Fulbright scholar, Dr. Larry Armand French held a lecture at AUBiH on Monday, November 30th, marking Native American Heritage Month. On this occasion, AUBiH students learned more about the tragic destiny, cultural heritage, and traditions of Native Americans – the indigenous peoples of the Americas.
AUBiH strives to educate its students about this often overlooked aspect of American history. Students at AUBiH have been enriched by Dr. Larry French’s work on the subject, particularly as it relates to support given to Native Americans currently living on reservations in the U.S.
Dr. French’s lecture drew on many examples of the exploitation and brutal treatment of Native Americans by settlers who emigrated from Europe to North America. He pointed out that until the colonization of North America began, Native Americans had lived in harmony with nature, and in the relative absence of conflict.
“The ethics of harmony that Native Americans follow is based on a non-political form of communism that is extremely contrary to the majority dominant cultures in the United States of America. For that reason it presents the main source of friction that has, over 500 years, resulted in both physical and cultural genocide. Nevertheless, the Indian tradition lives on and exists with the traditional American and Canadian Indian tribes,” said Dr. French.
Dr. French noted that the individuality of non-tolerant religious groups of settlers was contrary to the respect of nature and Native Americans' concepts of collectivity. This proved to be an irreconcilable difference from the very beginning. Private property and other forms of capitalism represented the core of protestant ethics, and were values which differed greatly from those of Native Americans.