The Spaniards who came to the New World to bring salvation and extract gold were not Sunday School Teachers. Historian Alvin M. Josephy Jr. painted a clear picture of these “missionaries”:
“As the pre-Columbian world disappeared, the fires of Eurocentrism burned on, now attempting to erase the history, cultures, and achievements of that world from memory. In the Yucatán, the Spaniards burned or destroyed almost every Mayan book in their efforts to convert those Indians to Christianity. In the flames, posterity lost, until recently, the ability to read Maya’s radiant pre-Columbian civilization.
In New England, after the Puritans of Massachusetts Bay had come to view the powerful Pequot Indians as “children of Satan,” they tried with fire and sword to blot out every sign that these Indians ever existed. Making holy war on them in 1637, they massacred Pequots by the hundreds parceling out the relatively few survivors among other tribes with the vain hope that even the name Pequot would vanish. Across both continents, only a small number Europeans thought it worthwhile to pass on to future generations records of the “curious” societies they were destroying.”
Of course these attitudes were passed on to their successors the European settlers, such as Canadians and Americans. As a consequence these attitudes formed the basis–the fundamental basis–of Canada and the United States. Not a great foundation for noble societies.