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.
But dislocated Indians had to live somewhere, and they invariably wound up in the proximity of other Indian communities, threatening the resources of the people who were already there.
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.
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.
However, few really celebrate this aspect of their heritage.
Fifty years ago, in North Carolina especially, there were large groups of people who saw themselves as Black Indians. Franklin Frazier discusses them in depth in The Negro Family in the United States.
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.
In coastal South Carolina, there are the Gullah people, and in coastal Georgia the Geechies.