this is my final thought on the question of whether the changes to Iroquois and Sioux are "politically motivated", or done for "pc reasons", vs. the idea that they were just done for historical accuracy:
These two things are not a dichotomy. The decision is both political and also done for historical accuracy at the same time. Historical accuracy is inherently political. It is impossible for the intepretation and representation of past societies in art to NOT be political. There was a political context to the original representations of the Sioux and Iroquois, which is different from the political context of the current changes. There's no such thing as neutral, or apolitical history.
The way I see it, all the civs are historically innaccurate in a certain way-- cannons pushed by 1 guy, guys with little bucklers and swords countering heavy cavalry, etc. But the Sioux and Iro civs were particularly bad, in that they incorporated a variety of "magical" elements into what is supposed to be a game based on real time periods. So fixing the fire pit and animal conversion just brings the Sioux and Iro up to par, making them as historically innaccurate as the rest of the civs. As for gold mining... I don't know if the person who decided that is the be-all end-all expert on Native Americans, and I actually think that mining might have existed in north America more than people assume. But I'm fine with the change if it can be made balanced.
i think in terms of whether these changes affect balance, we just have to wait and see
the sax rider rides again