Bruce Toews (masterofmusings) wrote,
Bruce Toews

Looking for a Native North American Novelist

There's a lot of talk, and very rightly so, about all the mistakes that
white people made when settling in North America. White people made
horrendous mistakes. They continue to make them. Not all white people
are inherently eveil, as the social engineering text books nowadays
imply, but past and current mistakes need to be acknowledged.

All right, so we, or at least most of us, are in agreement that mistakes
have been made and continue to be made. But what would things have been
like if we'd done it right? What does "doing it right" mean in this
case? Should we have stayed away from North America, creating an
isolated culture that had no access to modern technological advances?
Would that have created resentment of another kind? Should we have
somehow limited or slowed down the pace of technological innovation in
North America? There are some things we very clearly should have done
differently: we shouldn't have forced our language, or faiths, and our
lifestyle on native North Americans; we shouldn't have treated them as
lesser people, because they're not. These are things that are obvious,
or at least, they should be.

So I'm wondering what the world would be like today if white people had
acted according to the Natives' ideals? Where would we be, where
wouldn't we be? Who would have the technology? Would North America be a
thirteenth-century continent in a 21st-century world,or would things be
much as they are now, with some exceptions?

I would love to write about this, but I don't know the answers to these
questions. I would love to see a Native writer sit down and write a
novel in which we got it right, according to the writer's ideals. It's
very easy, and right, to point out many of the things we did wrong. The
Social Engineering textbooks make it amply clear that white, male
Canadians are one step up from amoebas, if that. But I think I could
learn a great deal from a novel in which, by the writer's standards, we
got it right.

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