The Europeans invaded and claimed the indians land along with all the resources found on it. The explorers did this without thanking the natives, instead they prayed to god feeling it was him who led them to the fertile lands filled with corn ready to be harvested. Cabeza de Vaca even mentions that towards the beginning of their expedition they captured five or six indians and forced them to lead the explorers to their homes. There they found the indians corn that was ready to be harvested. He is quoted saying "And we gave infinite thanks to our Lord for having aided us in so great need, because we were most certainly new to these hardships, beyond the fatigue we suffered, we came very worn out from hunger". At no point does he mention thanking the indians who grew and tended to the corn only to have it stolen from them in an unholy manor from the holy Spaniards.
The Spaniards considered the native population of the Americas "barbarians". The possibility that their way of life could be an alternate yet equally successful way to theirs was never considered. They felt it was their job to bring their Lord to who they felt to be uncivilized people. Cabeza de Vaca begins his testament to the King of Spain by saying he would like to bring their faith in the Christian God to the Indians. At the end of Cabeza de Vaca's eight year endeavor once he was reunited with other soldiers of the crown they forced indians they had captured to begin building a cathedral. The idea being that the first monument made in the new lands should be a testament to their God, without any thoughts to what the natives may hold sacred.
Once realizing the terrain was strange and different to what they were used to navigating it became evident to the explorers they would need guidance. Instead of making peaceful agreements with the indians they are seen taking them captive at many points towards the beginning of the novel. Once they have overpowered the natives they force them to act as guides for the soldiers. Although their lines of communication are weak they gesture that they wish to be led to treasures such as gold and corn. The indians have no choice but to attempt to bring them towards anything that might satisfy their captors. The Spaniards would have never overpowered a fellow Christian man with such little regard to their families and lives they were leaving behind like they did to that of the indians.
European explorers had little respect and placed little value on the lives of the non Christians they encountered upon their arrival in the Americas. The spanish soldiers over powered the indians, and used all their available resources. Such cruel treatment would have never been displayed towards followers of the Christian faith.