Eigth Grade Social Studies – A Lesson in the Absurd

I felt compelled to write about recent events regarding my sons educational experience. He has begun the eighth grade and one of the first subjects that he has had questions about is that of social studies, but more directly were questions about the information he is being taught in contrast to what he has been exposed to in the past five years as a result of living and going to school in the pacific northwest in a Tlingit environment. As I too have first hand knowledge of living and working within the Pacific Northwest cultures, I attempted to make sense of the educational materials and explain to my son how we are going to get through this intentional deception and misdirection from the truth of the matter. Note that this material is not specific to the school he is attending. It is in every curriculum.

So I began to read what he is learning and immediately realized that I will have my work cut out for me if he is going to get a balanced educational experience and at the same time pass the required testing. The first obstacle was discussing the theoretical and contradictory land bridge theory across the Bering Strait. For what ever reason the invaders have developed theories that they deem important in an effort to provide an explanation for the existence of human populations on the previously unknown continents. In my experiences and acquaintances within Alaska, the lower 48, and all the way to the tip of South America, the indigenous peoples know and describe their presence within the continents much differently than what is being perpetrated into the minds of the unsuspecting.

Secondly, after reading just a couple of extremely generalized paragraphs devoted to the Native inhabitants of the Americas, based on a ridiculous made up story, the material quickly transitioned to the explorational endeavors and history of the invaders. There is no real attempt to study the land and the people in the land. Those studies are apparently unimportant. What apparently is of importance is the total elimination of the historical fact and a crafty redirection into details of the lives of the explorers, their governmental and economic systems that motivated them, and the religious beliefs, or lack thereof, that was used to justify their behavior and actions.

At this very same time I had been exploring a “new to me” audio book that is in the public domain by Edson L. Whitney titled “Four American Indians”. It has been recorded into an audio format and is available at https://librivox.org . It is an excellent resource that appears to be very accurate in detail and the historical record. It collaborates to a reference written by Alvin M. Josephy, Jr. “ 500 Nations, An Illustrated History of the North American Indians”. I am currently using these two materials along with our personal experiences, and knowledge gained from knowing and being a part of several Native cultures in Alaska and the Nations in the lower 48 States to teach my child about social studies.

I have reviewed the educational materials that are available for Columbus, De Soto, and Cortez. That true history is rife with crimes against humanity in the extreme. At this time, I have chosen to avoid any study on these people. I do not want add undue anxiety and additional conflicting information into the mix until it is the proper time. So for now I will allow the deception and flowery myths to prevail in the educational experience and concurrently teach on the Native People of the Americas, their contributions to the human experience, and how they interacted, cooperated, and eventually resisted the so called “civilized” cultures.

Remarks of Kevin Gover, Assistant Secretary-Bureau of Indian Affairs September 8, 2000

Lessons:

  1. The myth, uncivilized, uncultured groups of savage peoples just out of the cave-man era living in the New World.
  2. The reality of the grace, acceptance, and empathy extended to the newcomers to the new world.
  3. The treatment, the deception, the resistance, and in many histories the extermination of a free people, in the name of progress.
  4. An examination of the invading cultures, their true motivations and actions.
  5. Shedding one yoke for another, the American Revolution and the Great Law of Peace.
  6. The lie, building a new nation based on Gods Commandments, human rights, freedom and equality: but in reality based on twisted ideology, unjust and immoral laws, theft, murder and genocide, UN-equality, poverty and class warfare.
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