A satellite photo of the Bering Strait today. Photo from NASA via Wikipedia
Imagine you are part of a small group of nomadic hunters, compelled for some unknown reason to leave your territory and drift to the northeast. Your journey may take decades to complete and might even continue long after your death. It began in the middle of a vast continent and involves moving towards a barren land of high mountain ranges marked by long, brutally cold winters. Hunting was a challenge in your former region only it is much more difficult as your band heads deeper into the frigid north. Finally, after years of deprivation and starvation the scouts ahead of your group comes to the shore of a great salt sea, the other side of which is lost in heavy fog. Your band presses on even as the few remaining animals disappear and none among you has mastered the skills necessary to harvest food from the sea. Ahead of you unfolds a vast plain of treacherous bog across which no large mammal can pass. Since this marshy land lies stretched between two polar oceans, it is swept by hurricane force storms which drive the temperatures so low skin turns to ice wherever it is in contact with the air. Superhuman effort is needed to endure the horrors of your journey but the ever dwindling band presses on, driven to the east by a strange compulsion which defies understanding. Most of your group dies of hunger on the bogs but a few manage to stumble forward until they reach a new land, void of human habitation. Once again there are unending mountain ranges to climb without any expectation the arctic atmosphere will end. Finally, there is a glimmer of hope. Far ahead you spot a bright band of blue and white shimmering in the distance. Perhaps these are low lying clouds covering a sheltering valley where you might once again shed your heavy animal pelt cloaks and bask in the warm sun. As you get closer to the area your spirits are crushed for directly before the company is a tremendous glacier two miles high and stretching beyond site from the north to the south. Some of your band want to return across the bogs but others insist there is a way through the ice. As if by magic they find a chasm in the glacier which they eagerly enter and walk its entire 1,500 mile length without food of any kind while contorting their frail bodies through a narrow wind tunnel marked by 200 mph blasts of frigid air. They emerge from the glacier to discover a fertile land of wooly mammoths, giant bison and vast herds of horses-all of which migrated west. Your group is overjoyed by what they find and quickly populate the continent. Mysteriously, they ignore the smaller game creatures and risk their lives to exterminate the largest animals . In time, your descendants will drift apart and within an astonishingly short period develop over 500 languages and dialects to communicate across hundreds of nations spread over two continents. As strange as the above sounds it is the basis upon which many otherwise intelligent scientists have determined the western hemisphere was first populated by human beings. Anyone with a shred of common sense will come to the conclusion the Bering Strait migration theory is irrational, one of the great lies used to undermine our status as indigenous peoples. It is a theory-lie for no true physical evidence exists which supports this concept. It is a lie because the only time a land bridge connected Asia and the Americas together was during the ice age of 10,000 years ago when human life in that region was impossible. Then there is the other serious problem with the Bering Strait theory: it collapses when archaeologists find evidence humans were here long before the end of the last Ice Age. Such evidence has been uncovered in South America, New Mexico and California. But if Indians did not come from Asia where are their origins? The answer lies within Native oral histories for those willing to listen, learn and believe. Doug George-Kanentiio, Akwesasne Mohawk, is the former editor of the journal Akwesasne Notes. A founding member of the Native American Journalists Association he served on the Board of Trustees for the National Museum of the American Indian. He is the author of many books and articles about aboriginal people including "Iroquois on Fire". He may be reached via e-mail: Kanentiio@aol or by calling 315-415-7288.
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