Impact of discovery discussed

By Michael Berg

The impact of Christopher Columbus’ “discovering” America in 1492 on the Indians and people today was discussed Wednesday night.

“Our history did not begin in 1492,” said James Yellowbank, an Indian from the Indian Treaty Rights Committee. “To say that is ignoring 30,000 years of my history.”

Yellowbank said he was a Winnebago Indian from several hundred miles north on Lake Michigan. For thousands of years, his people “knew the natural law was one of common sense,” he said.

Yellowbank compared Indian philosophy to a bumblebee who goes to a flower and takes only what it needs to survive, because it knows that following generations would have to go back

While the Indians were in balance with nature, in 1492 Europeans had lost balance, he said.

Europe was engulfed in poverty, disease and war, Yellowbank said. “Europe was using the world as its battleground.

“Europeans overpopulated, lost balance and left home,” Yellowbank said. “Unhappy people want to change.

“Our people talk about a spirit that came here to this earth, an impostor that uses isolation from the natural law,” Yellowbank said. “Isolation that comes with greed and arrogance, the need to dominate, manipulate and accumulate.”

This spirit arrived with the Europeans.

“When we became that way, we found we were isolated from the natural world,” he said. “We no longer had plants and animals, we had livestock and agriculture. We changed.”

When the Europeans came to America, the groups like the Incas and Mayans were called advanced, while really they were in decay, Yellowbank said. “They went away because they went against the natural law.”

He compared the situation in 1492 to today, and Bush’s new world order. “From the Arctic to the Amazon, the whole hemisphere is under attack by the new world order,” he said. In the last 12 years, the U.S. administrations have given the control of the economy to multinational corporations.

“(This year) should be a time of healing, expanding our thinking, go beyond 500 years to 5000 years to the real source of the problem,” Yellowbank said. Each individual can find answers in daydreams and creativeness, he said.

“Look between the lines, question reality,” he said. “Lightning and thunder, that’s reality and power. That’s what you should be studying in this university.”

The discussion was a part of National Hispanic Month.