Information so my children do not grow up ignorant

My children and I are ignorant, not by choice, to much of our history.  What we learned in school is not true yet my educators had the nerve to call it teaching.  My son is half Siminole, because his father is full blooded native american.  I, however, am a mixture of Dutch-Irish and Cherokee.  I want him to get to know part of his background.  I found out as much as I could but there are holes and I managed to get him to Key West but how do you tell the truth for the sugar-coated junk?  This is my next option. Since I just found out part of “Thanksgiving”, I would like to know more so that I do not lie to my children and rob an entire civilization of generally good people of the respect that is deserved.


  1. There are several books you should read but I’ll recommend one to begin with and that is .

    I’ll ask others to leave their recommendations here for you also.

    You can also read anything by this writer, . All his essays are at that link.

    And here are two good ones on Thanksgiving.

    Please check back at our site, we post new content often.

    You can also scroll back thru all our diaries on the front page and read all you want.

    Please reply here if you don’t understand anything I’ve written.

  2. Some diaries about the Seminole:

    Diaries about the Cherokee:

    I’ve got a series of diaries coming up over the next couple of weeks about the Indian histories and cultures of Florida.

  3. children their history and culture as accurately as possible is a great gift to them and to yourself.  

    The suggestinos and links navajo and Ojibwa have provided are a great start in that direction.

    Ojibwa’s diaries have taught me so much and continue to on a daily basis.

  4. Welcome, what a beautiful choice of screen name. And you are not as ignorant of history as most, since you know that what is taught in school is not Truth, but a version of a truth that serves an agenda. Getting that far is an awesome first step.

    That you are concerned about knowing for your children tells me what a good person you are. And you have certainly come to the right place to learn the truths that will make you and your children proud of your ancestry. As the other commenters before me have made abundantly clear, Ojibwa is as good a source as you’ll find anywhere on an incredibly wide range of knowledge about Native America before the European invasion and the events that got us from there to here.

    I see he has already given you a list about the Seminole. Every one of his diaries is packed full of information; like a rich meal they take some time to digest. For variety you can read his many other postings, not only is he a fount of wisdom but he varies his topics to keep his subjects fresh and interesting.

    Before you are done with Objibwa you will no longer think of yourself as ignorant.

    My only word of personal advice is be careful of the anger you, and your children, will inevitably feel. Channel it constructively. Be wise, new friend.

  5. “Indian Givers” by Jack Weatherford, despite it’s questionable title it’s about the contributions of our people to the world and it gives people a good beginning background. Then move on to “1491” which tells the truth about our world before Columbus, it scientificly debunks many myths about our world.

    But probably the best place to begin is here… this review is long but it expresses what the book is about.


    The Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World: 15, 000 years of Inventions and Innovations

    You might be interested to learn of the release of The Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World: 15, 000 years of Inventions and Innovations.

    This book by Emory Keoke, an enrolled member of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe and Kay Porterfield, a former instructor at Oglala Lakota College, is a 400 page hardcover reference that contains over 400 entries; mentions 180 tribes and cultural groups in North, Meso-,and South America; and has 12 maps and 72 illustrations.  Subject areas include science, technology, medicine, pharmacology, agriculture, environmental science, and metallurgy. Facts on File, Inc., is the publisher.

    Emory and I are excited about the completion of this project since we believe it will have a positive impact on the teaching of American Indian and Hispanic history.  We hope that it will not only a culturally relevant reference, but will also spark curriculum ideas.

    I’ve posted some excerpts, author bios and part of the introduction at … If you like what you see there, please help us spread the word about the book to others you think might find it useful.

    Kay Marie Porterfield


    Giving Credit Where Credit is Due: Why We Wrote this Book

    Throughout history those who hold power have used it to create definitions that marginalize people who do not hold power.  At the same time that they have made use of technologies and resources of those they dominate, they have minimized or failed to acknowledge their originators. A case can be made that contact with American Indians actually served as one of the catalysts for the Scientific Revolution in Europe.  In 1571 King Philip II of Spain commissioned physician Francisco Hernandez to document the medicinal seeds, plants, and herbs that the Aztec used. Spanish physicians exploring indigenous American cures soon published three textbooks based on this information including one on surgery.

    Although more than 200 of the plants that American Indians (from North, Meso-, and South America) used as remedies became part of the U.S. Pharmacopoeia, an official listing of all effective medicines, the originators of these remedies often remained unacknowledged.

    When precontact indigenous origins of medical treatments were mentioned, American Indians were often said to have stumbled on these cures by accident, because they did not use the European scientific method. (Empiricism, sometimes called true science, did not begin in Europe until the time of Francis Bacon in the late 1500s — nearly a century after contact between Americans and Europeans.)

    Today more than 120 drugs that are prescribed by physicians were first made from plant extracts, and 75 percent of these were derived from examining plants used in traditional indigenous medicine.

    Seventy-five percent of the varities of food grown today are indigenous to North, Meso-, and South America, — most of them cultivated by American Indians hundreds of years before European contact.

    Most of the entries contained in the Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World came into being long before Columbus set foot on Hispaniola in 1942.  In instances such as rubber, popcorn, quinine, and hammocks, American Indian contributions have become a part of everyday life in very tangible ways worldwide.  Other contributions were less tangible, such as the influence of the Iroquois on the U.S. Constitution.

    From Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World by Emory Dean Keoke and Kay Marie Porterfield. Copyright 2001 by Emory Dean Keoke and Kay Marie Porterfield. Reprinted by permission of Facts On File, Inc.

    Did You Know That…

    * The Olmec, who lived in the Yucatan Peninsula, invented a way to treat raw latex in order to make usable items from rubber as early as 1700 B.C. They used it to make balls, soles for sandals, hollow bulbs for syringes and waterproofed ponchos.  This process was similar to vulcanization patented by Charles Goodyear in 1844.

    * Pre-Colombian American Indian astronomers used a sophisticated system of astronomy, which could calculate celestial events such as solar eclipses. They also created calendar systems, complete with corrections that werebased on detailed observations of the sun and moon.  Indigenous astronomers were so accurate at observing the movements of the stars and planets that by the fifth century B.C. those in Mesoamerican had calculated a year’s length so accurately that it was only 19 minutes off.

    * Using a technique called seed-selection, American Indian farmers of North Meso-, and South America were able to develop varieties of cultivated food crops suitable to a number of climates.  By the time Columbus landed, they had developed at least 3,000 varieties of potatoes alone and had domesticated at least 300 grasses.  Best known for the development of corn, American Indian farmers are also responsible for developing Great Northern Beans.  According to archeological evidence, they were expert plant breeders by about A.D. 1.  In contrast, European interest in plant genetics remained indifferent for over 40 years after Gregor Mendel presented his work in 1865.

    * North American Indians had medicinal uses for at least 2,564 species of plants.  In addition to their expert use of botanical medications to treat medical conditions, American Indians from a number of culture groups were expert surgeons.  The operations they performed included plastic surgery, skin grafts, thoracentesis to remove fluid from the chest cavity, and arthrocentesis to remove fluid from the knee.  American Indian healers routinely cleansed wounds with water that had been boiled and used botanical antiseptics on them, a practice not routine in Western medicine until the early 1900s.  Pre-Columbian Aztec healers working in urban areas practiced in government-funded hospitals.

    * Pre-Columbian metal workers on the coast of what is now Ecuador worked platinum into objects.  In order to do this, they developed a process known as sintering, mixing granules of silver with platinum to lower the melting point of platinum, which is about 1770C.  Platinum work was unknown in Europe until the 19th century because metal workers there had not found a way to melt it.

    * American Indian metallurgists also invented electroplating, a chemical process they used to gild copper and alloys that they made from silver, copper and gold.  The Moche, who lived on the coast of northern Peru, invented this process between 200 B.C. and A.D. 600.  Europeans did not discover the process of electroplating until Sir Humphrey Davy’s experiments in the late 1700s.

    The Encyclopedia of American Indian Contributions to the World includes

    science and technology entries that cover:

    * Agricultural Techniques

    * Architecture

    * Astronomy

    * Civil Engineering

    * Dentistry

    * Environmental Science

    * Aquaculture

    * Nutrition

    * Mathematics

    * Medicine

    * Metallurgy

    * Pharmacology

    * Political/Social Science

    The book is available through

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