Opinion Letters

Europeans brought an administrative structure

Our European forefathers introduced woolen blankets, copper kettles and metal implements to the Indigenous people they met.

No longer would the women of the tribe have to chew pelts to make them supple.

Nor would they heat rocks to place in birch bark containers to make a tepid stew.

And the hatchets, saws and needles that the Europeans brought with them, these in themselves were worth the price of admission.

Ask your wife to chew on a hide for a week and see how long your marriage lasts.

Only by cultivating crops and domesticating animals can a growing population avoid starvation.

Nature is bountiful, but the resources of any area are finite.

Fifty acres of land are required to sustain one hunter/gatherer.

A small tribe of 200 requires thousands of acres of hunting grounds, while an Irish family of five thought themselves blessed if they had four acres and a cow.

All of the tribes had established territories, but coveted more land to support their growing numbers.

The tribes were continuously at war and had been for the past millennium.

These conflicts were savage, unrelenting, terrifying; weaker tribes were exterminated or forced to flee.

What the Europeans brought with them apart from advanced technology was an administrative structure, a bureaucracy which enforced governance.

Once established, the colonial administration put an end to tribal warfare.

A framework of written laws applied to everyone.

Perhaps those protesting should look more closely at the stone-age existence of their forefathers and be a little more appreciative of what the Europeans brought with them.

Joffre McCleary


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