Most non-native peoples living in North America today are blissfully unaware of the unique political relationship which exists between native and non-native peoples.
To my knowledge, it's not something that's actively taught in the public school system, or if it's mentioned at all, it's briefly glossed over. This is unfortunate because it gives rise to misconceptions about Indian people and their treaty rights.
I remember when I was growing up in small-town Ontario, I didn't have any clear idea about Indians except what I saw in the westerns that we used to flocked to on Saturday afternoons, and these were grossly misleading propaganda type movies generated by Hollywood.
This misleading slant on our mutual history necessitates that we clear our minds of those old, silly stereotypes which some of us have inadvertently held for years. When we realize that when the white man first landed on the shores of North America, he was an un-invited visitor. The Indians who greeted him were already here for thousands of years and had evolved their own system of beliefs (religion), and their own form of government. They were primarily hunters and gatherers and nomadic to the degree that they followed the great herds to sustain their way of life.
The Indian lived in tune with nature, taking only what he needed to survive and having little, or no impact on his environment.
Each tribe was in fact, a sovereign nation unto itself.
For example, the Haudenosaunee used the two-row wampum as a treaty document to define the relationship established between the Indian nations and several of the European nations as they landed on the shores of North America.
How did the arrival of the Europeans impact on the way of life of the indigenious peoples?