Christopher Nyerges Talks About the Old Ways–Part 2

This week’s DestinySurvival Radio featured noted survivalist author and instructor Christopher Nyerges to talk more about the old ways. Catch up on info about the first part of our conversation here.

Christopher has immersed himself in the ways of American Indians because he sees great value in them.

As noted in Part 1, we can easily be duped into a romanticized view of how the Indians lived. Their ways varied from tribe to tribe and location to location because they had their own culture, religion, politics, etc.

But, in general terms, what can you and I learn from them that could help us survive hard times yet to come? What’s relevant and what’s not? Here are a few things to consider.

Concept of Time–If technology fails, we’ll be forced to do without many things. But what’s the one thing we’ll have plenty of? Time. Will we know how to use it? The Indians weren’t slaves to the clock as we are.

Reverence for All Things–We would do well to have greater reverence for things around us. Our consumer based way of life thinks little of good stewardship. Respect for resources means taking to heart the idea to recycle, reduce, reuse.

Family, Home and Community–Many of us want to build prepper communities. Isn’t it sad that we have to think of such a thing? We used to be more family and community oriented. Many Indians have strong ties to land, elders, family and tribes.

Self Reliance–While we as preppers pride ourselves on working toward greater self reliance, what would make that more necessary than the primitive conditions we may one day face?

Heroes and Leaders–Who are our heroes today? Celebrities? Sports figures? And who are our equivalents to chiefs and spiritual leaders? At the risk of sounding collectivist, are we too centered on ourselves as individuals?

Role of the Sexes–Women had a high place in the culture of many tribes. They didn’t have to be feminists. Men and women had distinctive and necessary functions.

Outlook on Money–Must everything be viewed with regard to its monetary worth? Is it possible to function in a social structure that values things and people in a more enlightened way? The Indians relied heavily on trading goods of value, rather than exchanging money.

Transportation–The introduction of horses several hundred years ago brought changes to the Indians’ way of life. But we don’t have the number of horses they did in times past. What would we do without modern transportation? We’d certainly have to do a lot of walking or make other arrangements, such as traveling by boat.

We would have to adjust our view on time accordingly because a trip which normally takes 15 minutes now might be a half day’s journey.

Mindset–This one’s a must for survival, as you’ve no doubt heard plenty of times before. So many things can factor into it, but some key pillars are our ability to do without, resourcefulness, personal morality, and our relationships with others.

Find Out More

As I’ve stated elsewhere, Christopher packs so much into his conversations that you really owe it to yourself to hear part 2 of my interview with him when you listen to DestinySurvival Radio for April 25, 2013/a>. Check out Christopher’s site at You might also take a look at

Christopher is open to answering your questions. Contact him through his site or e-mail me, and I’ll forward your message to him.

While I’m intrigued by native American ways, I don’t want to become an Indian. But there’s a disturbing way the plight of most of us could be like that of the Indians. If we have civil war here in America, many of us will be brutally wounded, killed and relocated to designated areas.

No matter how well armed we think we are, we won’t be able to stand up against modern military forces should they come against us. There will be no justice or mercy. We may then know what it feels like to be in the Indians’ place.

For Further Reading

Part 1 includes mention of several books Christopher recommends. He brought up more in our discussion summarized above. Plus, at the end of the list I’ll add one more I’ve read.

  • How the Irish Saved Civilization, by Thomas Cahill–Though not related to native American history, this book describes the slow decline of the Roman empire. We may be on the same path.
  • The Mystic Warriors of the Plains, by Thomas E. Mails–This one describes the culture, art, crafts and religion of Plains Indians. Christopher acknowledges it may romanticize Indians, but it is still of value.
  • Extreme Simplicity, by Christopher and Dolores Nyerges–Find out how Christopher and his late wife simplified their lives in an urban setting.
  • Killing the White Man’s Indian, by Fergus M. Bordewich–Written in the mid 1990’s, this book takes a frank look at the complexities of how Indians are surviving in modern society.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

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