In the history of colonization of the modern day area of US and Canada there was a specific effort to otherwise and see all the local people's as one group probably called some derogatory term. It was an outright effort to conflate all the different groups cultures and different ways of living. To help exterminate the different groups culture an existence from reality. It was one important part of the genocides that took place. It was a pretty effective tactic at that.
So for me personally I try to learn about the indigenous groups separately and try to not take assumptions about how they act bc they are indigenous. Now for most this is not possible as for so many groups the knowledge is basically all lost. And even the more well recorded groups not a ton is known and most info comes from a colonialist perspective trying to come to a certain conclusion. It is still useful but a problem to be aware of.
Now for practicality purposes most of my knowledge is on local groups. And even in the close region it gets really diverse. Like the closest group was a literal civilization Cahokia. It was possibly one of the biggest cities of it's time. Complete with significant portion of deforestation and lots of water pollution and being completely reliant on getting food through trade or the outside rural area.
So let's get to my complaint. So many times when indigenous cultures gets brought up it's not much more diverse than this cool way how the indigenous people did cool environmental thing that we could do now.
Now I will admit using the term indigenous to talk about colonization and it being a vector of oppression is very useful. But like using it to refer to what some groups of people do seems kinda outright harmful.
It reminds me a ton of how neck rings are talked about in the states or drinking blood with milk. Oh the Africans and their big ol gold neck rings. Or oh the Africans sometimes drink blood with milk. Like wtf. Hey I'll be the first to admit that neck rings or blood recipe are interesting. But like it's not the Africa that does it. If fact most people in Africa don't do that. It both hegomizizes all the cultural groups in Africa and takes a cultural action away from the original group.
Like it would be so much better if people would say something like "some of the people in massai drink blood with food". Clarification I like in a weird family and this has been brought up a couple times due to discussion about the how drinking blood is actually a pretty smart idea in many situations. More a damn some those people are brighter than most Americans as Americans are too blinded by taboo to logically think about when drinking blood is a good idea.
So my complaint is how about just like say what region or group of indigenous people is doing rather than say the indigenous people do this. It's way more clear and makes it a fuck ton more for finding out more about the thing and the group as a whole.
Like when u say indigenous people that really doesn't narrow it down at all. Like basically that narrows it down to the entire landmass of the world minus Europe and Antarctica. Wow so clear.
Like this meme for instance
I have no idea what this means. The horticulture practices of where? What horticulture practices? Like indigenous horticulture could mean basically anything tbh.
I have to assume it means horticultural practices which are actually sustainable. Now that makes sense. But also not all indigenous groups practiced sustainable or eco friendly food production.
Also I feel like a lot of the use of indigenous comes from stereotyping and racism a bit. Sure many indigenous groups did live lives that I think are very helpful in learning from and immitate in trying to live a life which can actually exist without causing climate armeggedon. But like not all indigenous groups are anti civ idols.
Like no one seems to say it but I think in green spaces as a whole a fuck ton of stereotyping of indigenous people as eco warriors. It's especially apparent in video media. The amount of time I've seen a music video or TV where they need someone to care about the environment so they get a indigenous person pit a feather in their hair and have them wear mocasins is pretty often.
I feel like I've made my point very badly and I'm not exactly sure what I'm criticizing either. It started as a PSA that it's way better to actually use a groups name or say what region they are from when talking about an indigenous group. But I added a greatly complaint about my racism detector goes off a little when people use the term indigenous people rather than just saying who did it.