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Iberville, commandant of the newly constructed fort, declared friendly intentions of the French by smoking the ceremonial calumet with the visiting dignitaries.For Indians, this ceremonial gesture was as serious as business ever gets: Smoking the pipe represents a sacred trust between the two groups of people, that members of each group are bound to help members of the other under any circumstance. Even though six outposts were established within the first few years, few “settlers” were willing or able to do even the minimal amount of work required to produce their own food.The French brought some of their own presents, and bestowed upon Indian communities the traditional European hospitality, including dysentery, smallpox, cholera, Christianity, horses and pigs, rats and cockroaches.He Kills A Priest The arrival of French colonists set off a chain reaction of disease and dislocation in Indian communities throughout the Gulf Coast area.When their wishes were denied, soldiers often turned to rape and other forms of brutality against Indian women.For more than 20 years, the French interlopers regularly faced starvation.
In truth however, the Africans and Caribbean peoples have been coming here for nearly 150 years and blending in, over time, with the Africans already here. This is a story of Indian and African resistance to white colonial rule in Louisiana during the earliest days of French occupation. We must not dismiss the genocide against Indians and Africans or the clever and fierce resistance that Indians and Africans put up in the wake of an unholy tumult perpetrated by Europeans.
American Indians had never been exposed to the diseases Europeans brought with them, and consequently lacked the immunities Europeans had built up over countless generations of exposure. Further, Indian religious leaders and Elders complained bitterly when young people in their towns began to rely on European trade goods guns, knives, iron kettles instead of making their own tools in the traditional way.
The proselytizing of Christian missionaries was especially reviled.
In South Florida we have the Bahamian people who have for centuries been crossing over from the nearby Bahama islands, the most populous of which, are north of Miami.
( It has been said that most African Americans are, in part, descended from Native Americans.
As the French expanded their base of control, some Indian Nations simply packed up and moved, not wanting even to be near the French and their strange religion and habits.