Here’s one example from the South Pacific (there are examples almost everywhere):
People first arrived to the Marquesas Islands (where I met Poemoana) around 900 A.D., and the population began to grow. At its peak, the population reached more than 50,000. But by 1926, after 150 years of sustained contact with Europeans, it collapsed to 2,225.
There are stories like this all over the world, including many in Canada, where I’m from. Angela Code recently wrote about this as a Sayisi Dene person (posted on March 23, 2020).
The world is a little quieter right now, so perhaps we can listen to stories we might not know, but that have shaped the world and the lives of so many.
“‘Ia ora na Jenny
Triste maladie qui je l’espère ne sera pas à l’image des grandes maladies subies par nos îles les siècles derniers
Je t’embrasse et sais que nous aurons l’occasion de nous revoir, espérons le l’année prochaine.”