the earth shall weep

A Tohono O'odham (Papago) story describes how, long ago, the hero I'itotoi brought the victims of a giant killer-eagle back to life. Those who had been dead the longest and were the most decayed and pallid, he turned into white people. Because they had been dead so long that they had forgotten everything they once knew, I'itoi gave then the power writing to help them record and remember. Clearly from the Tohono O'osham point of view, literacy is a kind of crutch: far from being the emblem of cultural superiority, it is evidence that Europeans are lost, ignorant and detached from a knowledge of themselves.
—  The Earth Shall Weep
James Wilson ‘98
The impact of this disaster [almost a hundred epidemics and pandemics] on Indian life is hard to imagine. The death rate far exceeded anything that modern Western nations have experienced: the First World War, for instance, which is often seen as the apotheosis of mass destruction, killed around 2% of the British population over a four-year period. Many Native American communities lost 75% or more of their members within just a few weeks, the kind of losses predicted for a nuclear holocaust, and certainly greater than those suffered at Hiroshima.
Where are now our grandfathers, the Delawares? We had hoped the white men would not be willing to travel beyond the mountains. Now that hope is gone. They have passed the mountains, and have settled upon Cherokee land. They wish to have that usurpation sanctioned by treaty. When that is gained, the same encroaching spirit will lead them upon other land of the Cherokees. New cessions will be asked. Finally the whole country, which the Cherokees and their fathers have so long occupied, will be demanded, and the remnant of Ani-Yunwiya, ‘The Real People,’ once so great and formidable, will be compelled to seek refuge in some distant wilderness. There they will be permitted to stay only a short while, until they again behold the advancing banners of the same greedy host. Not being able to point out any further retreat for the miserable Cherokees, the extinction of the whole race will be proclaimed. Should we not therefore run all risks, and incur all consequences, rather than submit to further laceration of our country? Such treaties may be all right for men who are too old to hunt or fight. As for me, I have my young warriors about me. We will have our lands.
—  Ciu Canacina (Dragging Canoe), son of Attakullakulla, chief of the Cherokee (18th century)