We Were Not The Savages, First Nations History, 3rd ed.

Collision between European and Native American Civilizations

By Daniel N.  Paul  

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We Were Not the Savages … is unique, in chronological scope and in the story it tells, covering the last three centuries of Mi’kmaq history in detail. Prior to the appearance of this book it was common for historians to downplay or even deny the violence inflicted on the Mi’kmaq people by European and Euro-American colonizers. This work, more than any other piece of scholarly production, has headed off that consensus at a pass. Scalp-bounty policies are now recognized as a historical problem worthy of investigation.

The book will also be of particular interest to readers in the United States for a variety of reasons. First, the early history of colonization in the Maritimes is closely tied to the history of the colonies that became the United States, and as late as the 1750s New England’s political leaders played a prominent role in directing the course of colonial affairs on Cape Breton Island and Nova Scotia. … Second, the chapters on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries provide a detailed and much needed basis of comparison for anyone seeking to understand the similarities and contrasts between the U.S. and Canada on questions of “Indian Affairs.” And finally, it is important to recognize that we have far too few histories written by Native American authors—very few indeed that cover as extensive a time span as this book does.”

— Geoffrey Plank, Associate Professor of History, University of Cincinnati

“Having, over the years … read most of the sources you cite in your book, I had long ago arrived at the same conclusion you have. Certainly, white intrusions everywhere in the world have been disastrous for indigenous peoples.”

— Allison Mitcham, Professor Emeritus, University of Moncton

“Count me in too, among your book’s advocates… [it] knocks the smile off Englishmen who claim their colonial presence among Indians was ‘better’ than that of the Spanish.”

— C. Blue Clark, Interim Director, Native American Legal Center, Oklahoma City

We Were Not the Savages is a provocative and excellent book…. It is brave, insightful, unflinching and above all honest. And, most important, it greatly enhances our positive images of Amerindians.”

— Barry Jean Ancelet, University of Louisiana

“Reading the pages of this book, continually affirms for me, how good it is to be a Mi’kmaq. I so wish that my father was still living. Wouldn’t he be so proud that such a book was available. I also wish that this history book was in existence years ago, a book that now empowers me and fills me with great pride to be a Mi’kmaq.”

— Sister Dorothy Moore, Prominent Mi’kmaq Educator

This updated edition incorporates Daniel Paul’s ongoing research. It clearly and profoundly shows that the horrors of history still rain upon the First Nations people of the present.

DANIEL PAUL is an ardent spokesperson and activist for human rights. He holds, among many awards, an honorary degree in Letters, Université Sainte-Anne, Church Point, Nova Scotia. He is a member of the Order of Canada and a member of the Order of Nova Scotia.

  • PDF
  • ISBN: 9781773635125
  • July 2021
  • $28.99
  • For sale worldwide
  • EPUB
  • ISBN: 9781773635118
  • July 2021
  • $28.99
  • For sale worldwide

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  • Civilization, Democracy and Government
  • Mi’Kmaq Social Values and Economy
  • European Greed and the Mi’Kmaq Resolve to Fight
  • Persecution, War, Alliance and Terrorism
  • The Treaty of 1725 and Proclamations
  • Flawed Peace and the Treaty of 1749
  • More Bounties for Human Scalps and the Treaty of 1752
  • The Futile Search for a Just Peace, 1752-1761
  • Burying of the Hatchet Ceremony of 1761 and the Royal Proclamation of 1763
  • Dispossession and the Imposition of Poverty
  • The Edge of Extinction
  • Confederation and the Indian Act
  • Twentieth-Century Racism and Centralization
  • The Struggle for Freedom
  • Afterword


  • Daniel N.  Paul

    Chair of the Council on Mi’Kmaq Education and the Committee of Canadian Genocide Scholars

    Daniel N. Paul was born in 1938 on the Indian Brook Reserve, Nova Scotia, and now resides in Halifax with his wife Patricia. Paul, a freelance lecturer and journalist, is an ardent activist for human rights. He is a former justice of the peace and a former member of the NS Police Commission and has served on several other provincial commissions, including the Human Rights Commission and the Nova Scotia Department of Justice’s Court Re-structuring Task Force. He holds, among many awards, honorary degrees from the University of Sainte Anne and Dalhousie University and is a member of both the Order of Canada and the Order of Nova Scotia. Previously, Paul was employed by the Department of Indian Affairs and was the founding executive director of the Confederacy of Mainland Mi’kmaq (CMM). His writing career includes a novel, Chief Lightning Bolt, several booklets, magazine articles, hundreds of newspaper columns, chapters for a dozen or so edited books.

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