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Chapter 12 Page 4

December 9th, 2015

Defiant Elk despairs at saving his nation on Chapter 12 Page 4. He and the Kanonsionni are trapped by the frontier trade. If they turn their back on the goods offered by the colonists, they are weaker than their rivals. If they trade for them, they have to give away a part of themselves.

In the real world, the council fires have not faded away entirely. The nations that I’m drawing inspiration from still exist. History has not been kind to them, due to our nation’s policies and a legacy of indifference and hostility. If you want to read about how the Iroquois handled the issues that Elk is grappling with, I recommend Iroquois Diplomacy on the Early American Frontier by Timothy Shannon.

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18 Comments »

    chase

    Man, how cool would it be to be able to find some place to mine iron ore from and help Elk and his people out for totally free.
    I feel so bad for him now. I just wanna reach into the page and dump all of my cookware and blankets onto his lap!

      hkmaly

      Miners are not free. Natives were living simple live of hunters and gatherers, but that can’t survive contact with technology civilization. The people can survive by becoming part of technology civilization themselves – either the newcomer one or by building their own – but the simple live is doomed to disappear.

      And, obviously, the newcomers have much more experience with being technology civilization.

        chase

        Well, yes. I meant more along the lines that if they found their OWN place to mine things, then it would totally be theirs and under their control and they wouldn’t have to rely on giving up their own tools and resources for some iron.
        Unless, of course, they trade control of it or lose control of it to a better deal or stronger nation.

          Adam

          The problem then would be smelting the ores, which requires its own profession and craftmanship. The ores themselves are worth relatively little and while the people are mining, they are not doing hunter-gathering (which is more gathering than hunting, especially by Elk’s comment about furs) to feed themselves.
          Then they would have to trade their ores for food and only the colonies would value the ores, which just ends them deep in the same trap as before.

          This is the problem of larger civilizations bumping into smaller ones. Even if the larger civilization isn’t outright hostile to the smaller one, the smaller one cannot help but be either absorbed or die.

          The only way to win for the smaller one is either for the larger one to disappear and put the smaller civilization into protective isolation, or for the smaller civilization to rapidly reach the bigger one’s level so it would be treated as an equal.

    Nate

    Those are some pretty legitimate fears.
    Sadly, Defiant Elk is trapped in a very small box of thought. And within his box, there are no viable solutions (since Snow By Night and others refused him). It is unfortunate that the peaceful solutions to this problem are in a box no one in history found for centuries after this happened in North America.

      Rycan

      I seriously doubt that the decline of indigenous nations could have been prevented for long. All you need is one person to unravel any peaceful solution, quite honestly – and the demand for resources is an unquenchable thirst.

    Crestlinger

    Land: the Final commodity.

    spas

    Fool’s Crow, by James Welch, is a wonderful account of this period. It’s historical fiction and the author a celebrated Indian writer.

    Rycan

    The saddest part? He’s absolutely right. Some were able to successfully delay the inevitable, but nobody could stop this. Not after the newcomers had a permanent foothold. It’s like a terminal illness for nations.

    awhorl

    And this is such a beautiful way to get a point across that I know is hard to get people to face, for example, in uh school.

    AJ

    I.. I hated him at first, but now I just wanna hug the stuffing out of poor Elk… it’s horrible that he has to watch his people suffer like that, and not be able to help them like he feels he should.. and the absolute worst part is that the invaders don’t care that they’re killing off an entire people.

    awhorl

    *ducks first, then says* Dare I say that Elk is wearing . . . exactly the same style of clothing that the King of Persia was wearing after the 17th century, when he had a visit from those same world colonizers, and he really admired their clothes. From then on the coats of all the courtiers in Iran were based on this same style.

    Just in case you thought Coca-Cola started cultural imperialism. The guys really liked the cut of the shoulders, and the way the cuffs made you look commanding when your arms were outstretched.

    Turul

    It’s heartbreaking, really. No wonder he’s Defiant.

    Just a guy who’d find something to grouse about—things that made their lives materially better and he’s complaining about quality control…

    David

    “If we do not take your goods, other nations will”…

    Indian tribes would wipe out other indian tribes if they had a big advantage, not different than colonists according to story.

    “They do the same for fear of us” – own tribe has similar reputation

    Blaise would be dead if not saved by Snow by Night.

    Beaver wars… wikipedia “The wars were brutal and are considered one of the bloodiest series of conflicts in the history of North America. As the Iroquois destroyed several large tribal confederacies—including the Huron, Neutral, Erie, Susquehannock, and Shawnee”

      David

      Story to degree in way is making colonists “better guys” in this situation… they pay for what they take rather than take though war. (Of course in other situations the colonists may use war as well to take)

      Best solution seems to be either find something else to trade back or acquire skills to make the goods yourself. Eg hutterite, mennonite, amish and similar colonies… self enclosed civilizations within north america that find ways to trade and sometimes buy land to create new colonies/expand civilizations…

        David

        example: the hutterites apparently learned to excel at agriculture/creating food, sometimes more tech advanced than average farmer and able to work as a larger community/team than average farmer, and use that to buy land from our regular civilization to steadily expand. At same time they isolate selves, most do not have internet access, etc.

      The Beaver Wars are echoed in the Snow by Night world by the Pelt Wars. These struggles arose from the desire to control the fur trade, as the Iroquois wished to be the middleman and control the flow of goods. Even with all the killing, they failed as the French pushed further into Upper Canada and established trading posts there.

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