It is estimated from archeological evidence that humans arrived on the Western Hemisphere 15 or 20 thousand years ago. Whatever Native American societies were like - noble or ignoble, we know that the land, ‘from sea to shining sea’, was a land of clean rivers, clean air, vast forests, plains teaming with game and rivers teaming with fish.
Have you read the book ‘1491’? Fascinating! I’m not able to evaluate the scholarship, but it changed my view of American prehistory, although not quite as much as ‘Guns, Germs and Steel’ which explains more.
I guess I’m sort of a Marxist in that I think our ‘values’ depend upon our material circumstances.
Do you think people freely choose their values?
I assume that if the Americas had remained isolated, people would still develop agriculture at the expense of all other species. Using fire to clear land is such a powerful technology, you can do a lot of damage even without steel. But of course the species we favor, such as buffalo or corn, don’t see it as ‘damage’.