scots and Scots-Irish ancestry may number 47 million, as most people have multiple heritages, some of which they may not know.ref

“The early colonists, especially the Scots-Irish in the back-country, engaged in warfare, trade, and cultural exchanges. Those living in the backcountry were more likely to join with Creek Indians, Cherokee, and Choctaws and other regional native groups. The oldest university in the South, The College of William & Mary, was founded in 1693 in Virginia; it pioneered in the teaching of political economy and educated future U.S. Presidents Jefferson, Monroe and Tyler, all from Virginia.ref

“Indeed, the entire region dominated politics in the First Party System era: for example, four of the first five presidents— Washington, Jefferson, Madison, and Monroe — were from Virginia. The two oldest public universities are also in the South: the University of North Carolina (1795) and the University of Georgia (1785). The colonial South included the plantation colonies of the Chesapeake region (Virginia, Maryland, and, by some classifications, Delaware) and the lower South (Carolina, which eventually split into North and South Carolina; and Georgia).ref

“Spain ceded Florida to Great Britain in 1763, which established the colonies of East and West Florida. The Floridas remained loyal to Great Britain during the American Revolution. They were returned to Spain in 1783 in exchange for the Bahamas, at which time most of the British left. The Spanish then neglected the Floridas; few Spaniards lived there when the US bought the area in 1819.” ref

Mainly due to discrimination, there was often a separation between English colonial communities and indigenous communities. The Europeans viewed the natives as savages who were not worthy of participating in what they considered civilized society. The native people of North America did not die out nearly as rapidly nor as greatly as those in Central and South America due in part to their exclusion from British society. The indigenous people continued to be stripped of their native lands and were pushed further out west. The English eventually went on to control much of Eastern North America, the Caribbean, and parts of South America. They also gained Florida and Quebec in the French and Indian War.” ref


“Florida is a state in the Southeastern region of the United States, bordered to the west by the Gulf of MexicoAlabama to the northwest; Georgia to the north; the Bahamas and Atlantic Ocean to the east; and the Straits of Florida and Cuba to the south. It is the only state that borders both the Gulf of Mexico and the Atlantic Ocean. With a population exceeding 21 million, it is the third-most populous state in the nation and ranks 8th in population density as of 2020. It spans 65,758 square miles (170,310 km2), ranking 22nd in area among the 50 states. The Miami metropolitan area, anchored by the cities of MiamiFort Lauderdale, and West Palm Beach, is the state’s largest metropolitan area with a population of 6.138 million, and the state’s most-populous city is Jacksonville with a population of 949,611. Florida’s other major population centers include Tampa BayOrlandoCape Coral, and the state capital of Tallahassee.” ref

“Various Native American groups have inhabited Florida for at least 14,000 years. In 1513, Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León became the first known European to make landfall, calling the region La Florida ([la floˈɾiða] for its lush greenery and the Easter season (Pascua Florida in Spanish). Florida subsequently became the first area in the continental U.S. to be permanently settled by Europeans, with the Spanish colony of St. Augustine, founded in 1565, being the oldest continuously inhabited city. Florida was repeatedly contested by Spain and Great Britain before being ceded to the U.S. in 1819; it was admitted as the 27th state on March 3, 1845. Florida was the principal location of the Seminole Wars (1816–1858), the longest and most extensive of the Indian Wars in U.S. history. The state seceded from the Union on January 10, 1861, becoming one of the seven original Confederate States, and was readmitted to the Union after the Civil War on June 25, 1868.” ref

“People, known as Paleo-Indians, entered Florida at least 14,000 years ago. By the 16th century, the earliest time for which there is a historical record, major groups of people living in Florida included the Apalachee of the Florida Panhandle, the Timucua of northern and central Florida, the Ais of the central Atlantic coast, and the Calusa of southwest Florida. In May 1539, Conquistador Hernando de Soto skirted the coast of Florida, searching for a deep harbor to land. He described a thick wall of red mangroves spread mile after mile, some reaching as high as 70 feet (21 m), with intertwined and elevated roots making landing difficult.ref 

“The Spanish introduced Christianity, cattle, horses, sheep, the Castilian language, and more to Florida. Spain established several settlements in Florida, with varying degrees of success. In 1559, Don Tristán de Luna y Arellano established a settlement at present-day Pensacola, making it the first attempted settlement in Florida, but it was mostly abandoned by 1561. In 1564–1565, there was a French settlement at Fort Caroline, in present Duval County, which was destroyed by the Spanish.ref

“In 1565, the settlement of St. Augustine (San Agustín) was established under the leadership of admiral and governor Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, creating what would become one of the oldest, continuously occupied European settlements in the continental U.S. and establishing the first generation of Floridanos and the Government of Florida. Spain maintained strategic control over the region by converting the local tribes to Christianity. The marriage between Luisa de Abrego, a free black domestic servant from Seville, and Miguel Rodríguez, a white Segovian, occurred in 1565 in St. Augustine. It is the first recorded Christian marriage in the continental United States.ref

“Some Spanish married or had unions with Pensacola, Creek, or African women, both slave and free, and their descendants created a mixed-race population of mestizos and mulattoes. The Spanish encouraged slaves from the Thirteen Colonies to come to Florida as a refuge, promising freedom in exchange for conversion to Catholicism. King Charles II of Spain issued a royal proclamation freeing all slaves who fled to Spanish Florida and accepted conversion and baptism. Most went to the area around St. Augustine, but escaped slaves also reached Pensacola. St. Augustine had mustered an all-black militia unit defending Spanish Florida as early as 1683.ref

“The geographical area of Spanish claims in La Florida diminished with the establishment of English settlements to the north and French claims to the west. English colonists and buccaneers launched several attacks on St. Augustine in the 17th and 18th centuries, razing the city and its cathedral to the ground several times. Spain built the Castillo de San Marcos in 1672 and Fort Matanzas in 1742 to defend Florida’s capital city from attacks, and to maintain its strategic position in the defense of the Captaincy General of Cuba and the Spanish West Indies. In 1738, the Spanish governor of Florida Manuel de Montiano established Fort Gracia Real de Santa Teresa de Mose near St. Augustine, a fortified town for escaped slaves to whom Montiano granted citizenship and freedom in return for their service in the Florida militia, and which became the first free black settlement legally sanctioned in North America.ref

“In 1763, Spain traded Florida to the Kingdom of Great Britain for control of Havana, Cuba, which had been captured by the British during the Seven Years’ War. The trade was done as part of the 1763 Treaty of Paris which ended the Seven Years’ War. Spain was granted Louisiana from France due to their loss of Florida. A large portion of the Florida population left, taking along large portions of the remaining indigenous population with them to Cuba. The British soon constructed the King’s Road connecting St. Augustine to Georgia. The road crossed the St. Johns River at a narrow point called Wacca Pilatka, or the British name “Cow Ford”, reflecting the fact that cattle were brought across the river there.ref

“The British divided and consolidated the Florida provinces (Las Floridas) into East Florida and West Florida, a division the Spanish government kept after the brief British period. The British government gave land grants to officers and soldiers who had fought in the French and Indian War in order to encourage settlement. In order to induce settlers to move to Florida, reports of its natural wealth were published in England. A number of British settlers who were described as being “energetic and of good character” moved to Florida, mostly coming from South Carolina, Georgia and England. There was also a group of settlers who came from the colony of Bermuda. This was the first permanent English-speaking population in what is now Duval County, Baker County, St. Johns County and Nassau County. The British constructed good public roads and introduced the cultivation of sugar cane, indigo and fruits, as well as the export of lumber.ref

“The British governors were directed to call general assemblies as soon as possible in order to make laws for the Floridas, and in the meantime they were, with the advice of councils, to establish courts. This was the first introduction of the English-derived legal system which Florida still has today, including trial by jury, habeas corpus and county-based government. Neither East Florida nor West Florida sent any representatives to Philadelphia to draft the Declaration of Independence. Florida remained a Loyalist stronghold for the duration of the American Revolution.ref

“Spain regained both East and West Florida after Britain’s defeat in the Revolutionary War and the subsequent Treaty of Versailles in 1783, and continued the provincial divisions until 1821. Defense of Florida’s northern border with the United States was minor during the second Spanish period. The region became a haven for escaped slaves and a base for Indian attacks against U.S. territories, and the U.S. pressed Spain for reform.ref

“Americans of English and Scots-Irish descent began moving into northern Florida from the backwoods of Georgia and South Carolina. Though technically not allowed by the Spanish authorities and the Floridan government, they were never able to effectively police the border region and the backwoods settlers from the United States would continue to immigrate into Florida unchecked. These migrants, mixing with the already present British settlers who had remained in Florida since the British period, would be the progenitors of the population known as Florida Crackers.ref

“These American settlers established a permanent foothold in the area and ignored Spanish authorities. The British settlers who had remained also resented Spanish rule, leading to a rebellion in 1810 and the establishment for ninety days of the so-called Free and Independent Republic of West Florida on September 23. After meetings beginning in June, rebels overcame the garrison at Baton Rouge (now in Louisiana), and unfurled the flag of the new republic: a single white star on a blue field. This flag would later become known as the “Bonnie Blue Flag.ref

“In 1810, parts of West Florida were annexed by the proclamation of President James Madison, who claimed the region as part of the Louisiana Purchase. These parts were incorporated into the newly formed Territory of Orleans. The U.S. annexed the Mobile District of West Florida to the Mississippi Territory in 1812. Spain continued to dispute the area, though the United States gradually increased the area it occupied. In 1812, a group of settlers from Georgia, with de facto support from the U.S. federal government, attempted to overthrow the Floridan government in the province of East Florida. The settlers hoped to convince Floridians to join their cause and proclaim independence from Spain, but the settlers lost their tenuous support from the federal government and abandoned their cause by 1813.ref

“Traditionally, historians argued that Seminoles based in East Florida began raiding Georgia settlements, and offering havens for runaway slaves. The United States Army led increasingly frequent incursions into Spanish territory, including the 1817–1818 campaign against the Seminole Indians by Andrew Jackson that became known as the First Seminole War. The United States now effectively controlled East Florida. Control was necessary according to Secretary of State John Quincy Adams because Florida had become “a derelict open to the occupancy of every enemy, civilized or savage, of the United States, and serving no other earthly purpose than as a post of annoyance to them.ref

“More recent historians describe that after U.S. independence, settlers in Georgia increased pressure on Seminole lands, and skirmishes near the border led to the First Seminole War (1816–19). The United States purchased Florida from Spain by the Adams-Onis Treaty (1819) and took possession in 1821. The Seminole were moved out of their rich farmland in northern Florida and confined to a large reservation in the interior of the Florida peninsula by the Treaty of Moultrie Creek (1823). Passage of the Indian Removal Act (1830) led to the Treaty of Payne’s Landing (1832), which called for the relocation of all Seminole to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma). Some resisted, leading to the Second Seminole War, the bloodiest war against Native Americans in United States history. By 1842, however, most Seminoles and Black Seminoles, facing starvation, were removed to Indian Territory west of the Mississippi River. Perhaps fewer than 200 Seminoles remained in Florida after the Third Seminole War (1855–1858), having taken refuge in the Everglades, from where they never surrendered to the US. They fostered a resurgence in traditional customs and a culture of staunch independence.ref

“Florida had become a burden to Spain, which could not afford to send settlers or troops due to the devastation caused by the Peninsular War. Madrid, therefore, decided to cede the territory to the United States through the Adams–Onís Treaty, which took effect in 1821. President James Monroe was authorized on March 3, 1821, to take possession of East Florida and West Florida for the United States and provide for initial governance. Andrew Jackson, on behalf of the U.S. federal government, served as a military commissioner with the powers of governor of the newly acquired territory for a brief period. On March 30, 1822, the U.S. Congress merged East Florida and part of West Florida into the Florida Territory.ref

“By the early 1800s, Indian removal was a significant issue throughout the southeastern U.S. and also in Florida. In 1830, the U.S. Congress passed the Indian Removal Act and as settlement increased, pressure grew on the U.S. government to remove the Indians from Florida. Seminoles offered sanctuary to blacks, and these became known as the Black Seminoles, and clashes between whites and Indians grew with the influx of new settlers. In 1832, the Treaty of Payne’s Landing promised to the Seminoles lands west of the Mississippi River if they agreed to leave Florida. Many Seminole left at this time.ref

“Some Seminoles remained, and the U.S. Army arrived in Florida, leading to the Second Seminole War (1835–1842). Following the war, approximately 3,000 Seminole and 800 Black Seminole were removed to Indian Territory. A few hundred Seminole remained in Florida in the Everglades. On March 3, 1845, only one day before the end of President John Tyler‘s term in office, Florida became the 27th state, admitted as a slave state and no longer a sanctuary for runaway slaves. Initially its population grew slowly.ref

“As European settlers continued to encroach on Seminole lands, the United States intervened to move the remaining Seminoles to the West. The Third Seminole War (1855–58) resulted in the forced removal of most of the remaining Seminoles, although hundreds of Seminole Indians remained in the Everglades.ref

“The first settlements and towns in South Florida were founded much later than those in the northern part of the state. The first permanent European settlers arrived in the early 19th century. People came from the Bahamas to South Florida and the Keys to hunt for treasure from the ships that ran aground on the treacherous Great Florida Reef. Some accepted Spanish land offers along the Miami River. At about the same time, the Seminole Indians arrived, along with a group of runaway slaves. The area was affected by the Second Seminole War, during which Major William S. Harney led several raids against the Indians. Most non-Indian residents were soldiers stationed at Fort Dallas. It was the most devastating Indian war in American history, causing almost a total loss of population in Miami.ref

“After the Second Seminole War ended in 1842, William English re-established a plantation started by his uncle on the Miami River. He charted the “Village of Miami” on the south bank of the Miami River and sold several plots of land. In 1844, Miami became the county seat, and six years later a census reported there were ninety-six residents in the area. The Third Seminole War was not as destructive as the second, but it slowed the settlement of southeast Florida. At the end of the war, a few of the soldiers stayed.ref

Native Americans in Florida are:


“The Ais or Ays were a Native American people of eastern Florida. Their territory included coastal areas and islands from approximately Cape Canaveral to the Indian River. The Ais chiefdom consisted of a number of towns, each led by a chief who was subordinate to the paramount chief of Ais; the Indian River was known as the “River of Ais” to the Spanish. The Ais language has been linked to the Chitimacha language by linguist Julian Granberry, who points out that “Ais” means “the people” in the Chitimacha language. The Ais were hunter-gatherers and food was plentiful. They ate fish, turtle, shellfish, cocoplums, sabal palm berries and other gathered fruits. Prior to contact with European colonizers, the Ais population had grown to several hundred thousand and may have flourished for over 10,000 years.” ref

“A burial mound, used by the Ais tribe for 500 to 1,000 years rises about twenty feet in Old Fort Park on Indian River Drive in Fort Pierce. This location later became an Army fort used during the Second Seminole War (1838-1842) and it may be the location of a Spanish settlement, mission and military outpost dating back to 1567. The burial mound is several hundred feet around. The Indian River, (called the “Rio de Ais” by the Spanish colonizers) flows by within sight. The Mayaca, who lived along the upper St. Johns River south of Lake George, appear to have spoken a language related to that of the Ais. The Surruque to the north and the Jaega to the south were politically subordinate to the Ais.” ref

“The best single source for information on the Ais at the end of the 17th century is Jonathan Dickinson‘s Journal, in which he makes observations on their appearance, diet, and customs. Dickinson and his party were shipwrecked, and spent several weeks among the Ais in 1696. By Dickinson’s account, the chief of the town of Jece, near present-day Sebastian, was paramount to all of the coastal towns from the Jaega town of Jobe (at Jupiter Inlet) in the south to approximately Cape Canaveral in the north (that is, the length of the River of Ais).” ref

“The Ais had already had considerable contact with Europeans by this time. The Spanish became acquainted with the Ais in middle of the 16th century. In 1566 Pedro Menéndez de Avilés, founder of St. Augustine, Florida, established a fort and mission at an Ais town, which the Spanish called Santa Lucía. After the Ais attacked the fort, killing 23 of the soldiers, the Spanish abandoned the fort and mission. Oathaqua was a major chief of the Ais. Governor Mendez de Canco reported in 1597 that this chief led more people than any other tribe.” ref

Spain eventually established some control over the coast; at first, the Ais considered them friends (comerradoes) and non-Spanish Europeans as enemies. A number of Ais men learned some Spanish, and a patrol of Spanish soldiers from St. Augustine arrived in Jece while the Dickinson party was there. One Ais man in Jece had been taken away by the English to work as a diver on a wreck east of Cuba. He got away when the ship put in for water in Cuba, and made his way back to his home via Havana and St. Augustine.” ref

“In 1605, Governor Pedro de Ibarra sent a soldier, Álvaro Mexía, on a diplomatic mission to the Ais nation. The mission was a success; the Ais agreed to care for shipwrecked sailors for a ransom, and Mexía completed a map of the Indian River area with their help. Numerous European artifacts from shipwrecks have been found in Ais settlements. When the Dickinson party reached the town, there was already in Jece another group of English from a shipwreck. European and African survivors of shipwrecks were fairly common along the coast. The Ais also traded with St. Augustine. Dickinson reports that one man of Jece had approximately five pounds of ambergris; he “boasted that when he went for Augustine with that, he would purchase of the Spaniards a looking-glass, an axe, a knife or two, and three or four mannocoes (which is about five or six pounds) of tobacco.” ref

“Shortly after 1700, settlers in the Province of Carolina and their Indian allies started raiding the Ais, killing some and carrying captives to Charles Town to be sold as slaves. In 1743, the Spanish established a short-lived mission on Biscayne Bay (in the area of present-day Miami). The priests assigned to that mission reported the presence of people they called “Santa Luces”, perhaps a name for the Ais derived from “Santa Lucia”, somewhere to the north of Biscayne Bay. After 1703 the Ais were absorbed into the Costas tribe. Their numbers had diminished to 137 individuals by 1711. Diseases brought by the Europeans eradicated the remaining Ais/Costas by the mid-1740’s. The Ais disappear from area records after 1760.” ref

“The Ais were a Muskogean-speaking tribe who occupied the area along the Indian River on the east coast of Florida. Their principal village was located near Indian River Inlet.” ref

“Muskogean (also MuskhogeanMuskogee) is a Native American language family spoken in different areas of the Southeastern United States. Though the debate concerning their interrelationships is ongoing, the Muskogean languages are generally divided into two branches, Eastern Muskogean and Western Muskogean. Typologically, Muskogean languages are agglutinative. One documented language, Apalachee, is extinct and the remaining languages are critically endangered.” ref

“The Muskogean family consists of six languages that are still spoken: AlabamaChickasawChoctawCreek-SeminoleKoasati, and Mikasuki, as well as the now-extinct ApalacheeHouma, and Hitchiti (the last is generally considered a dialect of Mikasuki). “Seminole” is listed as one of the Muskogean languages in Hardy’s list, but it is generally considered a dialect of Creek rather than a separate language, as she comments.” ref

“The major subdivisions of the family have long been controversial, but the following lower-level groups are universally accepted: Choctaw–Chickasaw, Alabama–Koasati, Hitchiti–Mikasuki, and Creek–Seminole. Because Apalachee is extinct, its precise relationship to the other languages is uncertain; Mary Haas and Pamela Munro both classify it with the Alabama–Koasati group.” ref

“Several sparsely attested languages have been claimed to be Muskogean languages. George Broadwell suggested that the languages of the Yamasee and Guale were Muskogean. However, William Sturtevant argued that the “Yamasee” and “Guale” data were Creek and that the language(s) spoken by the Yamasee and Guale people remain unknown. It is possible that the Yamasee were an amalgamation of several different ethnic groups and did not speak a single language. Chester B. DePratter describes the Yamasee as consisting mainly of speakers of Hitchiti and Guale. The historian Steven Oatis also describes the Yamasee as an ethnically mixed group that included people from Muskogean-speaking regions, such as the early colonial-era native towns of HitchitiCoweta, and Cussita.” ref

“The Pensacola and Chatot (or Chacato) people are reported to have spoken the same Muskogean language, which may have been closely related to Choctaw. Sparse evidence indicates that a Muskogean language was spoken by at least some of the people of the paramount chiefdom of Cofitachequi in northeastern South Carolina. If so, that would be the most eastern outpost of Muskogean. The people of Cofitichequi were probably absorbed by nearby Siouan and Iroquoian speakers in the late 17th century. A vocabulary of the Houma may be another underdocumented Western Muskogean language or a version of Mobilian Jargon. Mobilian Jargon is a pidgin based on Western Muskogean.” ref

“The best-known connection proposed between Muskogean and other languages is Mary Haas‘ Gulf hypothesis, in which she conceived of a macrofamily comprising Muskogean and a number of language isolates of the southeastern US: AtakapaChitimachaTunica, and Natchez. While well-known, the Gulf grouping is now generally rejected by historical linguists. A number of Muskogean scholars continue to believe that Muskogean is related to Natchez.” ref

“The Ais (or Ay) Indians lived on the Atlantic Coast of Florida from Cape Canaveral to Port Lucie. They were later also known as Indians of the Coast or Indian de la Costa. It is thought that this dominant tribe lived in the area from aroung 2000 years BCE. The Ais did not grow crops but were hunter/ gatherers and fishermen. The majority of their diet would have been made up of their catch from the sea and river with the smaller amount of their food made up of raccoons, opossums, and rabbitt and berries such as sea grape and coco plumb.” ref

“They were superb fishermen and it was said that every hour they could catch enough fish for 10 men. They would gut the fish and then boil it and serve it on a palmetto leaf. They would eat the entire fish including the head and scales. They would smoke meat and fish to preserve it for leaner times and dry berries to see them through the year. They could also dive to deeper depths than other people due to the makeup of their ears. This was very useful for the Spanish who forced them to plunder the many shipwrecks that littered the coastline. The Ais ears had bony growths that equalized the pressure within the ear.” ref

“The Ais people would also catch whales; the method for this was inventive. The men would paddle in their canoe alongside a whale until one of their number could jump on its back. He would then plug the whales blowhole til it sunk and they could take back their plunder. They would smoke the leftover whale meat. A very graphic demonstration of the whale hunting can be found at the Elliot museum in Martin County. As I write they are in the middle of an $18000000 improvement project.” ref

“Central to this is a spectacular mock-up of an 18-foot whale with an Ais Indian riding it with a view to kill. You view this as if from the Atlantic Ocean floor. Menendez built a garrison here 1565 but by 3 years later peace had been declared. Unlike many Native Americans this aggressive tribe refused to be converted to Christianity and they joined with the Spanish in 1605 against the French. The last documentation of these people as Ais was in 1703 from thence on they are called Costa. A half-century later and they only lived in St Augustine in 2 camps attached to a Mission.” ref

“The Ais Indians were a tribe of eastern Florida, closely connected with the Tequesta tribe. Their language was never recorded. Some ethnologists have guessed that it may have been related to Calusa, based on stories that people from the two tribes could communicate with each other. Like the Calusa, the Ais were devastated by European diseases. Some of the survivors were probably sent to Cuba with the Calusas and Tequestas, while others may have merged with other Floridian Indians and eventually joined the Seminole tribe.” ref


Muskogean (also MuskhogeanMuskogee) is a Native American language family spoken in different areas of the Southeastern United States. Though the debate concerning their interrelationships is ongoing, the Muskogean languages are generally divided into two branches, Eastern Muskogean and Western Muskogean. Typologically, Muskogean languages are agglutinative. One documented language, Apalachee, is extinct and the remaining languages are critically endangered.” ref

“The Muskogean family consists of six languages that are still spoken: Alabama, Chickasaw, Choctaw, Creek-Seminole, Koasati, and Mikasuki, as well as the now-extinct Apalachee, Houma, and Hitchiti (the last is generally considered a dialect of Mikasuki). “Seminole” is listed as one of the Muskogean languages in Hardy’s list, but it is generally considered a dialect of Creek rather than a separate language, as she comments.ref

“The major subdivisions of the family have long been controversial, but the following lower-level groups are universally accepted: Choctaw–Chickasaw, Alabama–Koasati, Hitchiti–Mikasuki, and Creek–Seminole. Because Apalachee is extinct, its precise relationship to the other languages is uncertain; Mary Haas and Pamela Munro both classify it with the Alabama–Koasati group.ref


“The Apalachee were an Indigenous people of the Southeastern Woodlands, specifically an Indigenous people of Florida, who lived in the Florida Panhandle until the early 18th century. They lived between the Aucilla River and Ochlockonee River, at the head of Apalachee Bay, an area known as the Apalachee Province. They spoke a Muskogean language called Apalachee, which is now extinct.” ref

“The Apalachee occupied the site of Velda Mound starting about 1450 CE, but they had mostly abandoned it when Spanish started settlements in the 17th century. They first encountered Spanish explorers in 1528, when the Narváez expedition arrived. Their tribal enemies, European diseases, and European encroachment severely reduced their population. Warfare from 1701 to 1704 devastated the Apalachee, and they abandoned their homelands by 1704, fleeing north to the CarolinasGeorgia, and Alabama.” ref

“The Apalachee language was a Muskogean language, about which little more is known. It went extinct in the late 18th century. The only surviving Apalachee document is a 1688 letter written by Apalachee chiefs to the Spanish king. The Apalachee are thought to be part of Fort Walton Culture, a Florida culture influenced by the Mississippian culture. The Apalachee were horticulturalists with stratified chiefdoms and sedentary towns and villages. Like many other Southeastern tribes, they have an alternating dual governmental system with a war chief and a peace chief. Leadership was hereditary and matrilinear.” ref

“At the time of Hernando de Soto’s visit in 1539 and 1540, the Apalachee capital was Anhaica (present-day Tallahassee, Florida). The Apalachee lived in villages of various sizes, or on individual farmsteads of .5 acres (0.20 ha) or so. Smaller settlements might have a single earthwork mound and a few houses. Larger towns (50 to 100 houses) were chiefdoms. They were organized around earthwork mounds built over decades for ceremonial, religious and burial purposes.” ref

“Villages and towns were often situated by lakes, as the Native people hunted fish and used the water for domestic needs and transport. The largest Apalachee community was at Lake Jackson, just north of present-day Tallahassee. This regional center had several mounds and 200 or more houses. Some of the surviving mounds are protected in Lake Jackson Mounds Archaeological State Park. The Apalachee cultivated maize, beans, and squash, as well as amaranth and sunflowers. They also harvested wild plants including persimmons, maypops, acorns, walnuts, hickory nuts, persimmons, sassafras, yaupon hollycabbage palm (Sabal palmetto), and saw palmetto (Serenoa). They hunted deerblack bearsrabbitsopossums, squirrels, geese, wild turkeys, and mountain lions.” ref

“The Apalachee were part of an expansive trade network that extended from the Gulf Coast to the Great Lakes, and westward to what is now Oklahoma. The Apalachee acquired copper artifacts, sheets of micagreenstone, and galena from distant locations through this trade. The Apalachee probably paid for such imports with shells, pearls, shark teeth, preserved fish and sea turtle meat, salt, and cassina leaves and twigs (used to make the black drink).” ref

“The Apalachee made tools from stone, bone and shell. They made pottery, wove cloth and cured buckskin. They built houses covered with palm leaves or the bark of cypress or poplar trees. They stored food in pits in the ground lined with matting, and smoked or dried food on racks over fires. (When Hernando de Soto seized the Apalachee town of Anhaico in 1539, he found enough stored food to feed his 600 men and 220 horses for five months.)” ref

“The Apalachee men wore a deerskin loincloth. The women wore a skirt made of Spanish moss or other plant fibers. The men painted their bodies with red ochre and placed feathers in their hair when they prepared for battle. The men smoked tobacco in ceremonial rituals, including ones for healing. The Apalachee scalped opponents whom they killed, exhibiting the scalps as signs of warrior ability. Taking a scalp was a means of entering the warrior class, and was celebrated with a scalp dance. The warriors wore headdresses made of bird beaks and animal fur. The village or clan of a slain warrior was expected to avenge his death.” ref

“The densely populated Apalachee had a complex, highly stratified society of regional chiefdoms. They were one of the Mississippian cultures and part of an expansive trade network reaching to the Great Lakes. Their reputation was such that when tribes in southern Florida first encountered the Pánfilo de Narváez expedition, they said the riches which the Spanish sought could be found in Apalachee country.” ref

“The “Appalachian” place name is derived from the Narváez Expedition‘s encounter in 1528 with the Tocobaga, who spoke of a country named Apalachen far to the north. Several weeks later the expedition entered the territory of Apalachee north of the Aucilla River. Eleven years later the Hernando de Soto expedition reached the main Apalachee town of Anhaica, somewhere in the area of present-day Tallahassee, Florida, probably near Lake Miccosukee. The Spanish subsequently adapted the Native American name as Apalachee and applied it to the coastal region bordering Apalachee Bay, as well as to the tribe which lived in it. Narváez’s expedition first entered Apalachee territory on June 15, 1528. “Appalachian” is the fourth-oldest surviving European place name in the United States.” ref

“Sun Worship: The Apalachees showed their respect for the sun by saluting it at the doors of their wigwams every sunrise and every sunset. They constructed their sacred huts in such a way as to permit the sun’s rays to enter and illuminate their worship space. Although they had great respect for the sun, the Apalachees did not offer it sacrifices of any living thing. They did, however, offer sacrifices of non-living things.” ref

“Solar Folklore: The Apalachees believed in a solar folklore that was similar to several other Native American groups, such as the Natchez of Mississippi and native peoples in present-day Mexico and Peru. According to their solar folklore, their most prominent ancestors, such as great Apalachee chiefs and warriors, dwell inside the sun after their departure from earthly life.” ref

“Sporting Games: The Apalachees played a special ball game during the spring and summer as a religious ceremonial exercise. They would start by splitting up into two large groups of around 100 people each. They played with a small, hard clay ball covered with buckskin. The game was played to obtain favor from the gods of thunder and rain for a better crop season.” ref


“Calusa is an extinct Amerindian language of Florida. No records of the language remain other than a few place names in Florida, so it is unknown which language family Calusa might have belonged to. Although the Calusa tribe was once extremely powerful (defeating the Spanish on numerous occasions) and technologically advanced (building canals and artificial islands), they were devastated by European diseases and the tribe essentially disbanded in the early 18th century. Most of the survivors joined the Seminole tribe or went to Cuba, and their language was never written down before it vanished.” ref

The Calusa: “The Shell Indians”

“The Calusa (kah LOOS ah) lived on the sandy shores of the southwest coast of Florida. These Indians controlled most of south Florida. The population of this tribe may have reached as many as 50,000 people. The Calusa men were tall and well built with long hair. Calusa means “fierce people,” and they were described as a fierce, war-like people. Many smaller tribes were constantly watching for these marauding warriors. The first Spanish explorers found that these Indians were not very friendly. The explorers soon became the targets of the Calusa attacks. This tribe was the first one that the Spanish explorers wrote home about in 1513.” ref

“The Calusa lived on the coast and along the inner waterways. They built their homes on stilts and wove Palmetto leaves to fashion roofs, but they didn’t construct any walls. The Calusa Indians did not farm like the other Indian tribes in Florida. Instead, they fished for food on the coast, bays, rivers, and waterways. The men and boys of the tribe made nets from palm tree webbing to catch mullet, pinfish, pigfish, and catfish. They used spears to catch eels and turtles. They made fish bone arrowheads to hunt for animals such as deer. The women and children learned to catch shellfish like conchs, crabs, clams, lobsters, and oysters.” ref

“The Calusa are considered to be the first “shell collectors.” Shells were discarded into huge heaps. Unlike other Indian tribes, the Calusa did not make many pottery items. They used the shells for tools, utensils, jewelry, and ornaments for their shrines. Shell spears were made for fishing and hunting.” ref

“Shell mounds can still be found today in many parts of southern Florida. Environmentalists and conservation groups protect many of these remaining shell mounds. One shell mound site is Mound Key at Estero Bay in Lee County. Its construction is made entirely of shells and clay. This site is believed to be the chief town of the Calusa, where the leader of the tribe, Chief Carlos lived.” ref

“Archaeologists have excavated many of these mounds to learn more about these extinct people. Artifacts such as shell tools, weapons, and ornaments are on display in many Florida history museums. Living and surviving on the coast caused the tribesmen to become great sailors. They defended their land against other smaller tribes and European explorers that were traveling by water. The Calooshahatchee River, which means “River of the Calusa,” was their main waterway.” ref

“They traveled by dugout canoes, which were made from hollowed-out cypress logs approximately 15 feet long. They used these canoes to travel as far as Cuba. Explorers reported that the Calusa attacked their ships that were anchored close to shore. The Calusa were also known to sail up and down the west coast salvaging the wealth from shipwrecks.” ref

“What happened to these fierce sailing Indians? The Calusa tribe died out in the late 1700s. Enemy Indian tribes from Georgia and South Carolina began raiding the Calusa territory. Many Calusa were captured and sold as slaves. In addition, diseases such as smallpox and measles were brought into the area from the Spanish and French explorers and these diseases wiped out entire villages. It is believed that the few remaining Calusa Indians left for Cuba when the Spanish turned Florida over to the British in 1763.” ref


“Muscogee (Creek) Nation is a self-governed Native American tribe located in Okmulgee, Oklahoma. MCN is one of the 5 Civilized Tribes and is the fourth largest tribe in the U.S. with 97,000 citizens. The government side of the tribe is made up of an executive branch, a legislative body and a tribal court system. MCN is a diverse entity with many facets such as: cultural tourism, gaming, businesses, and a higher learning institution.” ref 

“The Muscogee, also known as the MvskokeMuscogee Creek, and the Muscogee Creek Confederacy (pronounced [məskóɡəlɡi] in the Muscogee language), are a group of related Indigenous peoples of the Southeastern Woodlands in the United States of America. Their historical homelands are in what now comprises southern Tennessee, much of Alabama, western Georgia and parts of northern Florida.” ref

“Most of the Muscogee people were forcibly removed to Indian Territory (now Oklahoma) by the federal government in the 1830s during the Trail of Tears. A small group of the Muscogee Creek Confederacy remained in Alabama, and their descendants formed the federally recognized Poarch Band of Creek Indians. Another Muscogee group moved into Florida between roughly 1767 and 1821, trying to evade European encroachment, and intermarried with local tribes to form the Seminole. Through ethnogenesis, the Seminole emerged with a separate identity from the rest of the Muscogee Creek Confederacy. The great majority of Seminole were forcibly relocated to Indian Territory in the late 1830s, where their descendants later formed federally recognized tribes. Some of the Seminole, with the Miccosukee moved south into the Everglades, resisting removal. These two tribes gained federal recognition in the 20th century and remain in Florida.” ref

“The respective languages of all of these modern-day branches, bands, and tribes, except one, are closely related variants called Muscogee, Mvskoke and Hitchiti-Mikasuki, all of which belong to the Eastern Muskogean branch of the Muscogean language family. These languages are mostly mutually intelligible. The Yuchi people today are part of the Muscogee (Creek) Nation, but their Yuchi language is a linguistic isolate, unrelated to any other language.” ref

“The ancestors of the Muscogee people were part of the Mississippian Ideological Interaction Sphere, also known as Mississippian cultures. Between 800 and 1600 CE, they built complex cities with earthwork mounds with surrounding networks of satellite towns and farmsteads. Muscogee confederated town networks were based on a 900-year-old history of complex and well-organized farming and town layouts around plazas, ballparks, and square ceremonial dance grounds.” ref

“The Muscogee Creek are associated with multi-mound centers, such as the OcmulgeeEtowah Indian Mounds, and Moundville sites. Precontact Muscogee societies shared agriculture, transcontinental trade, craft specialization, hunting, and religion. Early Spanish explorers encountered ancestors of the Muscogee in the mid-16th century.” ref

“The Muscogee were the first Native Americans officially considered by the early United States government to be “civilized” under George Washington‘s civilization plan. In the 19th century, the Muscogee were known as one of the “Five Civilized Tribes“, because they were said to have integrated numerous cultural and technological practices of their more recent European American neighbors.” ref

“Influenced by Tenskwatawa‘s interpretations of the 1811 comet and the New Madrid earthquakes, the Upper Towns of the Muscogee, supported by the Shawnee leader Tecumseh, actively resisted European-American encroachment. Internal divisions with the Lower Towns led to the Red Stick War (Creek War, 1813–1814). Begun as a civil war within Muscogee factions, it enmeshed the Northern Muscogee bands as British allies in the War of 1812 against the United States, while the Southern Muscogee remained US allies. Once the northern Muscogee Creek rebellion had been put down by General Andrew Jackson with the aid of the Southern Muscogee Creek, the Muscogee nation was forced to sign the Treaty of Fort Jackson, which ceded much land to the US, including land belonging to the Southern Muscogee who had fought alongside Jackson. The result was a weakening of the Muscogee Creek Confederacy and the forced cession of Muscogee lands to the US.” ref

“During the 1830s Indian Removal, most of the Muscogee Confederacy were forcibly relocated to Indian Territory. The Muscogee (Creek) NationAlabama-Quassarte Tribal TownKialegee Tribal Town, and Thlopthlocco Tribal Town, all based in Oklahoma, are federally recognized tribes. In addition, the Poarch Band of Creek Indians of Alabama, the Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana, and the Alabama-Coushatta Tribe of Texas are federally recognized. Formed in part originally by Muscogee refugees, the Seminole people today have three federally recognized tribes: the Seminole Nation of OklahomaSeminole Tribe of Florida, and Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida.” ref

“During the time known as the Woodland period, from 1000 BCE to 1000 CE, locals developed pottery and small-scale horticulture of the Eastern Agricultural Complex. The Mississippian culture arose as the cultivation of maize from Mesoamerica led to agricultural surpluses and population growth. Increased population density gave rise to urban centers and regional chiefdoms. Stratified societies developed, with hereditary religious and political elites. This culture flourished in what is now the Midwestern, Eastern, and Southeastern United States from 800 to 1500, especially along the Mississippi River and its major tributaries.” ref

“The early historic Muscogee were descendants of the Mississippian culture along the Tennessee River in modern Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama. They may have been related to the Tama of central Georgia. Muscogee oral history describes a migration from places west of the Mississippi River, in which they eventually settled on the east bank of the Ocmulgee River. Here they waged war against other bands of Native American Indians, such as the Savanna, Ogeeche, Wapoo, Santee, Yamasee, Utina, Icofan, Patican and others, until at length they had overcome them.” ref

“In the mid-16th century, when explorers from the Spanish made their first forays inland from the shores of the Gulf of Mexico, many political centers of the Mississippians were already in decline, or abandoned. The region is best described as a collection of moderately sized native chiefdoms (such as the Coosa chiefdom on the Coosa River), interspersed with completely autonomous villages and tribal groups. The earliest Spanish explorers encountered villages and chiefdoms of the late Mississippian culture, beginning on April 2, 1513, with Juan Ponce de León‘s landing in Florida. The 1526 Lucas Vázquez de Ayllón expedition in South Carolina also recorded encounters with these peoples.” ref

“Muscogee people were gradually influenced by interactions and trade with the Europeans: trading or selling deer hides in exchange for European goods such as muskets, or alcohol. Secondly, the Spanish pressed them to identify leaders for negotiations; they did not understand government by consensus. After Cabeza de Vaca, a castaway who survived the ill-fated Narváez expedition, returned to Spain in 1537, he told the Court that Hernando de Soto had said that America was the “richest country in the world”. Hernando de Soto was a Spanish explorer and conquistador who led the first expedition into the interior of the North American continent. De Soto, convinced of the “riches”, wanted Cabeza de Vaca to go on the expedition, but Cabeza de Vaca declined his offer because of a payment dispute.” ref 

“From 1540 to 1543, de Soto explored through present-day Florida and Georgia, and then westward into the Alabama and Mississippi area. The areas were inhabited by historic Muscogee Native Americans. De Soto brought with him a well-equipped army. He attracted many recruits from a variety of backgrounds who joined his quest for riches in the Americas. As the de Soto expedition’s brutalities became known to the indigenous peoples, they decided to defend their territory. Chief Tuskaloosa led his people in the Battle of Mabila, where the Native Americans were defeated. However, the victory came at great cost to the Spanish campaign in loss of supplies, casualties, and morale. The expedition never fully recovered.” ref

“Because of endemic infectious diseases carried unknowingly by the Europeans, but new to the Muscogee, the Spanish expedition resulted in epidemics of smallpox and measles, and a high rate of fatalities among the indigenous peoples. These losses were exacerbated by the Indian slave trade that colonists conducted in the Southeast during the 17th and 18th centuries. As the survivors and descendants regrouped, the Muscogee Creek Confederacy arose as a loose alliance of Muskogee-speaking peoples.” ref

“The Muscogee lived in autonomous villages in river valleys throughout present-day TennesseeGeorgia, and Alabama, speaking several related Muskogean languagesMuskogee was spoken from the Chattahoochee to the Alabama RiverKoasati (Coushatta) and Alibamu were spoken in the upper Alabama River basin and along parts of the Tennessee RiverHitchiti was spoken in several towns along the Chattahoochee River and across much of present-day Georgia. The Muscogee were a confederacy of tribes consisting of YuchiKoasatiAlabamaCoosaTuskegeeCowetaCussetaChehaw (Chiaha), HitchitiTuckabatcheeOakfuskee, and many others.” ref

“The basic social unit was the town (idalwa). AbihkaCoosaTuckabutche, and Coweta are the four “mother towns” of the Muscogee Confederacy. Traditionally, the Cusseta and Coweta bands are considered the earliest members of the Muscogee Nation. The Lower Towns, along the Chattahoochee River (before 1690 and after 1715), and farther east along the OcmulgeeOconee, and Savannah River rivers (between 1690 and 1715), were Coweta, Cusseta (Kasihta), Koloni, Tuskegee, ChiahaHitchiti, Oconee, Ocmulgee, Apalachicola, and Sawokli.” ref

Seminole War

“The Red Stick refugees who arrived in Florida after the Creek War tripled the Seminole population, and strengthened the tribe’s Muscogee characteristics. In 1814, British forces landed in West Florida and began arming the Seminoles. The British had built a strong fort on the Apalachicola River at Prospect Bluff, and in 1815, after the end of the War of 1812, offered it, with all its ordnance (muskets, cannons, powder, shot, cannonballs) to the locals: Seminoles and maroons (escaped slaves). A few hundred maroons constituted a uniformed Corps of Colonial Marines, who had had military training, however rudimentary, and discipline (but whose English officers had departed). The Seminole only wanted to return to their villages, so the maroons became owners of the Fort. It soon came to be called the ‘Negro Fort‘ by Southern planters, and it was widely known among enslaved blacks by word of mouth – a place nearby where blacks were free and had guns, as in Haiti.” ref

“The white pro-slave holding planters correctly felt its simple existence inspired escape or rebellion by the oppressed African-Americans, and they complained to the US government. The maroons had not received training in how to aim the Fort’s cannons. After notifying the Spanish governor, who had very limited resources, and who said he had no orders to take action, U.S. General Andrew Jackson quickly destroyed the Fort, in a famous and picturesque, though tragic, incident in 1816 that has been called “the deadliest cannon shot in American history” (see Battle of Negro Fort).” ref

“The Seminole continued to welcome fugitive black slaves and raid American settlers, leading the U.S. to declare war in 1817. The following year, General Andrew Jackson invaded Florida with an army that included more than 1,000 Lower Creek warriors; they destroyed Seminole towns and captured Pensacola. Jackson’s victory forced Spain to sign the Adams–Onís Treaty in 1819, ceding Florida to the U.S. In 1823, a delegation of Seminole chiefs met with the new U.S. governor of Florida, expressing their opposition to proposals that would reunite them with the Upper and Lower Creek, partly because the latter tribes intended to enslave the Black Seminoles. Instead, the Seminoles agreed to move onto a reservation in inland central Florida.” ref

“Mico William McIntosh led the Lower Creek warriors who fought alongside the U.S. in the Creek War and the First Seminole War. The son of the Loyalist officer of the same name who had recruited a band of Hitchiti to the British cause, McIntosh never knew his white father. He had family ties to some of Georgia’s planter elite, and after the wars became a wealthy cotton-planter. Through his mother, he was born into the prominent Wind Clan of the Creek; as the Creek had a matrilineal system of descent and inheritance, he achieved his chieftainship because of her. He was also related to Alexander McGillivray and William Weatherford, both mixed-race Creek.” ref

“In the late 1810s and early 1820s, McIntosh helped create a centralized police force called ‘Law Menders,’ establish written laws, and form a National Creek Council. Later in the decade, he came to view relocation as inevitable. In 1821, McIntosh and several other chiefs, including Chief Shelocta, signed away Lower Creek lands east of the Flint River at the first Treaty of Indian Springs. As a reward, McIntosh was granted 1,000 acres (4 km2) at the treaty site, where he built a hotel to attract tourists to local hot springs.” ref

“The Creek National Council responded by prescribing the death penalty for tribesmen who surrendered additional land. Georgian settlers continued to pour into Indian lands, particularly after the discovery of gold in northern Georgia. in 1825 McIntosh and his first cousin, Georgia Governor George Troup, a leading advocate of Indian removal, signed the second Treaty of Indian Springs at his hotel. Signed by six other Lower Creek chiefs, the treaty ceded the last Lower Creek lands to Georgia, and allocated substantial sums to relocate the Muscogee to the Arkansas River. It provided for an equally large payment directly to McIntosh.” ref

“In April, the old Red Stick Menawa led about 200 Law Menders to execute McIntosh according to their law. They burned his upper Chattahoochee plantation. A delegation of the Creek National Council, led by the speaker Opothleyahola, traveled to Washington D.C. to protest the 1825 treaty. They convinced President John Quincy Adams that the treaty was invalid, and negotiated the more favorable Treaty of Washington (1826). The tribe ceded their lands to Georgia in return for $200,000, although they were not required to move west. Troup ignored the new treaty and ordered the eviction of the Muscogee from their remaining lands in Georgia without compensation, mobilizing state militia when Adams threatened federal intervention.” ref

“In the aftermath of the Treaty of Fort Jackson and the Treaty of Washington (1826), the Muscogee were confined to a small strip of land in present-day east central Alabama. Andrew Jackson was inaugurated president of the United States in 1829, and with his inauguration the government stance toward Indians turned harsher. Jackson abandoned the policy of his predecessors of treating different Indian groups as separate nations. Instead, he aggressively pursued plans to move all Indian tribes living east of the Mississippi River to Oklahoma.” ref

“Friends and Brothers – By permission of the Great Spirit above, and the voice of the people, I have been made President of the United States, and now speak to you as your Father and friend, and request you to listen. Your warriors have known me long You know I love my white and red children, and always speak with a straight, and not with a forked tongue; that I have always told you the truth … Where you now are, you and my white children are too near to each other to live in harmony and peace. Your game is destroyed, and many of your people will not work and till the earth. Beyond the great River Mississippi, where a part of your nation has gone, your Father has provided a country large enough for all of you, and he advises you to remove to it. There your white brothers will not trouble you; they will have no claim to the land, and you can live upon it you and all your children, as long as the grass grows or the water runs, in peace and plenty. It will be yours forever. For the improvements in the country where you now live, and for all the stock which you cannot take with you, your Father will pay you a fair price … — President Andrew Jackson addressing the Creeks, 1829″ ref

“At Jackson’s request, the United States Congress opened a fierce debate on an Indian Removal Bill. In the end, the bill passed, but the vote was close. The Senate passed the measure 28 to 19, while in the House it squeaked by, 102 to 97. Jackson signed the legislation into law June 30, 1830.” ref

“Following the Indian Removal Act, in 1832 the Creek National Council signed the Treaty of Cusseta, ceding their remaining lands east of the Mississippi to the U.S., and accepting relocation to the Indian Territory. Most Muscogee were removed to Indian Territory during the Trail of Tears in 1834, with additional removals following the Creek War of 1836, although some remained behind.” ref

“By 1836, when extensive Creek removal was underway, Eneah Emathala emerged as leader of the Lower Creeks … their desire was only to be left alone in their homeland … Gen. Winfield Scott was ordered to capture Eneah Emathala … Captured with Emathala were some one thousand other person … their [racial] colors were black, red, and white … — Burt & Ferguson- Indians of the Southeast: Then and Now” ref

“Muscogee people continue to preserve chaya and share a vibrant tribal identity through events such as annual festivals, stickball games, and language classes. The Stomp Dance and Green Corn Ceremony are revered gatherings and rituals. While families include people who are directly related to each other, clans are composed of all people who are descendants of the same ancestral clan grouping. Like many Native American nations, the Muscogee Creek are matrilineal; each person belongs to the clan of their mother, who belongs to the clan of her mother. Inheritance and property are passed through the maternal line. Hereditary chiefs were born into certain clans.” ref

“Biological fathers are important within the family system but must come from another clan than the mother. But, within the clan, it is the mother’s brother (the mother’s nearest blood relation) who functions as the primary teacher, protector, disciplinarian and role model for children, especially for boys. Clan members do not claim “blood relation” but consider each other as family due to their membership in the same clan. This is expressed by their using the same kinship titles for both family and clan relations. For example, clan members of approximately the same age consider each other “brother” and “sister”, even if they have never met before.” ref

“Because of this system, the Muscogee Creek children born of European fathers belonged to their mother’s clans and were part of their tribal communities. High-ranking daughters of chiefs often found it advantageous to marry European traders, who could provide their families with goods. Muscogee Creek believed young men who became educated in European ways could help them manage under the new conditions related to colonialism, while preserving important Muscogee Creek cultural institutions.” ref

“Muscogee clans are as follows:

  • Bear Clan (Muklasalgi, Nokosalgi),
  • Beaver Clan (Itamalgi, Isfanalgi, Itchhasuaigi),
  • Bird Clan (Fusualgi),
  • Bog Potato Clan (Ahalakalgi),
  • Cane Clan (Kohasalki),
  • Deer Clan (Itchualgi),
  • Fish Clan (Hlahloalgi),
  • Fox Clan (Tsulalgi),
  • Hickory-Nut Clan (Odshisalgi),
  • Maize Clan (Aktayatsalgi, Atchialgi),
  • Mole Clan (Takusalgi),
  • Otter Clan (Osanalgi),
  • Panther Clan (Chukotalgi, Katsalg),
  • Raccoon Clan (Wahlakalgi, Wotkalgi),
  • Salt Clan (Okilisa, Oktchunualgi),
  • Skunk Clan (Kunipalgi),
  • Toad Clan (Pahosalgi, Sopaktalgi),
  • Turtle Clan (Locvlke) – related to Wind Clan
  • Wild-Cat Clan (Koakotsalgi),
  • Wind Clan (Hutalgalgi),
  • Wolf Clan (Yahalgi) – related to Bear Clan.” ref

“The Muscogee language is a member of the Muskogean family and was well known among the frontiersmen, such as Gideon Lincecum, of the early 19th century. The language is related to the Choctaw language, with some words being identical in pronunciation. The TV series Reservation Dogs is filmed entirely in Muscogee Nation land in Oklahoma.” ref

“Creek mythology is related to a Muscogee tribe who are originally from the southeastern United States, also known by their original name Mvskoke (or Muskogee), the name they use to identify themselves today. Mvskoke is their name in traditional spelling. Modern Muscogees live primarily in OklahomaAlabamaGeorgia, and Florida. Their language, Mvskoke, is a member of the Eastern branch of the Muskogean language family. The Seminole are close kin to the Mvskoke and speak an Eastern Muskogean language as well. The Muscogee were considered one of the Five Civilized Tribes. After the Creek War many of the Muscogee escaped to Florida to create the Seminole.” ref

“The early historic Muscogee were probably descendants of the Mississippian culture peoples who lived along the Tennessee River, in what is now modern Tennessee and Alabama, and possibly related to the Utinahica of southern Georgia. More of a loose confederacy than a single tribe, the Mvskoke lived in autonomous villages in river valleys throughout what are today the states of Tennessee, Georgia, and Alabama also consisted of many ethnic groups speaking several distinct languages, such as the HitchitiAlabama, and Coushatta. Those who lived along the Ocmulgee River and the Oconee River were called “Creek Indians” by British traders from South Carolina; eventually the name was applied to all of the various natives of Creek towns becoming increasingly divided between the Lower Towns of the Georgia frontier on the Chattahoochee River (see Apalachicola Province), Ocmulgee River, and Flint River and the Upper Towns of the Alabama River Valley.” ref

“The Lower Towns included Coweta, Cusseta (Kasihta, Cofitachequi), Upper Chehaw (Chiaha), Hitchiti, Oconee, Ocmulgee, Okawaigi, ApalachicolaYamasee (Altamaha), Ocfuskee, Sawokli, and Tamali. The Upper Towns included Tuckabatchee, AbihkaCoosa (Kusa; the dominant people of East Tennessee and North Georgia during the Spanish explorations), Itawa (original inhabitants of the Etowah Indian Mounds), Hothliwahi (Ullibahali), Hilibi, Eufaula, Wakokai, Atasi, Alibamu, Coushatta (Koasati; they had absorbed the Kaski/Casqui and the Tali), and Tuskegee (“Napochi” in the de Luna chronicles).” ref

“Cusseta (Kasihta) and Coweta are the two principal towns of the Muscogee Nation to this day. Traditionally the Cusseta and Coweta bands are considered to the earliest members of the Muscogee Nation. The Muscogee believed that the world was originally entirely underwater. The only land was a hill called Nunne Chaha on which is the home of Hesaketvmese (meaning “master of breath”; pronounced Hisakita imisi), a solar deity also called Ibofanga (“the one who is sitting above (us)”). He created humanity from the clay on the hill.” ref

“In the underworld, there was only chaos and odd creatures. Master of Breath created Brother Moon and Sister Sun, as well as the four directions to hold up the world. The Creek also venerated the Horned Serpent Sint Holo, who appeared to suitably wise young men. The first people were the offspring of Sister Sun and the Horned Serpent. These first two Creeks were Lucky Hunter and Corn Woman, denoting their respective roles in Creek Society.” ref

Muscogee Creek spirituality and meaning of death

“Results yielded that Creeks are generally open to the existence of inexplicable supernatural events. Creek spirituality encompasses awareness of spiritual beings, both good and bad. Participants believed that spirits exist alongside people and can send and receive messages from people to guide and inform them. Creeks have ongoing, though not constant, relationships with loved ones and others who have died. Spiritual attunement can occur at every point in the life cycle but seems to be especially astute in children and animals. Results are discussed in terms of continuing bonds and meaning making perspectives.” ref

“Extensive trade networks linked the Creeks to much of the continent prior to contact and large chiefdoms emerged to control the flow of goods. During the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, this aboriginal trade was highly disrupted and trade with Europeans was not well developed. After the founding of Charleston in 1680, the deerskin trade became central to the Creek economy. During the nineteenth century, trade shifted to livestock and agricultural produce and the Creeks became major exporters throughout the century.” ref

“Division of Labor. Traditionally, men hunted, fished, farmed the town fields, and traded; they also produced most stone, bone, wooden, and metal implements. Women gardened, gathered wild plants, assisted in communal fishing and cultivation, processed all foods and textiles, prepared hides, and manufactured pottery, basketry, and mats, and cloth and clothing. Women also had primary childcare responsibilities. Men heavily dominated ritual and medicinal activities, and politics and warfare were exclusively male activities. In the eighteenth century, women also tended fruit orchards and raised hogs and chickens. Men primarily herded the cattle and horses, though a few women also owned these animals. In the late eighteenth century, some women also began selling food, agricultural produce, and manufactures to resident traders, but women’s trade generally remained a minor activity. While many Creek women in the twenty-first century remain at home, poverty dictates that many must seek employment, primarily in the service industry.” ref

“Hereditary ranking and seniority played a central role in aboriginal social organization. All of the descent groups were ranked, with the Hathakaki superior to the Cilokaki. One clan within each phratry and one lineage within each clan acted as “elder brother” or “mother’s brother, ” providing group leadership. Despite matrilineality and matrilocality, marked male dominance characterized gender relations, though women retained important property rights and unmarried women enjoyed complete sexual freedom. Interaction and intermarriage with white traders led to the emergence of a new mercantile class in the late eighteenth and early nineteenth centuries, which came to dominate the tribal government. This class adopted many elements of Euro-American culture and became distinct from the mass of the people.” ref

“Much behavior was regulated by gossip or by fear of divine retribution for violations of sacred law. Clans also regulated the conduct of their members and elders could punish members for infractions, typically by fines or scratching. Clans also sought direct remedies for personal injury to the members by beatings, confiscation of property, or by retaliatory killing for homicide. The mikko could intervene and adjudicate conflicts between clans within the towns. The tastanaki enforced his edicts by fines or whippings. The national government settled disputes between towns, and the national council served as a court of appeals in the nineteenth century. The tribal courts were dissolved along with the tribal government and the Creeks placed under federal and state courts.” ref

“Conflict. During the eighteenth century, the regional groups often pursued independent policies. In the late eighteenth century, a new mercantile class, mostly of mixed ancestry, emerged, dividing the nation. In the 1820s conflicts between Lower Creek members of this class and conservatives erupted over removal. Conflicts between the Lower Creeks, dominated by the mercantile class, and the more conservative Upper Creeks characterized the nation after removal, culminating in the civil split. These conflicts continued until allotment. In the twentieth century, conflicts emerged between Christians and traditionalists, as well as between social conservatives and more assimilated tribal members.” ref

“Aboriginal religion is polytheistic, with several gods who reside above, and a multitude of spirits, who primarily reside under the earth. They also believe in a pervasive spiritual power (hiliswa) that permeates the universe and inheres to varying degrees in persons, places, and objects. Ritual and political office derives from possession of this power, which is inherited, primarily in the female line. Animate beings possess two souls: the vital force (hisakita or breath) which dissipates at death and the eternal spiritual soul (poyifikca). Even inanimate objects may possess this soul. Individuals can capture the soul of another, including those of under-earth spirits, and harness its power for their own use. The creator, Hisakita Imissi (Master of Breath) heads the pantheon, followed by the Sun and the Sacred Fire. The latter is the tutelary deity of the town and the creator’s representative. Other deities include the Moon, Thunder, Corn, and the Four Winds.” ref

“While about 20-25 percent of the Creeks still follow the traditional religion, most are Christians, primarily of the Baptist or, less commonly, Methodist denominations. The Creek Baptists and Methodists maintain their own churches with a native clergy and native language services, which are associated with the tribal towns. The Baptists are totally independent of other church associations and heavily influenced by native belief and practice.” ref


“The Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida is a federally recognized Native American tribe in the U.S. state of Florida. They were part of the Seminole nation until the mid-20th century, when they organized as an independent tribe, receiving federal recognition in 1962. The Miccosukee speak the Mikasuki language, which is mutually intelligible with the Hitchiti language, is considered its dialect, and is also spoken by many Florida Seminole.” ref

“Historically, the Miccosukee trace their origins to the Lower Chiaha, one of the tribes of the Creek Confederacy in present-day Georgia. Under pressure from European encroachment in their territory, they migrated to northern Florida in the early 18th century, where they became part of the developing Seminole nation. By the late 18th century, the British recorded the name Miccosukee or Mikasuki as designating a Hitchiti-speaking group centered on the village of Miccosukee in the Florida Panhandle.” ref

“Like other Seminole groups, they were displaced during the Seminole Wars (1817–1858), and many migrated or were forced to relocate west of the Mississippi River to Indian Territory in 1842, after the Seminole Wars. The Miccosukee chief Ar-pi-uck-i, also known as Sam Jones, proved an effective leader during the Second Seminole War.” ref

“Descendants of those who remained in Florida were concentrated in the central part of the state. In the 1920s and 1930s, many Seminole established communities along the Tamiami Trail, a roadway completed in 1928 that ran through the Everglades and connected the cities of Tampa and Miami. The Trail Indians, as they were called, generally kept more traditional practices. They were less interested in establishing formal relations with the federal government than those Cow Creek Seminole to the north who started moving to reservations around the same time.” ref

“In 1953, the Seminole were identified for termination of federal status; the Seminole Tribe of Florida organized as a tribe and were recognized in 1957. That process had pointed out cultural differences between the groups, and the Miccosukee gained state recognition separately that year, and federal recognition in 1962. The Traditionals or Independents did not affiliate with either tribe.” ref

“The Miccosukee historically inhabited the upper Tennessee Valley in present-day Georgia, where they were originally part of the Upper Chiaha. Later they split: the Miccosukee (Lower Chiaha) migrated northeast to the Carolinas and the Upper Chiaha, also known as Muscogee, migrated west to northern Alabama. Under continuing encroachment pressure from European-American settlers, many migrated to northern Florida during the 18th and 19th centuries.” ref

“The Lower Chiaha comprised the major part of the Seminole tribe, which formed in the eighteenth century in Florida through a process of ethnogenesis. They numbered about 6,000 by the early 19th century. About 2,000 Upper Creek (Red Sticks), who were Creek speakers, joined them after defeat in the Creek War of 1813-1814. Although East and West Florida were under Spanish control, United States forces invaded in 1818 in the First Seminole War, in retaliation for Indian raids against settlers in Georgia.” ref

“In 1821 the United States (US) acquired Florida from Spain, and it increased pressure for removal against the Seminole/Creek from Florida. It relocated several thousand Seminole and hundreds of Black Seminoles, who lived in close association as allies, to the Indian Territory. They were originally given land under Creek administration and later given a separate reservation. Those who remained in Florida fought against US forces during the second and third Seminole Wars. They had moved into central Florida and the Everglades to try to evade European-American settlement pressure. During this period, the Miccosukee mixed with the Creek-speaking Seminole, but many maintained their Mikasuki language and identity.” ref

“The Mikasuki, Hitchiti-Mikasuki, or Hitchiti language is a language or a pair of dialects or closely related languages that belong to the Muskogean languages family. As of 2014, Mikasuki was spoken by around 290 people in southern Florida. Along with the Cow Creek Seminole dialect of Muscogee, it is also known as Seminole. It is spoken by members of the Miccosukee tribe and of the Seminole Tribe of Florida. The extinct Hitchiti was a mutually intelligible dialect of or the ancestor of Mikasuki.” ref

“Hitchiti was one of the many Muskogean languages spoken by peoples of what is now the southeastern United States, and is considered by many scholars to be the ancestor of the Mikasuki language. It was spoken in Georgia and eastern Alabama in the early historic period, with speakers moving into Florida during the 18th and 19th centuries. Hitchiti was the language of tribal towns such as Hitchiti, Chiaha, Oconee, Okmulgee, Sawokli, and Apalachicola. Based on the number of place names that have been derived from the language, scholars believe it could have spread over a much larger area than Georgia and Florida during colonial times.” ref

“It was part of the Muskogean language family; it is often considered a dialect of the Mikasuki language with which it was mutually intelligible. The Hitchiti and the Mikasuki tribes were both part of the Creek confederacy. The Mikasuki language was historically one of the major languages of the Seminole people, who developed as a new ethnic group in Florida. It is still spoken by many Seminole and Miccosukee in Florida, but it has become extinct among the Oklahoma Seminole. Like Muscogee, Hitchiti had an ancient “female” dialect. The dialect was still remembered and sometimes spoken by the older people, and it used to be the language of the males as well. Their language with the “female” dialect was also known as the ‘ancient language’.” ref

“The language appears to have been used beyond the territorial limits of the tribe: it was spoken in Native American villages on the Chattahoochee River, such as Chiaha (Chehaw), Chiahudshi, Hitchiti, Oconee, Sawokli, Sawokliudshi, and Apalachicola, and in those on the Flint River, and also by the Miccosukee tribe of Florida. Traceable by local names in Hitchiti, the language was used by peoples over considerable portions of Georgia and Florida. Like Creek, this language has an archaic form called “women’s talk,” or female language. Scholars believe that the Yamasee also spoke Hitchiti, but the evidence is not conclusive. Other evidence points toward their speaking a different language, perhaps one related to Guale.” ref

“The Miccosukee were originally part of the Creek Nation, who were an association of clan villages in Alabama and Georgia. The Miccosukee come from the Lower Creek region of Creek Nation and speak Mikasuki; they lived with other Lower Creek tribes in harmony as they shared religious and social practices. To survive, they hunted, fished and grew crops, including corn. The Tribe celebrates this new harvest each year still at the Green Corn Dance. Around 1715, the Miccosukee made their way down into Florida in an effort to escape European settlers, as well as the Upper Creek Nation (who they did not get along with).” ref

“The remained in the panhandle area for a while, but then ventured to settle around Alachua, which is south of the Tampa Bay area. After Spain sold Florida to the United States, treaties between Indian leader and the new American settlers were occurring but in 1830 the Indian Removal Act was put into place and the Second Seminole War and Third Seminole War took place. During these wars, the Miccosukees escaped the fighting and hid in the Everglades. The current tribal members are descendants from the 50 members who were not captured in the wars.” ref

“In the Everglades, the Miccosukees had to adapt the new environment so they created “hammock style” camps. They fished and hunted to eat. They began to harvest native fruits of the hammocks, but corn, which played an important role in their customs, became difficult to grow. Over the years, the Miccosukees have adapted to new ways but have always retained their culture. They have kept their language, medicine, and clans. Many still do not live in modern housing and prefer to live in chickees, which are thatched-roof houses on stilts. Since the 9160s, the Miccosukees have their own Constitution and bylaws.” ref


Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, the Seminole Tribe of Florida, and the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, as well as independent groups. The Seminole people emerged in a process of ethnogenesis from various Native American groups who settled in Spanish Florida beginning in the early 1700s, most significantly northern Muscogee Creeks from what is now Georgia and Alabama.” ref

“The word “Seminole” is almost certainly derived from the Creek word simanó-li, which has been variously translated as “frontiersman”, “outcast”, “runaway”, “separatist”, and similar words. The Creek word may be derived from the Spanish word cimarrón, meaning “runaway” or “wild one”, historically used for certain Native American groups in Florida. The people who constituted the nucleus of this Florida group either chose to leave their tribe or were banished. At one time, the terms “renegade” and “outcast” were used to describe this status, but the terms have fallen into disuse due to their negative connotations. The Seminole identify as yat’siminoli or “free people” because for centuries their ancestors had successfully resisted efforts to subdue or convert them to Roman Catholicism. They signed several treaties with the U.S. government, including the Treaty of Moultrie Creek and the Treaty of Paynes Landing.” ref

“Seminole culture is largely derived from that of the Creek; the most important ceremony is the Green Corn Dance; other notable traditions include use of the black drink and ritual tobacco. As the Seminoles adapted to Florida environs, they developed local traditions, such as the construction of open-air, thatched-roof houses known as chickees. Historically the Seminoles spoke Mikasuki and Creek, both Muskogean languages.” ref

“Florida had been the home of several indigenous cultures prior the arrival of European explorers in the early 1500s. However, the introduction of Eurasian infectious diseases, along with conflict with Spanish and English colonists, led to a drastic decline of Florida’s original native population. By the early 1700s, much of La Florida was uninhabited apart from towns at St. Augustine and Pensacola. A stream of mainly Muscogee Creek began moving into the territory at that time to escape conflict with English colonists to the north and established towns mainly in the Florida panhandle.” ref

“Native American refugees from northern wars, such as the Yuchi and Yamasee after the Yamasee War in South Carolina, migrated into Spanish Florida in the early 18th century. More arrived in the second half of the 18th century, as the Lower Creeks, part of the Muscogee people, began to migrate from several of their towns into Florida to evade the dominance of the Upper Creeks and pressure from encroaching colonists from the Province of Carolina. They spoke primarily Hitchiti, of which Mikasuki is a dialect, which is the primary traditional language spoken today by the Miccosukee in Florida. Joining them were several bands of Choctaw, many of whom were native to western Florida. Some Chickasaw had also left Georgia due to conflicts with colonists and their Native American allies. Also fleeing to Florida were African Americans who had escaped from slavery in the Southern Colonies.” ref

“The new arrivals moved into virtually uninhabited lands that had once been peopled by several cultures indigenous to Florida, such as the ApalacheeTimucuaCalusa, and others. The native population had been devastated by infectious diseases brought by Spanish explorers in the 1500s and later colonization by European settlers. Later, raids by Carolina and Native American slavers destroyed the string of Spanish missions across northern Florida, and most of the survivors left for Cuba when the Spanish withdrew after ceding Florida to the British in 1763, following the French and Indian War.” ref

“The Seminoles were organized around itálwa, the basis of their social, political and ritual systems, and roughly equivalent to towns or bands in English. They had a matrilineal kinship system, in which children are considered born into their mother’s family and clan, and property and hereditary roles pass through the maternal line. Males held the leading political and social positions. Each itálwa had civil, military and religious leaders; they were self-governing throughout the nineteenth century, but would cooperate for mutual defense. The itálwa continued to be the basis of Seminole society in Oklahoma into the 21st century.” ref

“Historically, the various groups of Seminoles spoke two mutually unintelligible Muskogean languagesMikasuki (and its dialect, Hitchiti) and Muscogee. Mikasuki is now restricted to Florida, where it was the native language of 1,600 people as of 2000, primarily the Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida. The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma is working to revive the use of Creek among its people, as it had been the dominant language of politics and social discourse.” ref

“During the Seminole Wars, the Seminole people began to divide among themselves due to the conflict and differences in ideology. The Seminole population had also been growing significantly, though it was diminished by the wars. With the division of the Seminole population between Indian Territory (Oklahoma) and Florida, they still maintained some common traditions, such as powwow trails and ceremonies. In general, the cultures grew apart in their markedly different circumstances, and had little contact for a century. The Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, and the Seminole Tribe of Florida and Miccosukee Tribe of Indians of Florida, described below, are federally recognized, independent nations that operate in their own spheres.” ref

“Seminole tribes generally follow Christianity, both Protestantism and Catholicism. They also observe their traditional Native religion, which is expressed through the stomp dance and the Green Corn Ceremony held at their ceremonial grounds. Indigenous peoples have practiced Green Corn rituals for centuries. Contemporary southeastern Native American tribes, such as the Seminole and Muscogee Creek, still practice these ceremonies. As converted Christian Seminoles established their own churches, they incorporated their traditions and beliefs into a syncretic indigenous-Western practice. For example, Seminole hymns sung in the indigenous (Muscogee) language are inclusive of key Muscogee language terms (for example, the Muscogee term “mekko” or chief conflates with “Jesus”). Also, hymns are frequently led by a song leader (a traditional indigenous song practice).” ref

“In the 1950s, federal projects in Florida encouraged the tribe’s reorganization. They created organizations within tribal governance to promote modernization. As Christian pastors began preaching on reservations, Green Corn Ceremony attendance decreased. This created tension between religiously traditional Seminoles and those who began adopting Christianity. In the 1960s and 1970s, some tribal members on reservations, such as the Brighton Seminole Indian Reservation in Florida, viewed organized Christianity as a threat to their traditions.” ref

“By the 1980s, Seminole communities were even more concerned about loss of language and tradition. Many tribal members began to revive the observance of traditional Green Corn Dance ceremonies, and some shifted away from Christian observance. By 2000, religious tension between Green Corn Dance attendees and Christians (particularly Baptists) decreased. Some Seminole families participate in both religions; these practitioners have developed a syncretic Christianity that has absorbed some tribal traditions.” ref

“The remaining few hundred Seminoles survived in the Florida swamplands, avoiding removal. They lived in the Everglades, to isolate themselves from European Americans. Seminoles continued their distinctive life, such as “clan-based matrilocal residence in scattered thatched-roof chickee camps.” Today, the Florida Seminoles proudly note the fact that their ancestors were never conquered.” ref

“Religious Beliefs. Ancestral religion was animistic with natural forces considered far more potent than human ones. Seminole today have scant memory of traditional beliefs, although there is some syncretism that mixes old beliefs with Christianity. Many Seminole belong to Christian churches, primarily Baptist, and a few have become ministers. Although not necessarily church members, Seminole often attend Services and events in churches on their reservations. Attendance is a social as much as a religious experience.” ref

“Religious Practitioners. The old-time shamans have died without leaving followers or apprentices with the intensive training necessary for the position. Consequently any who claim medicoreligious roles of a traditional sort are self-proclaimed rather than steeped in the lore of the past.” ref

“Ceremonies. The Green Corn Dance, or busk, the major ceremony of almost all Southeastern Indians, remains in reduced trivialized form, no longer truly a rite of purification, forgiveness, and renewal, but largely a social event. Only the Miccosukee Tribe has held a busk in recent years, and many Seminole disapprove of the introduction of alcohol into the celebration.” ref

“Medicine. With the demise of the shaman who was the healer in Southeastern cultures, much medical lore associated with native plants has been lost. In the 1950s, however, information on medical practices was collected, and some elderly people still perform herbal cures. For the most part, Indians go to Public Health Service physicians, visiting nurses, and local hospitals. Children, for example, are born in hospitals. Public Health nurses and dentists visit the reservations regularly.” ref

“Death and Afterlife. Mourning the dead and burial are the responsibility of churches and undertakers in the outer society. Old-time death ceremonials and mourning practices have been all but forgotten. Traditional mortuary practices and religious ceremonials changed or were lost during the long, difficult trek from the original homelands down the peninsula. Since the Seminole during those trying times did not record the changes, we can only surmise what was lost. Probably at one time the ancestral Seminole ascribed illness and death to human failure to observe proper rites concerning nature and the supernatural. Today modern medical theories of disease are acknowledged, and even those not belonging to a church have some notions of an afterlife in a pleasant place.” ref  


Black Seminoles—Gullahs Who Escaped From Slaveryref

“Black Seminoles, also called Seminole Maroons or Seminole Freedmen, a group of free blacks and runaway slaves (maroons) that joined forces with the Seminole Indians in Florida from approximately 1700 through the 1850s. The Black Seminoles were celebrated for their bravery and tenacity during the three Seminole Wars.” ref

The Black Seminoles, or Afro-Seminoles, are Native American-Africans associated with the Seminole people in Florida and Oklahoma. They are mostly blood descendants of the Seminole people, free Africans, and escaped former slaves, who allied with Seminole groups in Spanish Florida. Many have Seminole lineage, but due to the stigma of having very dark or brown skin and kinky hair, they all have been categorized as slaves or freedmen. Historically, the Black Seminoles lived mostly in distinct bands near the Native American Seminole. Some were held as slaves, particularly of Seminole leaders, but the Black Seminole had more freedom than did slaves held by whites in the South and by other Native American tribes, including the right to bear arms.” ref

“Today, Black Seminole descendants live primarily in rural communities around the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma. Its two Freedmen’s bands, the Caesar Bruner Band and the Dosar Barkus Band, are represented on the General Council of the Nation. Other centers are in Florida, Texas, the Bahamas, and northern MexicoSince the 1930s, the Seminole Freedmen have struggled with cycles of exclusion from the Seminole Tribe of Oklahoma. In 1990, the tribe received the majority of a $46 million judgment trust by the United States, for seizure of lands in Florida in 1823, and the Freedmen have worked to gain a share of it. In 2004 the US Supreme Court ruled the Seminole Freedmen could not bring suit without the Seminole Nation of Oklahoma, which refused to join them on the claim issue.” ref

“In 2000 the Seminole Nation voted to restrict membership to those who could prove descent from a Seminole on the Dawes Rolls of the early 20th century, which excluded about 1,200 Freedmen who were previously included as members. it has been argue that the Dawes Rolls were inaccurate and often classified persons with both Seminole and African ancestry as only Freedmen. As early as 1689, enslaved Africans fled from the South Carolina Lowcountry to Spanish Florida seeking freedom. These were people who gradually formed what has become known as the Gullah culture of the coastal Southeast. Under an edict from King Charles II of Spain in 1693, the black fugitives received liberty in exchange for defending the Spanish settlers at St. Augustine. The Spanish organized the black volunteers into a militia; their settlement at Fort Mosé, founded in 1738, was the first legally sanctioned free black town in North America.” ref

“Not all the slaves escaping south found military service in St. Augustine to their liking. More escaped slaves sought refuge in wilderness areas in northern Florida, where their knowledge of tropical agriculture—and resistance to tropical diseases—served them well. Most of the black people who pioneered Florida were Gullah people who escaped from the rice plantations of South Carolina (and later Georgia). As Gullah, they had developed an Afro-English based Creole, along with cultural practices and African leadership structure. The Gullah pioneers built their own settlements based on rice and corn agriculture. They became allies of Creek and other Native Americans escaping into Florida from the Southeast at the same time. In Florida, they developed the Afro-Seminole Creole, which they spoke with the growing Seminole tribe.” ref



“No event hindered the development of the Territory of Florida and slowed the effort of Floridians to gain statehood more than the Seminole Wars. The conflict between white man and Indian in Florida became the longest continuous war in which the United States Government engaged an enemy. To the Seminole, it is a war that never officially ended. The origin of the Seminole conflict date back to Governor Moore’s invasion into Spanish Florida in 1704 in which he introduced bands of Creeks into the region to destroy the Spanish Apalachee. Many of these Indians remained in Florida and later joined the British to fight Georgia settlers during the American Revolution.” ref

“The development of the Southern states disrupted the boundaries of all Native American groups in the region. In the mid-1700’s Creeks, predominately of the Hitchiti-speaking Oconee tribe, left Western Georgia and moved southward to the Gainesville prairies. Perhaps they were adventurous young Indians since Seminole means “runaway” or “wild”. More likely they were groups of Indians who found Spanish Florida a save refuge from the onslaught of white settlements. While these Seminoles were not direct participants in the Creek Wars of 1813, their ability to adapt to such European ways as wheat farming and cattle raising aroused the anger of Georgia farmers who accused them of stealing their cattle. Most of the Seminole herds appeared to be wild Spanish stock.” ref

“More significantly, planters noted that the Indians welcomed and accepted the arrival of runaway African-American slaves. When Florida became a Territory in 1821, its first Governor Andy Jackson considered the some 7,000 Seminoles in Florida a major handicap in the development of Florida. Busy with the settlement of Americans, Jackson did not have the time and manpower to curtail the arrival of even more Creeks along the Panhandle.” ref


“The Timucua were a Native American people who lived in Northeast and North Central Florida and southeast Georgia. They were the largest indigenous group in that area and consisted of about 35 chiefdoms, many leading thousands of people. The various groups of Timucua spoke several dialects of the Timucua language. At the time of European contact, Timucuan speakers occupied about 19,200 square miles (50,000 km2) in the present-day states of Florida and Georgia, with an estimated population of 200,000. Milanich notes that the population density calculated from those figures, 10.4 per square mile (4.0/km2) is close to the population densities calculated by other authors for the Bahamas and for Hispaniola at the time of first European contact. The territory occupied by Timucua speakers stretched from the Altamaha River and Cumberland Island in present-day Georgia as far south as Lake George in central Florida, and from the Atlantic Ocean west to the Aucilla River in the Florida Panhandle, though it reached the Gulf of Mexico at no more than a couple of points.” ref

“The name “Timucua” (recorded by the French as Thimogona but this is likely a misprint for Thimogoua) came from the exonym used by the Saturiwa (of what is now Jacksonville) to refer to the Utina, another group to the west of the St. Johns River. The Spanish came to use the term more broadly for other peoples in the area. Eventually it became the common term for all peoples who spoke what is known as Timucuan.” ref

“While alliances and confederacies arose between the chiefdoms from time to time, the Timucua were never organized into a single political unit. The various groups of Timucua speakers practiced several different cultural traditions. The people suffered severely from the introduction of Eurasian infectious diseases. By 1595, their population was estimated to have been reduced from 200,000 to 50,000 and thirteen chiefdoms remained. By 1700, the population of the tribe had been reduced to an estimated 1,000 due to slave raids from Carolinian settlers and their Indian allies. The local slave trade completed their extinction as a tribe soon after the turn of the 18th century.” ref

“The word “Timucuan” may derive from “Thimogona” or “Tymangoua”, an exonym used by the Saturiwa chiefdom of present-day Jacksonville for their enemies, the Utina, who lived inland along the St. Johns River. Both groups spoke dialects of the Timucua language. The French followed the Saturiwa in this usage, but the Spanish applied the term “Timucua” much more widely to groups within a wide section of interior North Florida. In the 16th century they designated the area north of the Santa Fe River between the St. Johns and Suwannee Rivers (roughly the area of the group known as the Northern Utina) as the Timucua Province, which they incorporated into the mission system. The dialect spoken in that province became known as “Timucua” (now usually known as “Timucua proper”). During the 17th century, the Province of Timucua was extended to include the area between the Suwannee River and the Aucilla River, thus extending its scope. Eventually, “Timucua” was applied to all speakers of the various dialects of the Timucua language.” ref

“The pre-Columbian era was marked by regular, routine, and probably small tribal wars with neighbors. The Timucua were organized into as many as 35 chiefdoms, each of which had hundreds of people in assorted villages within its purview. They sometimes formed loose political alliances, but did not operate as a single political unit.” ref

“An archaeological dig in St. Augustine in 2006 revealed a Timucuan site dating back to between 1100 and 1300 AD, predating the European founding of the city by more than two centuries. Included in the discovery were pottery, with pieces from the Macon, Georgia area, indicating an expansive trade network; and two human skeletons. It is the oldest archaeological site in the city.” ref

“The Timucua may have been the first American natives to see the landing of Juan Ponce de León near St. Augustine in 1513. This notion is up for debate since most historians now agree that the Ponce de León landing point was more likely much further south in Ais territory, near what is today Melbourne Beach. If so, Timucuan contact with that particular expedition was unlikely. Later, in 1528, Pánfilo de Narváez‘s expedition passed along the western fringes of the Timucua territory.” ref

“In 1539, Hernando de Soto led an army of more than 500 men through the western parts of Timucua territory, stopping in a series of villages of the OcalePotanoNorthern Utina, and Yustaga branches of the Timucua on his way to the Apalachee domain (see list of sites and peoples visited by the Hernando de Soto Expedition for other sites visited by de Soto). His army seized the food stored in the villages, forced women into concubinage, and forced men and boys to serve as guides and bearers. The army fought two battles with Timucua groups, resulting in heavy Timucua casualties. After defeating the resisting Timucuan warriors, Hernando de Soto had 200 executed, in was to be called Napituca Massacre. The first large-scale massacre by Europeans on what later became U.S. soil (Florida). De Soto was in a hurry to reach the Apalachee domain, where he expected to find gold and sufficient food to support his army through the winter, so he did not linger in Timucua territory. The Acuera were one of the few Native American groups who bested the Spaniards in combat in the early part of the de Soto entrada, though this is likely due to the fact that the full force accompanying Soto was not sent against Acuera as well as the expedition’s relatively faster travel during this period.” ref

“In 1564, French Huguenots led by René Goulaine de Laudonnière founded Fort Caroline in present-day Jacksonville and attempted to establish further settlements along the St. Johns River. After initial conflict, the Huguenots established friendly relations with the local natives in the area, primarily the Timucua under the cacique Saturiwa. Sketches of the Timucua drawn by Jacques le Moyne de Morgues, one of the French settlers, have proven valuable resources for modern ethnographers in understanding the people. The next year the Spanish under Pedro Menéndez de Avilés surprised the Huguenots and ransacked Fort Caroline, killing everyone but 50 women and children and 26 escapees. The rest of the French had been shipwrecked off the coast and picked up by the Spanish, who executed all but 20 of them; this brought French settlement in Florida to an end. These events caused a rift between the natives and Spanish, though Spanish missionaries were soon out in force.” ref

“The Timucua history changed after the Spanish established St. Augustine in 1565 as the capital of their province of Florida. From here, Spanish missionaries established missions in each main town of the Timucuan chiefdoms, including the Santa Isabel de Utinahica mission in what is now southern Georgia, for the Utinahica. By 1595, the Timucuan population had shrunk by 75%, primarily from epidemics of new infectious diseases introduced by contact with Europeans, and war.” ref

“By 1700, the Timucuan population had been reduced to just 1,000. In 1703, Governor James Moore led a force of colonists from Carolina with allied CreekCatawba, and Yuchi and launched slave raids against the Timucua, killing and enslaving hundreds of them. A census in 1711 found 142 Timucua-speakers living in four villages under Spanish protection. Another census in 1717 found 256 people in three villages where Timucua was the language of the majority, although there were a few inhabitants with a different native language. The population of the Timucua villages was 167 in 1726. By 1759 the Timucua under Spanish protection and control numbered just six adults and five half-Timucua children. In 1763, when Spain ceded Florida to Great Britain, the Spanish took the less than 100 Timucua and other natives to Cuba. Research is underway in Cuba to discover if any Timucua descendants exist there. Some historians believe a small group of Timucua may have stayed behind in Florida or Georgia and possibly assimilated into other groups such as the Seminoles.” ref

“The Timucua were divided into a number of different tribes or chiefdoms, each of which spoke one of the nine or ten dialects of the Timucua language. The tribes can be placed into eastern and western groups. The Eastern Timucua were located along the Atlantic coast and on the Sea Islands of northern Florida and southeastern Georgia; along the St. Johns River and its tributaries; and among the rivers, swamps and associated inland forests in southeastern Georgia, possibly including the Okefenokee Swamp. They usually lived in villages close to waterways, participated in the St. Johns culture or in unnamed cultures related to the Wilmington-Savannah culture, and were more focused on exploiting the resources of marine and wetland environments. All of the known Eastern Timucua tribes were incorporated into the Spanish mission system starting in the late 16th century. However, the Acuera appear to have maintained a “parallel” religious system, with traditional shamans practicing openly with numerous followers even at the height of missionization. After the Timucuan Rebellion of 1656, the Acuera left the mission system and appear to have remained in their traditional territory, and to have maintained their traditional religious and cultural practices through the beginning of the eighteenth century. They are the only known Timucuan chiefdom, among all the Timucua, to have done so.” ref

“The Timucua played two related but distinct ball games. Western Timucua played a game known as the “Apalachee ball game“. Despite the name, it was as closely associated with the western Timucua as it was with the Apalachee. It involved two teams of around 40 or 50 players kicking a ball at a goal post. Hitting the post was worth one point, while landing it in an eagle‘s nest at the top of the post was worth two; the first team to score eleven points was the victor. The western Timucua game was evidently less associated with religious significance, violence, and fraud than the Apalachee version, and as such missionaries had a much more difficult time convincing them to give it up.” ref

“The eastern Timucua played a similar game in which balls were thrown, rather than kicked, at a goal post. The Timucua probably also played chunkey, as did the neighboring Apalachee and Guale peoples, but there is no firm evidence of this. Archeryrunning, and dancing were other popular pastimes. The chief had a council that met every morning when they would discuss the problems of the chiefdom and smoke. To initiate the meeting, the White Drink ceremony would be carried out (see “Diet” below). The council members were among the more highly respected members of the tribe. They made decisions for the tribe.” ref

“The Timucua groups, never unified culturally or politically, are defined by their shared use of the Timucua language. The language is relatively well-attested compared to other Native American languages of the period. This is largely due to the work of Francisco Pareja, a Franciscan missionary at San Juan del Puerto, who in the 17th century produced a grammar of the language, a confessional, three catechisms in parallel Timucua and Spanish, as well as a newly-discovered Doctrina. The Doctrina, a guide for Catholics attending Mass, written in Latin with Spanish and Timucua commentary, was discovered at All Souls College Library in Oxford in 2019 by Dr. Timothy Johnson of Flagler College in St. Augustine, Florida. The last previous discovery of a lost text by Friar Pareja was in 1886. The other sources for the language are two catechisms by another Franciscan, Gregorio de Movilla, two letters from Timucua chiefs, and scattered references in other European sources. Pareja noted that there were ten dialects of Timucua, which were usually divided along tribal lines. These were Timucua proper, Potano, Itafi, Yufera, Mocama, Agua Salada, Tucururu, Agua Fresca, Acuera, and Oconi.” ref

“What we do know is that the Timucua worshipped the sun and the moon, the chief held the most religious power, and that certain Timucua had more religious power than others. These Timucua were called shamans. Shamans could predict the future, curse people, control the weather, perform blessings, and cure people. Many shamans were doctors or herbalists, and would use the plants around them to help people with illnesses. Even though today we would not consider medicine religious, their beliefs about medicine and their beliefs about their gods could not be separated.” ref

“Shamans were involved in almost every part of life, from planting crops to helping women give birth. They performed blessings over simple tasks like choosing a new place to fish or turning maize into flour. Shamans were important on hunts, especially since hunts could be dangerous. During hunts, the shaman said several prayers to make sure that they did not do anything that would hurt the village. Something as simple as a Timucua man eating the meat of a deer he shot could mean that the man would never shoot another deer again.” ref

“The Timucua believed in omens, which meant they interpreted random events as having a deeper meaning about the future. For example, if someone saw a snake in the woods, something bad would happen. If they heard an owl hoot, that either meant something harmful was coming or that something bad would have happened, but the owl took pity on the person and they were safe. An owl totem found in the St. Johns River proves how important the owl was to the Timucua. The totem likely belonged to a group of Timucua likely called the “people of the owl.” ref


“The Yamasees (also spelled Yamassees or Yemassees) were a multiethnic confederation of Native Americans who lived in the coastal region of present-day northern coastal Georgia near the Savannah River and later in northeastern Florida. The Yamasees engaged in revolts and wars with other native groups and Europeans living in North America, specifically from Florida to North Carolina.” ref

“The Yamasees, along with the Guale, are considered from linguistic evidence by many scholars to have been a Muskogean language people. For instance, the Yamasee term “Mico”, meaning chief, is also common in Muskogee. After the Yamasees migrated to the Carolinas, they began participating in the Indian slave trade in the American Southeast. They raided other tribes to take captives for sale to European colonists. Captives from other Native American tribes were sold into slavery, with some being transported to West Indian plantations. Their enemies fought back, and slave trading was a large cause of the Yamasee War.” ref

“The Yamasees lived in coastal towns in what are now southeast Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina. The Yamasees migrated from Florida to South Carolina in the late 16th century, where they became friendly with European colonists. The Yamasees were joined by members of the Guale, a Mississippian culture chiefdom, and their cultures intertwined. The Hernando de Soto expedition of 1540 traveled into Yamasee territory, including the village of Altamaha.” ref

“In 1570, Spanish explorers established missions in Yamasee territory. The Yamasees were later included in the missions of the Guale province. Starting in 1675, the Yamasees were mentioned regularly on Spanish mission census records of the missionary provinces of Guale (central Georgia coast) and Mocama (present-day southeastern Georgia and northeastern Florida). The Yamasees usually did not convert to Christianity and remained somewhat separated from the Catholic Christian Indians of Spanish Florida.” ref

“Pirate attacks on the Spanish missions in 1680 forced the Yamasees to migrate again. Some moved to Florida. Others returned to the Savannah River lands, which were safer after the Westo had been destroyed. In 1687, some Spaniards attempted to send captive Yamasees to the West Indies as slaves. The tribe revolted against the Spanish missions and their Native allies, and moved into the English colony of the Carolina (present-day South Carolina). They established several villages, including Pocotaligo, Tolemato, and Topiqui, in Beaufort County. A 1715 census conducted by Irish colonist John Barnwell counted 1,220 Yamasees living in ten villages near Port Royal.” ref

“Migration by the Yamasees to Charles Town (in the colony of Carolina) beginning in 1686 was likely in pursuit of trading opportunities with English colonists, or to escape the Spanish. In Charles Town, some Yamasee families looked toward Christian missionaries to educate their children in reading and writing as well as converting them to Christianity. Christian missionaries in Carolina may have had some success in converting the Yamasees and Guale because they had both become familiar with Spanish missionaries and were more open to conversion than other tribes.” ref

“For decades, Yamasee raiders (frequently equipped with European firearms and working in concert with Carolinian settlers) conducted slave raids against Spanish-allied Indian tribes in the American Southeast. The Yamasees also conducted raids on the Spanish colonial settlement of St. Augustine. Indian captives of the Yamasees were transported to colonial settlements throughout Carolina, where they were sold to white colonists; frequently, many of these captives were then resold to West Indian slave plantations.” ref

“Many Yamasees soon became indebted to the colonists they traded with, as a result of duplicitous colonial mercantile practices. Infuriated by the practices of the colonists, the Yamasees resolved to go to war against them, forming a pan-tribal coalition and initiating a two-year long war by attacking the colonial settlement of Charles Town on April 15, 1715.” ref

“Bolstered by the large amount of Indian tribes they had managed to enlist into their coalition, the Yamasees staged large-scale raids against other colonial settlements in Carolina as well, leading to most colonists abandoning frontier settlements and seeking refuge in Charles Town. South Carolina Governor Charles Craven led a force which defeated the Yamasees at Salkechuh (also spelled Saltketchers or Salkehatchie) on the Combahee River. Eventually, Craven was able to drive the Yamasees across the Savannah River back into Spanish Florida.” ref

“After the war, the Yamasees migrated southwards to the region around St. Augustine and Pensacola, where they formed an alliance with the Spanish colonial administration. These Yamasees continued to inhabit Florida until 1727, when the combination of a smallpox epidemic and raids by Col. John Palmer (leading fifty Carolinian militiamen and one hundred Indians) eventually led the many of the remaining Yamasees to disperse, with some joining the Seminole or Creek. Still others remained near St. Augustine until the Spanish relinquished control of the city to the British. At that time, they took with them around 90 Yamasees to Havana.” ref

“Steven J. Oatis and other historians describe the Yamasees as a multi-ethnic amalgamation of several remnant Indian groups, including the GualeLa TamaApalacheeCoweta, and Cussita Creek. Historian Chester B. DePratter describes the Yamasee towns of early South Carolina as consisting of lower towns, consisting mainly of Hitchiti-speaking Indians, and upper towns, consisting mainly of Guale Indians.” ref

“The Yamasees were one of the largest slave raiding tribes in the American Southeast during the late 17th century, and have been described as a “militaristic slaving society”, having acquired firearms from European colonists. Their use of slave raids to exert dominance over other tribes is partially attributed to the Yamasee aligning with European colonists in order to maintain their own independence. It was typical of Native Americans to take captives during warfare, particularly young women and children, though the Yamasees soon began to transport their captives to Carolina to sell in Charles Town’s slave markets. They soon began to conduct raids specifically to take captives and sell them in Carolina.” ref

“The name “Yamasee” perhaps comes from Muskogee yvmvsē, meaning “tame, quiet”; or perhaps from Catawban yį musí:, literally “people-ancient”. Little record remains of the Yamasee language. It is partially preserved in works by missionary Domingo Báez. Diego Peña was told in 1716-1717 that the Cherokee of Tuskegee Town also spoke Yamasee. Hann (1992) asserted that Yamasee is related to the Muskogean languages. This was based upon a colonial report that a Yamasee spy within a Hitchiti town could understand Hitichiti and was not detected as a Yamasee. Francis Le Jau stated in 1711 that the Yamasee understood Creek. He also noted that many Indians throughout the region used Creek and Shawnee as lingua francas, or common trading languages. In 1716-1717, Diego Peña obtained information that showed that Yamasee and Hitchiti-Mikasuki were considered separate languages.” ref

“The Yamasee language, while similar to many Muskogean languages, is especially similar to Creek, for they share many words. Many Spanish missionaries in La Florida were dedicated to learning native languages, such as Yamasee, in an effort to communicate for the purpose of conversion. It also allowed the missionaries to learn about the people’s own religion and to find ways to convey Christian ideas to them. There is limited, inconclusive evidence suggesting the Yamasee language was similar to Guale. It is based on three pieces of information:

  • a copy of a 1681 Florida missions census that states that the people of Nuestra Señora de la Candelaria de la Tamaspeak “la lengua de Guale, y Yamassa” [the Guale and Yamasee language];
  • a summary of two 1688 letters, sent by the Spanish Florida governor, that mentions prisoners speaking the “ydioma Yguala y Yamas, de la Prova de Guale” [the Yguala and Yamas language of the province of Guale]; and
  • the Guale referred to the Cusabo as Chiluque, which is probably related to the Muscogee word čiló·kki, meaning “Red Moiety.” ref

“Linguists note that the Spanish documents are not originals and may have been edited at a later date. The name Chiluque is probably a loanword, as it seems also to have been absorbed into the Timucua language. Thus, the connection of Yamasee with Muskogean is unsupported. A document in a British colonial archive suggests that the Yamasees originally spoke Cherokee, an Iroquoian language, but had learned another language. For a time they were allied with the Cherokee, but are believed to have been a distinct people.” ref

“Guale: Native American chiefdom along the coast of present-day Georgia and the Sea Islands. Spanish Florida established its Roman Catholic missionary system in the chiefdom in the late 16th century. During the late 17th century and early 18th century, Guale society was shattered from extensive epidemics of new infectious diseases and warfare from other tribes. Some of the surviving remnants migrated to the mission areas of Spanish Florida while others remained near the Georgia coast. Joining with other survivors, they became known as the Yamasee, an ethnically mixed group that emerged in a process of ethnogenesis.” ref

“Archaeological studies indicate that the precursors of the historically known Guale lived along the Georgia coast and Sea Islands, from at least 1150 CE. Archaeologists identify the Prehistoric Guale cultures as the Savannah phase (1150 to 1300 CE) and the Irene phase (1300 to circa 1600). While the prehistoric ancestors to the Guale shared many characteristics with regional neighbors, they left unique archaeological features that distinguished the “proto-Guale” people from other groups. The prehistoric people were organized into chiefdoms. They built Mississippian-type platform mounds, major earthworks requiring the organized labor of many people, and using highly skilled soil and engineering knowledge. They used the mounds for ceremonial, religious and burial purposes.” ref

“Destruction and dispersal: Between 1675 and 1684, the Westo tribe, backed by the British colonial Province of Carolina and Colny and Dominion of Virginia, destroyed the Spanish mission system in Guale. Attacks by English-supported pirates also contributed to the breakup of the missions. In 1680 they sacked Mission Santa Catalina de Guale. By 1684 the Spanish and Indians had abandoned all six missions. The La Tama Yamasee, Guale and other refugees scattered in the southeast. Some relocated to new missions in Spanish Florida, but most rejected Spanish authority. They felt Spain had been unable to protect them and resented their failure to provide firearms. The Indians of Guale Province moved mostly to the Apalachee or Apalachicola regions.” ref

“Emergence of the Yamasee: Around or before 1684, one small group of Yamasee-Guale refugees, led by Chief Altamaha, moved north to the mouth of the Savannah River. That year, a Scottish colony called Stuarts Town was founded in South Carolina on Port Royal Sound near the Savannah River. Stuarts Town survived only about two years, but during that time the Scots residents formed a strong bond with the Yamasee-Guale. In late 1684, armed with Scots firearms, these Indians raided Timucua Province, devastating the mission Santa Catalina de Afuyca. They returned to Stuarts Town with 22 captives, whom they sold as slaves. Over the next two years, word of similar successes of the Stuarts Town-allied Yamasee-Guale carried throughout the region. The population of “Yamasee” Indians near Port Royal Sound grew rapidly. Although the Indians became known collectively as “Yamasee”, the Guale continued to be a significant portion of the population.” ref

“Spanish forces destroyed Stuarts Town. In the old Guale Province, they strongly resisted counterattacks by South Carolina. Nonetheless, the alliance between the Yamasee and colonial South Carolina grew stronger in reaction. The “Yamasee” who migrated in 1685 to the Port Royal area were rebuilding the old La Tama chiefdom, but they also included numerous Guale, as well as other Indians of mostly Muskogean stock. The Yamasee lived in South Carolina until they were defeated in the Yamasee War of 1715, after which survivors were widely dispersed and the people disintegrated as a polity. But while they lasted, the Yamasee exhibited multi-ethnic qualities. Their towns were described by the English as being Upper Yamasee or Lower Yamasee towns. The Lower Towns were populated mainly by La Tama Indians and included Altamaha (after the chief who lived there), Ocute, and Chechesee (Ichisi).” ref

“The Guale were the majority in the Upper Towns, although other ethnicities were incorporated as well. Upper Yamasee Towns with mostly Guale populations likely included Pocotaligo, Pocosabo, and Huspah. Other Upper Towns, such as Tulafina, Sadketche (Salkehatchie), and Tomatley, were probably mixed, with Guale, La Tama, and others. It is possible that the La Tama had spent time in missions and become somewhat Christianized. They may have sought out the similarly missionized Guale. In 1702 when British South Carolina forces invaded Spanish Florida, they destroyed the few “refugee missions” in Guale. By 1733, there were too few Guale in the area to resist James Oglethorpe’s founding of the English colony of Province of Georgia. A similar missionary province called Mocama (named for a Timucan chiefdom) was situated just south of Guale, on the coast between the Altamaha River and St. Johns River in Florida.” ref

The Native Spiritual Economy and the Yamasee War

“Abstract: The Yamasee War was a significant event in the history of the Deep South for native people and colonists alike. Yet despite the importance of this event, little attention has been paid to the worldview of the indigenous participants and how this view shaped the events leading up to and the waging of the Yamasee War. This article describes the religious world of the indigenous inhabitants of the Deep South, demonstrates how religious imperatives formed the three native alliances most deeply involved in the war, and explains why English refusal to abide by religious diplomatic rituals and protocols led to the outbreak of hostilities.” ref

List of American Indian Wars

The American Indian Wars were numerous armed conflicts fought by governments and colonists of European descent, and later by the United States federal government and American settlers, against various indigenous peoples within the territory that is now the United States. These conflicts occurred from the 16th century to the 20th century and in all parts of the country, beginning with the Tiguex War in 1540 in present-day New Mexico and ending with the Renegade period of the Apache Wars in 1924 in the Southwestern United States.” ref

In the history of the European colonization of the Americas, an Indian massacre is any incident between European settlers and indigenous peoples wherein one group killed a significant number of the other group outside the confines of mutual combat in war“Indian massacre” is a phrase whose use and definition has evolved and expanded over time. The phrase was initially used by European colonists to describe attacks by indigenous Americans which resulted in mass colonial casualties. While similar attacks by colonists on Indian villages were called “raids” or “battles”, successful Indian attacks on white settlements or military posts were routinely termed “massacres.” ref

“Knowing very little about the native inhabitants of the American frontier, the colonists were deeply fearful, and often, European Americans who had rarely – or never – seen a Native American read Indian atrocity stories in popular literature and newspapers. Emphasis was placed on the depredations of “murderous savages” in their information about Indians, and as the migrants headed further west, they frequently feared the Indians they would encounter. The phrase eventually became commonly used to also describe mass killings of American Indians. Killings described as “massacres” often had an element of indiscriminate targeting, barbarism, or genocidal intent.” ref

“According to historian Jeffrey Ostler, “Any discussion of genocide must, of course, eventually consider the so-called Indian Wars, the term commonly used for U.S. Army campaigns to subjugate Indian nations of the American West beginning in the 1860s. In an older historiography, key events in this history were narrated as battles. It is now more common for scholars to refer to these events as massacres. This is especially so of a Colorado territorial militia’s slaughter of Cheyennes at Sand Creek (1864) and the army’s slaughter of Shoshones at Bear River (1863), Blackfeet on the Marias River (1870), and Lakotas at Wounded Knee (1890). Some scholars have begun referring to these events as “genocidal massacres,” defined as the annihilation of a portion of a larger group, sometimes to provide a lesson to the larger group.” ref

“It is difficult to determine the total number of people who died as a result of “Indian massacres”. In The Wild Frontier: Atrocities during the American-Indian War from Jamestown Colony to Wounded Knee, lawyer William M. Osborn compiled a list of alleged and actual atrocities in what would eventually become the continental United States, from first contact in 1511 until 1890. His parameters for inclusion included the intentional and indiscriminate murder, torture, or mutilation of civilians, the wounded, and prisoners. His list included 7,193 people who died from atrocities perpetrated by those of European descent, and 9,156 people who died from atrocities perpetrated by Native Americans.” ref

“In An American Genocide, The United States and the California Catastrophe, 1846–1873, historian Benjamin Madley recorded the numbers of killings of California Indians between 1846 and 1873. He found evidence that during this period, at least 9,400 to 16,000 California Indians were killed by non-Indians. Most of these killings occurred in what he said were more than 370 massacres (defined by him as the “intentional killing of five or more disarmed combatants or largely unarmed noncombatants, including women, children, and prisoners, whether in the context of a battle or otherwise”).” ref

Battle of Mabila (Oct 1540)

Tiguex War (winter 1540–41)

Mixtón War (1540-1542)

Chichimeca War (1550–90)

Navajo Wars (c. 1600–1866)

Anglo-Powhatan Wars (1610–46)

Pequot War (1636–38)

Beaver Wars (1642–98)

Kieft’s War (1643–45)

Peach Tree War (1655)

Esopus Wars (1659–63)

King Philip’s War (1675–78)

King William’s War (1688–97)

Queen Anne’s War (1702–13)

Tuscarora War (1711–15)

Fox Wars (1712–33)

Yamasee War (1715–17)

Chickasaw Wars (1721–63)

Dummer’s War (1722–25)

King George’s War (1744–48)

Father Le Loutre’s War (1749–55)

Seven Years’ War (1754–63)

French and Indian War (1754–63) Part of the Seven Years’ War

Anglo-Cherokee War (1758–61) Part of the Seven Years’ War

Pontiac’s War (1763–66)

Lord Dunmore’s War (1774)

American Revolutionary War (1775–83)

Cherokee–American wars (1776–94) Part of the American Revolutionary War

Second Cherokee War (1776) Part of the Cherokee–American wars

Northwest Indian War (1785–95)

Oconee War (1785–94)

Tecumseh’s War (1811–13) Part of the War of 1812

War of 1812 (1812–15)

Peoria War (1813) Part of the War of 1812

Creek War (1813–14) Part of the War of 1812

First Seminole War (1817–18)

Texas–Indian wars (1820–75) Part of the Apache Wars

Arikara War (1823)

Winnebago War (1827)

Black Hawk War (1832)

Second Seminole War (1835–42)

Second Creek War (1836)

Comanche Wars (1836–75) Part of the Texas–Indian wars

Osage Indian War (1837)

Cayuse War (1847–55)

Ute Wars (1849–1923)

Apache Wars (1849–1924) Part of the Texas–Indian wars

Jicarilla War (1849–55) Part of the ApacheUte and Texas-Indian Wars

Yuma War (1850–53)

Mariposa War (1850–51)

Walker War (1853) Part of the Ute Wars

Sioux Wars (1854–91)

First Sioux War (1854–56) Part of the Sioux Wars

Klickitat War (1855)

Rogue River Wars (1855–56)

Third Seminole War (1855–58)

Yakima War (1855–58)

Puget Sound War (1855–56) Part of the Yakima War

Klamath and Salmon River War (1855)

Tintic War (1856) Part of the Ute Wars

Tule River War (1856)

Coeur d’Alene War (1858) Part of the Yakima War

Mendocino War (1858) Part of the Yakima War

Fraser Canyon War (1858)

Bald Hills War (1858–64)

Mohave War (1858–59)

Paiute War (1860)

Yavapai Wars (1861–75)

Owens Valley Indian War (1862–65)

Dakota War of 1862 (1862) Part of the Sioux Wars

Goshute War (1863)

Colorado War (1864–65) Part of the Sioux Wars

Snake War (1864–68)

Hualapai War (1865–70) Part of the Yavapai Wars

Black Hawk’s War (1865–72) Part of the UteApache and Navajo Wars

Powder River War (1865) Part of the Sioux Wars

Red Cloud’s War (1866–68) Part of the Sioux Wars

Comanche campaign (1867–75) Part of the Texas–Indian Wars

Modoc War (1872–73)

Red River War (1874–75)

Great Sioux War of 1876 (1876–77) Part of the Sioux Wars

Pecos War (1876–77)

Buffalo Hunters’ War (1876–77) Part of the Apache and Texas–Indian Wars

Nez Perce War (1877)

Bannock War (1878)

Cheyenne War (1878–79)

Sheepeater Indian War (1879)

White River War (1879) Part of the Ute Wars

Victorio’s War (1879–80) Part of the Apache Wars during Renegade period

Geronimo’s War (1881–86) Part of the Apache Wars

Crow War (1887)

Ghost Dance War (1890–91) Part of the Sioux Wars

Crazy Snake Rebellion (1909)

New Mexico Navajo War (1913)

Bluff War (1914–15) Part of the Navajo and Ute Wars

Colorado Paiute War (1915)

Posey War (1923) Part of the Ute Wars ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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“These ideas are my speculations from the evidence.”

I am still researching the “god‘s origins” all over the world. So you know, it is very complicated but I am smart and willing to look, DEEP, if necessary, which going very deep does seem to be needed here, when trying to actually understand the evolution of gods and goddesses. I am sure of a few things and less sure of others, but even in stuff I am not fully grasping I still am slowly figuring it out, to explain it to others. But as I research more I am understanding things a little better, though I am still working on understanding it all or something close and thus always figuring out more. 

Sky Father/Sky God?

“Egyptian: (Nut) Sky Mother and (Geb) Earth Father” (Egypt is different but similar)

Turkic/Mongolic: (Tengri/Tenger Etseg) Sky Father and (Eje/Gazar Eej) Earth Mother *Transeurasian*

Hawaiian: (Wākea) Sky Father and (Papahānaumoku) Earth Mother *Austronesian*

New Zealand/ Māori: (Ranginui) Sky Father and (Papatūānuku) Earth Mother *Austronesian*

Proto-Indo-European: (Dyḗus/Dyḗus ph₂tḗr) Sky Father and (Dʰéǵʰōm/Pleth₂wih₁) Earth Mother

Indo-Aryan: (Dyaus Pita) Sky Father and (Prithvi Mata) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

Italic: (Jupiter) Sky Father and (Juno) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

Etruscan: (Tinia) Sky Father and (Uni) Sky Mother *Tyrsenian/Italy Pre–Indo-European*

Hellenic/Greek: (Zeus) Sky Father and (Hera) Sky Mother who started as an “Earth Goddess” *Indo-European*

Nordic: (Dagr) Sky Father and (Nótt) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

Slavic: (Perun) Sky Father and (Mokosh) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

Illyrian: (Deipaturos) Sky Father and (Messapic Damatura’s “earth-mother” maybe) Earth Mother *Indo-European*

Albanian: (Zojz) Sky Father and (?) *Indo-European*

Baltic: (Perkūnas) Sky Father and (Saulė) Sky Mother *Indo-European*

Germanic: (Týr) Sky Father and (?) *Indo-European*

Colombian-Muisca: (Bochica) Sky Father and (Huythaca) Sky Mother *Chibchan*

Aztec: (Quetzalcoatl) Sky Father and (Xochiquetzal) Sky Mother *Uto-Aztecan*

Incan: (Viracocha) Sky Father and (Mama Runtucaya) Sky Mother *Quechuan*

China: (Tian/Shangdi) Sky Father and (Dì) Earth Mother *Sino-Tibetan*

Sumerian, Assyrian and Babylonian: (An/Anu) Sky Father and (Ki) Earth Mother

Finnish: (Ukko) Sky Father and (Akka) Earth Mother *Finno-Ugric*

Sami: (Horagalles) Sky Father and (Ravdna) Earth Mother *Finno-Ugric*

Puebloan-Zuni: (Ápoyan Ta’chu) Sky Father and (Áwitelin Tsíta) Earth Mother

Puebloan-Hopi: (Tawa) Sky Father and (Kokyangwuti/Spider Woman/Grandmother) Earth Mother *Uto-Aztecan*

Puebloan-Navajo: (Tsohanoai) Sky Father and (Estsanatlehi) Earth Mother *Na-Dene*

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(Native American mythology)

“HAYICANAKO is a Tlingit (Na-dene Language) Earth Goddess. An elderly Goddess who has the world on a stick. ’The Old Woman Beneath Us’. She holds the pole supporting the Earth and gives it a shake now and then if she is not happy about something. In case of earthquakes it is best to placate her by pouring some melting fat on the fire — it will drip down until it reaches her.” ref

“HAYICANAKO is the Tlingit Goddess of natural order. She is a giantess who lives in a mountain, where she holds up a column that supports the earth. When she gets hungry, she loses her concentration and the column starts to quiver, causing earthquakes. Her hunger can be fed by her worshippers throwing fat into their fires. Another version says that earthquakes happen when Raven jostles her arm and tries to make her lose her grip. Hayicanako’s name, which means “Old Woman Underneath Us,” is also seen as HAYICANAK.” ref

 Raven made a woman under the earth to have charge of the rise and fall of the tides.

“Raven made a woman under the earth to have charge of the rise and fall of the tides. One time he wanted to learn about everything under the ocean and had this woman raise the water so that he could go there. He had it rise very slowly so that the people had time to load their canoes and get into them. When the tide had lifted them up between the mountains they could see bears and other wild animals walking around on the still unsubmerged tops. Many of the bears swam out to them, and at that time those who had their dogs had good protection. Some people walled the tops of the mountains about and tied their canoes inside. They could not take much wood up with them. Sometimes hunters see the rocks they piled up there, and at such times it begins to grow foggy. That was a very dangerous time. The people who survived could see trees swept up roots and all by the rush of waters and large devilfish and other creatures were carried up by it.” ref  

Click for more on the myth of Raven and the Tides: Tlingit myth about the origin of the tides.

Tlingit (Na-Dene language family) Raven Mythology

 “In the lore of Tlingit, Haida and other northern Native Americans a raven was both a trickster spirit and the creator of the world. The most interesting story about the raven in Tlingit folklore is the one concerning his responsibility for placement of the Sun in the sky.” ref 

“There are countless Raven stories in the Tlingit community, and there are many versions of how Raven came to bring the light to the world. The stories are not necessarily contradictory, but they do emphasize different points and have different details, depending on whom the caretaker of that story was and how he or she was taught to tell the story. Smarch described how angry Raven’s grandfather was when Raven released all of his treasures into the sky. In her telling, he gathered the pitch from all around the house, placed it into a bentwood box and threw it in the fire. Raven could not find the smoke hole and flew around in the black smoke, becoming the black bird we know today. Raven sacrificed his supernatural state of being in order to bring light to the world.” ref 

“In many versions of “Raven and the Box of Daylight” — including both ethnographic accounts and popular English versions of the story — at the beginning of his journey, Raven is white, one marker of his supernatural status. Tlingit scholar and professor Maria Williams wrote in her children’s book “How Raven Stole the Sun (Tales of the People)” that Raven was “pure white from the tips of his claws to the ends of his wings.” Hammond described Raven as a white or translucent being early on in his telling of the story. Depending on whom is telling the story, the details of how Raven became black differ, but the results are always the same. The story of “Raven and the Box of Daylight” contains messages and symbolism of hope, forgiveness, tolerance, love and sacrifice — messages and symbolism that encourage humans to be kinder toward each other.” ref 

“Early records suggest that the Tlingit believed in a creator, Kah-shu-goon-yah, whose name was sacred and never mentioned above a whisper. This primordial grandfather, or “divisible-rich-man,” controlled the sun, moon, stars, and daylight in addition to creating all living things. Little more is known of him. The sacred past centers upon Raven (cultural hero, benefactor, trickster, and rascal) who was credited with organizing the world in its present form and in initiating many Tlingit customs. Raven was never represented, symbolized, or made equal with the supreme being who transcended Tlingit legends. The Tlingit inhabited a world filled with spirits, or jek. These spirits could manifest their power through individuals, animals, or things.”

“Since every material object or physical force could be inhabited by a spirit, Tlingit were taught to respect everything in the universe. The penalty for disrespect was the loss of ability to obtain food. Properly purified persons could acquire spirit power for curing illnesses, for protection in warfare, for success in obtaining wealth, and for ceremonial prerogatives. Each Tlingit had a mortal and an immortal spirit. Spirits of the dead traveled to the appropriate level of heaven commensurate with their moral conduct in this life. Morally respectable people went to the highest heaven, Kiwa-a, a realm of happiness; moral delinquents went to a second level, or Dog Heaven, Ketl-kiwa, a place of torment. Individuals remained in the afterworld for a period of time and then returned to this world as a reincarnation of some deceased maternal relative.” ref 

“Tlingit legends have one great word in our culture: haa shageinyaa. This was a Great Spirit above us, and today we have translated that reverence to God.” ref

 “Wisakedjak (Wìsakedjàk in Algonquin, Wīsahkēcāhk(w) in Cree and Wiisagejaak in Oji-cree) is the Crane Manitou found in northern Algonquian and Dene storytelling, similar to the trickster Nanabozho in Ojibwa aadizookaanan (sacred stories), Inktonme in Assiniboine lore, and Coyote or Raven from many different tribes. His name is found in a number of different forms in the related languages and cultures he appears in, including Weesack-kachack, Wisagatcak, Wis-kay-tchach, Wissaketchak, Woesack-ootchacht, Vasaagihdzak, and Weesageechak. As with most mythological characters, Wisakedjak is used to explain the creation of animals or geographical locations. He is generally portrayed as being responsible for a great flood which destroyed the world. In other stories he is also one of the beings who created the current world, either on his own, or with magic given to him by the Creator for that specific purpose.” ref   

Blackfoot (Algonquian language) Native American Legends: Komorkis (Ko’komiki’somm)

“Komorkis is the Moon Goddesses, second eldest of the sacred Sky People. Komorkis is the wife of the sun god Natos and mother of the stars, of which the most important is Morning-Star. Komorkis is said to be the grandmother of several heroes of Blackfoot legend, such as Star-Boy.” ref

Nanabozho great spirit-being?

“Nanabozo is a supernatural being of various Indigenous oral traditions. He is the embodiment of life, with the power to create life in others. In some Anishinaabe and Cree stories, Nanabozo is a main player in the creation of Turtle Island. Nanabozho is a shapeshifter who is both zoomorphic as well as anthropomorphic, meaning that Nanabozho can take the shape of animals or humans in storytelling. Thus Nanabush takes many different forms in storytelling, often changing depending on the tribe. The majority of storytelling depicts Nanabozho through a zoomorphic lens. In the Arctic and sub-Arctic, the trickster is usually called Raven. Coyote is present in the area of California, Oregon, the inland plateau, the Great Basin, and the Southst and Southern Plains. Rabbit or Hare is the trickster figure in the Southeast, and Spider is in the northern plains. Meanwhile, Wolverine and Jay are the trickster in parts of Canada. Often, Nanabozho takes the shape of these animals because of their frequent presence among tribes. The animals listed above have similar behavioral patterns. The gender identity of Nanabozho changes depending on the storytelling. Because Nanabozho is a shapeshifter, they are androgynous. While the majority of stories told about the trickster figure are written with he/him pronouns, the gender identity changes depending on the story and many are written with feminine pronouns.” ref, ref

Puebloan Sky Father and Earth Mother?

PuebloanZuni: (Ápoyan Ta’chu) Sky Father and (Áwitelin Tsíta) Earth Mother

“The mist clouds formed into the Great Waters, where Earth Mother, Áwitelin Tsíta, and Sky Father, Ápoyan Ta’chu, formed, the two of whom conceived all men and creatures in the four-fold womb of the world. The Sun Father and Earth Mother then brought forth the Twin Children of the Sun, the twin brothers Ko’wituma and Wats’usi. These twins were endowed with sacred knowledge, caps, bows, arrows, and shields to have dominion over all men and creatures as Twin War Gods.” ref

Puebloan-Hopi: (Tawa) Sky Father and (Kokyangwuti) Earth Mother

“Tawa (the sun god) and Kokyangwuti/Spider Woman (Spider Grandmother) who is identified with the Earth Goddess. They separate themselves to create other lesser gods, then create the earth and its creatures.(close to the Zuni creation myth)” ref

Puebloan-Navajo: (TSOHANOAI) Sky Father and (Estsanatlehi) Earth Mother

“Estsanatlehi a Fertility goddess probably regarded as the most powerful deity in the Navaho pantheon is the consort of the Sun god TSOHANOAI and the mother of the war god NAYENEZGANI.” ref, ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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“These ideas are my speculations from the evidence.”

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art


Animism: Respecting the Living World by Graham Harvey 

“How have human cultures engaged with and thought about animals, plants, rocks, clouds, and other elements in their natural surroundings? Do animals and other natural objects have a spirit or soul? What is their relationship to humans? In this new study, Graham Harvey explores current and past animistic beliefs and practices of Native Americans, Maori, Aboriginal Australians, and eco-pagans. He considers the varieties of animism found in these cultures as well as their shared desire to live respectfully within larger natural communities. Drawing on his extensive casework, Harvey also considers the linguistic, performative, ecological, and activist implications of these different animisms.” ref

My thoughts on Religion Evolution with external links for more info:

“Religion is an Evolved Product” and Yes, Religion is Like Fear Given Wings…

Atheists talk about gods and religions for the same reason doctors talk about cancer, they are looking for a cure, or a firefighter talks about fires because they burn people and they care to stop them. We atheists too often feel a need to help the victims of mental slavery, held in the bondage that is the false beliefs of gods and the conspiracy theories of reality found in religions.

“Understanding Religion Evolution: Animism, Totemism, Shamanism, Paganism & Progressed organized religion”

Understanding Religion Evolution:

“An Archaeological/Anthropological Understanding of Religion Evolution”

It seems ancient peoples had to survived amazing threats in a “dangerous universe (by superstition perceived as good and evil),” and human “immorality or imperfection of the soul” which was thought to affect the still living, leading to ancestor worship. This ancestor worship presumably led to the belief in supernatural beings, and then some of these were turned into the belief in gods. This feeble myth called gods were just a human conceived “made from nothing into something over and over, changing, again and again, taking on more as they evolve, all the while they are thought to be special,” but it is just supernatural animistic spirit-belief perceived as sacred.


Quick Evolution of Religion?

Pre-Animism (at least 300,000 years ago) pre-religion is a beginning that evolves into later Animism. So, Religion as we think of it, to me, all starts in a general way with Animism (Africa: 100,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in supernatural powers/spirits), then this is physically expressed in or with Totemism (Europe: 50,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in mythical relationship with powers/spirits through a totem item), which then enlists a full-time specific person to do this worship and believed interacting Shamanism (Siberia/Russia: 30,000 years ago) (theoretical belief in access and influence with spirits through ritual), and then there is the further employment of myths and gods added to all the above giving you Paganism (Turkey: 12,000 years ago) (often a lot more nature-based than most current top world religions, thus hinting to their close link to more ancient religious thinking it stems from). My hypothesis is expressed with an explanation of the building of a theatrical house (modern religions development). Progressed organized religion (Egypt: 5,000 years ago)  with CURRENT “World” RELIGIONS (after 4,000 years ago).

Historically, in large city-state societies (such as Egypt or Iraq) starting around 5,000 years ago culminated to make religion something kind of new, a sociocultural-governmental-religious monarchy, where all or at least many of the people of such large city-state societies seem familiar with and committed to the existence of “religion” as the integrated life identity package of control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine, but this juggernaut integrated religion identity package of Dogmatic-Propaganda certainly did not exist or if developed to an extent it was highly limited in most smaller prehistoric societies as they seem to lack most of the strong control dynamics with a fixed closed magical doctrine (magical beliefs could be at times be added or removed). Many people just want to see developed religious dynamics everywhere even if it is not. Instead, all that is found is largely fragments until the domestication of religion.

Religions, as we think of them today, are a new fad, even if they go back to around 6,000 years in the timeline of human existence, this amounts to almost nothing when seen in the long slow evolution of religion at least around 70,000 years ago with one of the oldest ritual worship. Stone Snake of South Africa: “first human worship” 70,000 years ago. This message of how religion and gods among them are clearly a man-made thing that was developed slowly as it was invented and then implemented peace by peace discrediting them all. Which seems to be a simple point some are just not grasping how devastating to any claims of truth when we can see the lie clearly in the archeological sites.

I wish people fought as hard for the actual values as they fight for the group/clan names political or otherwise they think support values. Every amount spent on war is theft to children in need of food or the homeless kept from shelter.

Here are several of my blog posts on history:

I am not an academic. I am a revolutionary that teaches in public, in places like social media, and in the streets. I am not a leader by some title given but from my commanding leadership style of simply to start teaching everywhere to everyone, all manner of positive education. 

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

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Low Gods “Earth” or Tutelary deity and High Gods “Sky” or Supreme deity

“An Earth goddess is a deification of the Earth. Earth goddesses are often associated with the “chthonic” deities of the underworldKi and Ninhursag are Mesopotamian earth goddesses. In Greek mythology, the Earth is personified as Gaia, corresponding to Roman Terra, Indic Prithvi/Bhūmi, etc. traced to an “Earth Mother” complementary to the “Sky Father” in Proto-Indo-European religionEgyptian mythology exceptionally has a sky goddess and an Earth god.” ref

“A mother goddess is a goddess who represents or is a personification of naturemotherhoodfertilitycreationdestruction or who embodies the bounty of the Earth. When equated with the Earth or the natural world, such goddesses are sometimes referred to as Mother Earth or as the Earth Mother. In some religious traditions or movements, Heavenly Mother (also referred to as Mother in Heaven or Sky Mother) is the wife or feminine counterpart of the Sky father or God the Father.” ref

Any masculine sky god is often also king of the gods, taking the position of patriarch within a pantheon. Such king gods are collectively categorized as “sky father” deities, with a polarity between sky and earth often being expressed by pairing a “sky father” god with an “earth mother” goddess (pairings of a sky mother with an earth father are less frequent). A main sky goddess is often the queen of the gods and may be an air/sky goddess in her own right, though she usually has other functions as well with “sky” not being her main. In antiquity, several sky goddesses in ancient Egypt, Mesopotamia, and the Near East were called Queen of Heaven. Neopagans often apply it with impunity to sky goddesses from other regions who were never associated with the term historically. The sky often has important religious significance. Many religions, both polytheistic and monotheistic, have deities associated with the sky.” ref

“In comparative mythology, sky father is a term for a recurring concept in polytheistic religions of a sky god who is addressed as a “father”, often the father of a pantheon and is often either a reigning or former King of the Gods. The concept of “sky father” may also be taken to include Sun gods with similar characteristics, such as Ra. The concept is complementary to an “earth mother“. “Sky Father” is a direct translation of the Vedic Dyaus Pita, etymologically descended from the same Proto-Indo-European deity name as the Greek Zeûs Pater and Roman Jupiter and Germanic Týr, Tir or Tiwaz, all of which are reflexes of the same Proto-Indo-European deity’s name, *Dyēus Ph₂tḗr. While there are numerous parallels adduced from outside of Indo-European mythology, there are exceptions (e.g. In Egyptian mythology, Nut is the sky mother and Geb is the earth father).” ref

Tutelary deity

“A tutelary (also tutelar) is a deity or spirit who is a guardian, patron, or protector of a particular place, geographic feature, person, lineage, nation, culture, or occupation. The etymology of “tutelary” expresses the concept of safety and thus of guardianship. In late Greek and Roman religion, one type of tutelary deity, the genius, functions as the personal deity or daimon of an individual from birth to death. Another form of personal tutelary spirit is the familiar spirit of European folklore.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) iKorean shamanismjangseung and sotdae were placed at the edge of villages to frighten off demons. They were also worshiped as deities. Seonangshin is the patron deity of the village in Korean tradition and was believed to embody the SeonangdangIn Philippine animism, Diwata or Lambana are deities or spirits that inhabit sacred places like mountains and mounds and serve as guardians. Such as: Maria Makiling is the deity who guards Mt. Makiling and Maria Cacao and Maria Sinukuan. In Shinto, the spirits, or kami, which give life to human bodies come from nature and return to it after death. Ancestors are therefore themselves tutelaries to be worshiped. And similarly, Native American beliefs such as Tonás, tutelary animal spirit among the Zapotec and Totems, familial or clan spirits among the Ojibwe, can be animals.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Austronesian beliefs such as: Atua (gods and spirits of the Polynesian peoples such as the Māori or the Hawaiians), Hanitu (Bunun of Taiwan‘s term for spirit), Hyang (KawiSundaneseJavanese, and Balinese Supreme Being, in ancient Java and Bali mythology and this spiritual entity, can be either divine or ancestral), Kaitiaki (New Zealand Māori term used for the concept of guardianship, for the sky, the sea, and the land), Kawas (mythology) (divided into 6 groups: gods, ancestors, souls of the living, spirits of living things, spirits of lifeless objects, and ghosts), Tiki (Māori mythologyTiki is the first man created by either Tūmatauenga or Tāne and represents deified ancestors found in most Polynesian cultures). ” ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref, ref

Mesopotamian Tutelary Deities can be seen as ones related to City-States 

“Historical city-states included Sumerian cities such as Uruk and UrAncient Egyptian city-states, such as Thebes and Memphis; the Phoenician cities (such as Tyre and Sidon); the five Philistine city-states; the Berber city-states of the Garamantes; the city-states of ancient Greece (the poleis such as AthensSpartaThebes, and Corinth); the Roman Republic (which grew from a city-state into a vast empire); the Italian city-states from the Middle Ages to the early modern period, such as FlorenceSienaFerraraMilan (which as they grew in power began to dominate neighboring cities) and Genoa and Venice, which became powerful thalassocracies; the Mayan and other cultures of pre-Columbian Mesoamerica (including cities such as Chichen ItzaTikalCopán and Monte Albán); the central Asian cities along the Silk Road; the city-states of the Swahili coastRagusa; states of the medieval Russian lands such as Novgorod and Pskov; and many others.” ref

“The Uruk period (ca. 4000 to 3100 BCE; also known as Protoliterate period) of Mesopotamia, named after the Sumerian city of Uruk, this period saw the emergence of urban life in Mesopotamia and the Sumerian civilization. City-States like Uruk and others had a patron tutelary City Deity along with a Priest-King.” ref

Chinese folk religion, both past, and present, includes myriad tutelary deities. Exceptional individuals, highly cultivated sages, and prominent ancestors can be deified and honored after death. Lord Guan is the patron of military personnel and police, while Mazu is the patron of fishermen and sailors. Such as Tu Di Gong (Earth Deity) is the tutelary deity of a locality, and each individual locality has its own Earth Deity and Cheng Huang Gong (City God) is the guardian deity of an individual city, worshipped by local officials and locals since imperial times.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) in Hinduism, personal tutelary deities are known as ishta-devata, while family tutelary deities are known as Kuladevata. Gramadevata are guardian deities of villages. Devas can also be seen as tutelary. Shiva is the patron of yogis and renunciants. City goddesses include: Mumbadevi (Mumbai), Sachchika (Osian); Kuladevis include: Ambika (Porwad), and Mahalakshmi. In NorthEast India Meitei mythology and religion (Sanamahism) of Manipur, there are various types of tutelary deities, among which Lam Lais are the most predominant ones. Tibetan Buddhism has Yidam as a tutelary deity. Dakini is the patron of those who seek knowledge.” ref

“A tutelary (also tutelar) The Greeks also thought deities guarded specific places: for instance, Athena was the patron goddess of the city of Athens. Socrates spoke of hearing the voice of his personal spirit or daimonion:

You have often heard me speak of an oracle or sign which comes to me … . This sign I have had ever since I was a child. The sign is a voice which comes to me and always forbids me to do something which I am going to do, but never commands me to do anything, and this is what stands in the way of my being a politician.” ref

“Tutelary deities who guard and preserve a place or a person are fundamental to ancient Roman religion. The tutelary deity of a man was his Genius, that of a woman her Juno. In the Imperial era, the Genius of the Emperor was a focus of Imperial cult. An emperor might also adopt a major deity as his personal patron or tutelary, as Augustus did Apollo. Precedents for claiming the personal protection of a deity were established in the Republican era, when for instance the Roman dictator Sulla advertised the goddess Victory as his tutelary by holding public games (ludi) in her honor.” ref

“Each town or city had one or more tutelary deities, whose protection was considered particularly vital in time of war and siege. Rome itself was protected by a goddess whose name was to be kept ritually secret on pain of death (for a supposed case, see Quintus Valerius Soranus). The Capitoline Triad of Juno, Jupiter, and Minerva were also tutelaries of Rome. The Italic towns had their own tutelary deities. Juno often had this function, as at the Latin town of Lanuvium and the Etruscan city of Veii, and was often housed in an especially grand temple on the arx (citadel) or other prominent or central location. The tutelary deity of Praeneste was Fortuna, whose oracle was renowned.” ref

“The Roman ritual of evocatio was premised on the belief that a town could be made vulnerable to military defeat if the power of its tutelary deity were diverted outside the city, perhaps by the offer of superior cult at Rome. The depiction of some goddesses such as the Magna Mater (Great Mother, or Cybele) as “tower-crowned” represents their capacity to preserve the city. A town in the provinces might adopt a deity from within the Roman religious sphere to serve as its guardian, or syncretize its own tutelary with such; for instance, a community within the civitas of the Remi in Gaul adopted Apollo as its tutelary, and at the capital of the Remi (present-day Rheims), the tutelary was Mars Camulus.” ref 

Household deity (a kind of or related to a Tutelary deity)

“A household deity is a deity or spirit that protects the home, looking after the entire household or certain key members. It has been a common belief in paganism as well as in folklore across many parts of the world. Household deities fit into two types; firstly, a specific deity – typically a goddess – often referred to as a hearth goddess or domestic goddess who is associated with the home and hearth, such as the ancient Greek Hestia.” ref

“The second type of household deities are those that are not one singular deity, but a type, or species of animistic deity, who usually have lesser powers than major deities. This type was common in the religions of antiquity, such as the Lares of ancient Roman religion, the Gashin of Korean shamanism, and Cofgodas of Anglo-Saxon paganism. These survived Christianisation as fairy-like creatures existing in folklore, such as the Anglo-Scottish Brownie and Slavic Domovoy.” ref

“Household deities were usually worshipped not in temples but in the home, where they would be represented by small idols (such as the teraphim of the Bible, often translated as “household gods” in Genesis 31:19 for example), amulets, paintings, or reliefs. They could also be found on domestic objects, such as cosmetic articles in the case of Tawaret. The more prosperous houses might have a small shrine to the household god(s); the lararium served this purpose in the case of the Romans. The gods would be treated as members of the family and invited to join in meals, or be given offerings of food and drink.” ref

“In many religions, both ancient and modern, a god would preside over the home. Certain species, or types, of household deities, existed. An example of this was the Roman Lares. Many European cultures retained house spirits into the modern period. Some examples of these include:

“Although the cosmic status of household deities was not as lofty as that of the Twelve Olympians or the Aesir, they were also jealous of their dignity and also had to be appeased with shrines and offerings, however humble. Because of their immediacy they had arguably more influence on the day-to-day affairs of men than the remote gods did. Vestiges of their worship persisted long after Christianity and other major religions extirpated nearly every trace of the major pagan pantheons. Elements of the practice can be seen even today, with Christian accretions, where statues to various saints (such as St. Francis) protect gardens and grottos. Even the gargoyles found on older churches, could be viewed as guardians partitioning a sacred space.” ref

“For centuries, Christianity fought a mop-up war against these lingering minor pagan deities, but they proved tenacious. For example, Martin Luther‘s Tischreden have numerous – quite serious – references to dealing with kobolds. Eventually, rationalism and the Industrial Revolution threatened to erase most of these minor deities, until the advent of romantic nationalism rehabilitated them and embellished them into objects of literary curiosity in the 19th century. Since the 20th century this literature has been mined for characters for role-playing games, video games, and other fantasy personae, not infrequently invested with invented traits and hierarchies somewhat different from their mythological and folkloric roots.” ref

“In contradistinction to both Herbert Spencer and Edward Burnett Tylor, who defended theories of animistic origins of ancestor worship, Émile Durkheim saw its origin in totemism. In reality, this distinction is somewhat academic, since totemism may be regarded as a particularized manifestation of animism, and something of a synthesis of the two positions was attempted by Sigmund Freud. In Freud’s Totem and Taboo, both totem and taboo are outward expressions or manifestations of the same psychological tendency, a concept which is complementary to, or which rather reconciles, the apparent conflict. Freud preferred to emphasize the psychoanalytic implications of the reification of metaphysical forces, but with particular emphasis on its familial nature. This emphasis underscores, rather than weakens, the ancestral component.” ref

William Edward Hearn, a noted classicist, and jurist, traced the origin of domestic deities from the earliest stages as an expression of animism, a belief system thought to have existed also in the neolithic, and the forerunner of Indo-European religion. In his analysis of the Indo-European household, in Chapter II “The House Spirit”, Section 1, he states:

The belief which guided the conduct of our forefathers was … the spirit rule of dead ancestors.” ref

“In Section 2 he proceeds to elaborate:

It is thus certain that the worship of deceased ancestors is a vera causa, and not a mere hypothesis. …

In the other European nations, the Slavs, the Teutons, and the Kelts, the House Spirit appears with no less distinctness. … [T]he existence of that worship does not admit of doubt. … The House Spirits had a multitude of other names which it is needless here to enumerate, but all of which are more or less expressive of their friendly relations with man. … In [England] … [h]e is the Brownie. … In Scotland this same Brownie is well known. He is usually described as attached to particular families, with whom he has been known to reside for centuries, threshing the corn, cleaning the house, and performing similar household tasks. His favorite gratification was milk and honey.” ref

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

ref, ref

Hinduism around 3,700 to 3,500 years old. ref

 Judaism around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (The first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew” dated to around 3,000 years ago Khirbet Qeiyafa is the site of an ancient fortress city overlooking the Elah Valley. And many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed around 2,500) ref, ref

Judaism is around 3,450 or 3,250 years old. (“Paleo-Hebrew” 3,000 years ago and Torah 2,500 years ago)

“Judaism is an Abrahamic, its roots as an organized religion in the Middle East during the Bronze Age. Some scholars argue that modern Judaism evolved from Yahwism, the religion of ancient Israel and Judah, by the late 6th century BCE, and is thus considered to be one of the oldest monotheistic religions.” ref

“Yahwism is the name given by modern scholars to the religion of ancient Israel, essentially polytheistic, with a plethora of gods and goddesses. Heading the pantheon was Yahweh, the national god of the Israelite kingdoms of Israel and Judah, with his consort, the goddess Asherah; below them were second-tier gods and goddesses such as Baal, Shamash, Yarikh, Mot, and Astarte, all of whom had their own priests and prophets and numbered royalty among their devotees, and a third and fourth tier of minor divine beings, including the mal’ak, the messengers of the higher gods, who in later times became the angels of Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Yahweh, however, was not the ‘original’ god of Israel “Isra-El”; it is El, the head of the Canaanite pantheon, whose name forms the basis of the name “Israel”, and none of the Old Testament patriarchs, the tribes of Israel, the Judges, or the earliest monarchs, have a Yahwistic theophoric name (i.e., one incorporating the name of Yahweh).” ref

“El is a Northwest Semitic word meaning “god” or “deity“, or referring (as a proper name) to any one of multiple major ancient Near Eastern deities. A rarer form, ‘ila, represents the predicate form in Old Akkadian and in Amorite. The word is derived from the Proto-Semitic *ʔil-, meaning “god”. Specific deities known as ‘El or ‘Il include the supreme god of the ancient Canaanite religion and the supreme god of East Semitic speakers in Mesopotamia’s Early Dynastic Period. ʼĒl is listed at the head of many pantheons. In some Canaanite and Ugaritic sources, ʼĒl played a role as father of the gods, of creation, or both. For example, in the Ugaritic texts, ʾil mlk is understood to mean “ʼĒl the King” but ʾil hd as “the god Hadad“. The Semitic root ʾlh (Arabic ʾilāh, Aramaic ʾAlāh, ʾElāh, Hebrew ʾelōah) may be ʾl with a parasitic h, and ʾl may be an abbreviated form of ʾlh. In Ugaritic the plural form meaning “gods” is ʾilhm, equivalent to Hebrew ʾelōhîm “powers”. In the Hebrew texts this word is interpreted as being semantically singular for “god” by biblical commentators. However the documentary hypothesis for the Old Testament (corresponds to the Jewish Torah) developed originally in the 1870s, identifies these that different authors – the Jahwist, Elohist, Deuteronomist, and the Priestly source – were responsible for editing stories from a polytheistic religion into those of a monotheistic religion. Inconsistencies that arise between monotheism and polytheism in the texts are reflective of this hypothesis.” ref


Jainism around 2,599 – 2,527 years old. ref

Confucianism around 2,600 – 2,551 years old. ref

Buddhism around 2,563/2,480 – 2,483/2,400 years old. ref

Christianity around 2,o00 years old. ref

Shinto around 1,305 years old. ref

Islam around 1407–1385 years old. ref

Sikhism around 548–478 years old. ref

Bahá’í around 200–125 years old. ref

Knowledge to Ponder: 


  • Possibly, around 30,000 years ago (in simpler form) to 6,000 years ago, Stars/Astrology are connected to Ancestors, Spirit Animals, and Deities.
  • The star also seems to be a possible proto-star for Star of Ishtar, Star of Inanna, or Star of Venus.
  • Around 7,000 to 6,000 years ago, Star Constellations/Astrology have connections to the “Kurgan phenomenon” of below-ground “mound” stone/wood burial structures and “Dolmen phenomenon” of above-ground stone burial structures.
  • Around 6,500–5,800 years ago, The Northern Levant migrations into Jordon and Israel in the Southern Levant brought new cultural and religious transfer from Turkey and Iran.
  • “The Ghassulian Star,” a mysterious 6,000-year-old mural from Jordan may have connections to the European paganstic kurgan/dolmens phenomenon.

“Astrology is a range of divinatory practices, recognized as pseudoscientific since the 18th century, that claim to discern information about human affairs and terrestrial events by studying the apparent positions of celestial objects. Different cultures have employed forms of astrology since at least the 2nd millennium BCE, these practices having originated in calendrical systems used to predict seasonal shifts and to interpret celestial cycles as signs of divine communications. Most, if not all, cultures have attached importance to what they observed in the sky, and some—such as the HindusChinese, and the Maya—developed elaborate systems for predicting terrestrial events from celestial observations. Western astrology, one of the oldest astrological systems still in use, can trace its roots to 19th–17th century BCE Mesopotamia, from where it spread to Ancient GreeceRome, the Islamicate world and eventually Central and Western Europe. Contemporary Western astrology is often associated with systems of horoscopes that purport to explain aspects of a person’s personality and predict significant events in their lives based on the positions of celestial objects; the majority of professional astrologers rely on such systems.” ref 

Around 5,500 years ago, Science evolves, The first evidence of science was 5,500 years ago and was demonstrated by a body of empirical, theoretical, and practical knowledge about the natural world. ref

Around 5,000 years ago, Origin of Logics is a Naturalistic Observation (principles of valid reasoning, inference, & demonstration) ref

Around 4,150 to 4,000 years ago: The earliest surviving versions of the Sumerian Epic of Gilgamesh, which was originally titled “He who Saw the Deep” (Sha naqba īmuru) or “Surpassing All Other Kings” (Shūtur eli sharrī) were written. ref


  • 3,700 years ago or so, the oldest of the Hindu Vedas (scriptures), the Rig Veda was composed.
  • 3,500 years ago or so, the Vedic Age began in India after the collapse of the Indus Valley Civilization.


  • around 3,000 years ago, the first writing in the bible was “Paleo-Hebrew”
  • around 2,500 years ago, many believe the religious Jewish texts were completed

Myths: The bible inspired religion is not just one religion or one myth but a grouping of several religions and myths

  • Around 3,450 or 3,250 years ago, according to legend, is the traditionally accepted period in which the Israelite lawgiver, Moses, provided the Ten Commandments.
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, a collection of ancient religious writings by the Israelites based primarily upon the Hebrew Bible, Tanakh, or Old Testament is the first part of Christianity’s bible.
  • Around 2,400 years ago, the most accepted hypothesis is that the canon was formed in stages, first the Pentateuch (Torah).
  • Around 2,140 to 2,116 years ago, the Prophets was written during the Hasmonean dynasty, and finally the remaining books.
  • Christians traditionally divide the Old Testament into four sections:
  • The first five books or Pentateuch (Torah).
  • The proposed history books telling the history of the Israelites from their conquest of Canaan to their defeat and exile in Babylon.
  • The poetic and proposed “Wisdom books” dealing, in various forms, with questions of good and evil in the world.
  • The books of the biblical prophets, warning of the consequences of turning away from God:
  • Henotheism:
  • Exodus 20:23 “You shall not make other gods besides Me (not saying there are no other gods just not to worship them); gods of silver or gods of gold, you shall not make for yourselves.”
  • Polytheism:
  • Judges 10:6 “Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; thus they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him.”
  • 1 Corinthians 8:5 “For even if there are so-called gods whether in heaven or on earth, as indeed there are many gods and many lords.”
  • Monotheism:
  • Isaiah 43:10 “You are my witnesses,” declares the LORD, “and my servant whom I have chosen, so that you may know and believe me and understand that I am he. Before me no god was formed, nor will there be one after me.

Around 2,570 to 2,270 Years Ago, there is a confirmation of atheistic doubting as well as atheistic thinking, mainly by Greek philosophers. However, doubting gods is likely as old as the invention of gods and should destroy the thinking that belief in god(s) is the “default belief”. The Greek word is apistos (a “not” and pistos “faithful,”), thus not faithful or faithless because one is unpersuaded and unconvinced by a god(s) claim. Short Definition: unbelieving, unbeliever, or unbelief.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Expressions of Atheistic Thinking:

  • Around 2,600 years ago, Ajita Kesakambali, ancient Indian philosopher, who is the first known proponent of Indian materialism. ref
  • Around 2,535 to 2,475 years ago, Heraclitus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher, a native of the Greek city Ephesus, Ionia, on the coast of Anatolia, also known as Asia Minor or modern Turkey. ref
  • Around 2,500 to 2,400 years ago, according to The Story of Civilization book series certain African pygmy tribes have no identifiable gods, spirits, or religious beliefs or rituals, and even what burials accrue are without ceremony. ref
  • Around 2,490 to 2,430 years ago, Empedocles, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher and a citizen of Agrigentum, a Greek city in Sicily. ref
  • Around 2,460 to 2,370 years ago, Democritus, Greek pre-Socratic philosopher considered to be the “father of modern science” possibly had some disbelief amounting to atheism. ref
  • Around 2,399 years ago or so, Socrates, a famous Greek philosopher was tried for sinfulness by teaching doubt of state gods. ref
  • Around 2,341 to 2,270 years ago, Epicurus, a Greek philosopher known for composing atheistic critics and famously stated, “Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him god?” ref

This last expression by Epicurus, seems to be an expression of Axiological Atheism. To understand and utilize value or actually possess “Value Conscious/Consciousness” to both give a strong moral “axiological” argument (the problem of evil) as well as use it to fortify humanism and positive ethical persuasion of human helping and care responsibilities. Because value-blindness gives rise to sociopathic/psychopathic evil.

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

While hallucinogens are associated with shamanism, it is alcohol that is associated with paganism.

The Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries Shows in the prehistory series:

Show one: Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses.

Show two: Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show tree: Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show four: Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show five: Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”

Show six: Emergence of hierarchy, sexism, slavery, and the new male god dominance: Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves!

Show seven: Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State)

Show eight: Paganism 4,000 years old: Moralistic gods after the rise of Statism and often support Statism/Kings: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism)

Prehistory: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” the division of labor, power, rights, and recourses: VIDEO

Pre-animism 300,000 years old and animism 100,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Totemism 50,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Shamanism 30,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism”: VIDEO

Paganism 12,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Pre-Capitalism): VIDEO

Paganism 7,000-5,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Capitalism) (World War 0) Elite and their slaves: VIEDO

Paganism 5,000 years old: progressed organized religion and the state: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (Kings and the Rise of the State): VIEDO

Paganism 4,000 years old: related to “Anarchism and Socialism” (First Moralistic gods, then the Origin time of Monotheism): VIEDO

I do not hate simply because I challenge and expose myths or lies any more than others being thought of as loving simply because of the protection and hiding from challenge their favored myths or lies.

The truth is best championed in the sunlight of challenge.

An archaeologist once said to me “Damien religion and culture are very different”

My response, So are you saying that was always that way, such as would you say Native Americans’ cultures are separate from their religions? And do you think it always was the way you believe?

I had said that religion was a cultural product. That is still how I see it and there are other archaeologists that think close to me as well. Gods too are the myths of cultures that did not understand science or the world around them, seeing magic/supernatural everywhere.

I personally think there is a goddess and not enough evidence to support a male god at Çatalhöyük but if there was both a male and female god and goddess then I know the kind of gods they were like Proto-Indo-European mythology.

This series idea was addressed in, Anarchist Teaching as Free Public Education or Free Education in the Public: VIDEO

Our 12 video series: Organized Oppression: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of power (9,000-4,000 years ago), is adapted from: The Complete and Concise History of the Sumerians and Early Bronze Age Mesopotamia (7000-2000 BC): by “History with Cy

Show #1: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Samarra, Halaf, Ubaid)

Show #2: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Eridu: First City of Power)

Show #3: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Uruk and the First Cities)

Show #4: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (First Kings)

Show #5: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Early Dynastic Period)

Show #6: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (King Lugalzagesi and the First Empire)

Show #7: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Sargon and Akkadian Rule)

Show #8: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Naram-Sin, Post-Akkadian Rule, and the Gutians)

Show #9: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Gudea of Lagash and Utu-hegal)

Show #10: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Third Dynasty of Ur / Neo-Sumerian Empire)

Show #11: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Amorites, Elamites, and the End of an Era)

Show #12: Mesopotamian State Force and the Politics of Power (Aftermath and Legacy of Sumer)

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

The “Atheist-Humanist-Leftist Revolutionaries”

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ Atheist Leftist @Skepticallefty & I (Damien Marie AtHope) @AthopeMarie (my YouTube & related blog) are working jointly in atheist, antitheist, antireligionist, antifascist, anarchist, socialist, and humanist endeavors in our videos together, generally, every other Saturday.

Why Does Power Bring Responsibility?

Think, how often is it the powerless that start wars, oppress others, or commit genocide? So, I guess the question is to us all, to ask, how can power not carry responsibility in a humanity concept? I know I see the deep ethical responsibility that if there is power their must be a humanistic responsibility of ethical and empathic stewardship of that power. Will I be brave enough to be kind? Will I possess enough courage to be compassionate? Will my valor reach its height of empathy? I as everyone, earns our justified respect by our actions, that are good, ethical, just, protecting, and kind. Do I have enough self-respect to put my love for humanity’s flushing, over being brought down by some of its bad actors? May we all be the ones doing good actions in the world, to help human flourishing.

I create the world I want to live in, striving for flourishing. Which is not a place but a positive potential involvement and promotion; a life of humanist goal precision. To master oneself, also means mastering positive prosocial behaviors needed for human flourishing. I may have lost a god myth as an atheist, but I am happy to tell you, my friend, it is exactly because of that, leaving the mental terrorizer, god belief, that I truly regained my connected ethical as well as kind humanity.

Cory and I will talk about prehistory and theism, addressing the relevance to atheism, anarchism, and socialism.

At the same time as the rise of the male god, 7,000 years ago, there was also the very time there was the rise of violence, war, and clans to kingdoms, then empires, then states. It is all connected back to 7,000 years ago, and it moved across the world.

Cory Johnston:  

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist (YouTube)

Cory Johnston: Mind of a Skeptical Leftist @Skepticallefty

The Mind of a Skeptical Leftist By Cory Johnston: “Promoting critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics by covering current events and talking to a variety of people. Cory Johnston has been thoughtfully talking to people and attempting to promote critical thinking, social justice, and left-wing politics.”

Cory needs our support. We rise by helping each other.

Cory Johnston ☭ Ⓐ @Skepticallefty Evidence-based atheist leftist (he/him) Producer, host, and co-host of 4 podcasts @skeptarchy @skpoliticspod and @AthopeMarie

Damien Marie AtHope (“At Hope”) Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist. Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Poet, Philosopher, Advocate, Activist, Psychology, and Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Historian.

Damien is interested in: Freedom, Liberty, Justice, Equality, Ethics, Humanism, Science, Atheism, Antiteism, Antireligionism, Ignosticism, Left-Libertarianism, Anarchism, Socialism, Mutualism, Axiology, Metaphysics, LGBTQI, Philosophy, Advocacy, Activism, Mental Health, Psychology, Archaeology, Social Work, Sexual Rights, Marriage Rights, Woman’s Rights, Gender Rights, Child Rights, Secular Rights, Race Equality, Ageism/Disability Equality, Etc. And a far-leftist, “Anarcho-Humanist.”

I am not a good fit in the atheist movement that is mostly pro-capitalist, I am anti-capitalist. Mostly pro-skeptic, I am a rationalist not valuing skepticism. Mostly pro-agnostic, I am anti-agnostic. Mostly limited to anti-Abrahamic religions, I am an anti-religionist. 

To me, the “male god” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 7,000 years ago, whereas the now favored monotheism “male god” is more like 4,000 years ago or so. To me, the “female goddess” seems to have either emerged or become prominent around 11,000-10,000 years ago or so, losing the majority of its once prominence around 2,000 years ago due largely to the now favored monotheism “male god” that grow in prominence after 4,000 years ago or so. 

My Thought on the Evolution of Gods?

Animal protector deities from old totems/spirit animal beliefs come first to me, 13,000/12,000 years ago, then women as deities 11,000/10,000 years ago, then male gods around 7,000/8,000 years ago. Moralistic gods around 5,000/4,000 years ago, and monotheistic gods around 4,000/3,000 years ago. 

“Animism” is needed to begin supernatural thinking.
“Totemism” is needed for supernatural thinking connecting human actions & related to clan/tribe.
“Shamanism” is needed for supernatural thinking to be controllable/changeable by special persons.
Together = Gods/paganism

Damien Marie AtHope’s Art

Damien Marie AtHope (Said as “At” “Hope”)/(Autodidact Polymath but not good at math):

Axiological Atheist, Anti-theist, Anti-religionist, Secular Humanist, Rationalist, Writer, Artist, Jeweler, Poet, “autodidact” Philosopher, schooled in Psychology, and “autodidact” Armchair Archaeology/Anthropology/Pre-Historian (Knowledgeable in the range of: 1 million to 5,000/4,000 years ago). I am an anarchist socialist politically. Reasons for or Types of Atheism

My Website, My Blog, & Short-writing or QuotesMy YouTube, Twitter: @AthopeMarie, and My Email: