I like that the holiday celebrates immigration and imagination. The holiday IS tainted by the sad history of what the original settlers ended up doing to the Indians. But before all that there was the hope that the two cultures (Europe and Native American) could combine and make a greater civilization. Imagine what the country would be like had the Europeans decided to work with instead of against the Native Americans. I'm sure given the opportunity they would have chosen not to be wiped out.
But if the two cultures did blend would we be as techologically and medically advanced as we are now? Probably, but I'm not sure. Would a Native American influenced culture have agreed with sending a man to the moon or even conceived of it? Probably, but I'm not sure. Would this culture be warring and able to defend itself against other nations and compete in the global economy of today? Probably, but I'm not sure.
I see the downfalls of this theory as I write it. This theory assumes that the Native American healthy respect for Mother Nature would have slowed down the murder of the planet but who am I to say that given the opportunity they wouldn't have evolved into the same greedy people we are today. These weren't stupid people. They didn't really have an idea of land ownership but they would probaby have come around and they probably would have become the same as we are today had they been given the opportunity to evolve sociologically, techonogically, politcally, etcetera without the constant worry of being killed.
Or maybe the original settlers would have become nomadic instead of settlers. They probably could have integrated themselves with the Native American tribes they ended up protecting themselves against and we could all have cool names like Running Deer Smith and Runs With Rabbits Smith.
Either way - if the two cultures had combined instead of clashed we would still probably be celebrating this holiday.
If anyone knows of any essays, fiction or non-fiction, that also shares this historic speculation, please feel free to suggest it, to point me in that direction.