In this section, we will attempt to answer the question: What are natural resources?  Are resources different depending on your concept of your relationship to nature?

Recommended reading:
A Yupiaq Worldview: A Pathway to Ecology and Spirit, by Angayuqaq Oscar Kawagley

Presentation prepared by: Dr. Raymond Pierotti

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Discussion points to keep in mind
  • What responsibilities are represented by such a relationship?
  • Indigenous people are "spatially oriented" according to the Hunkpapa Lakota Scholar, Vine Deloria Jr. What does this mean? How important are places to you?
  • Rural; Landscape in eastern Kansas after a January snow. Is this just a place? A piece of property? A place to graze cattle or raise crops? Or does it have additional meaning?
  • The Enlightenment was supposed to break the tyranny of religion and superstition and impose rational behavior on its followers. Do you think this has worked?
  • What does it mean to be outside the economic sphere? Do hunting and fishing produce things that are of value? Are these solely of monetary value, or are there other kinds of value?
  • What are the basic human needs? Do these represent all of your needs, or are there others that you think need to be considered?
  • What is nature's economy? Is it like our market economy?
  • What does it mean for something to be "sacred?" If life is "sacred" how can taking it be justified either for food or monetary gain?
Helpful links
  • To see more speeches by Oren Lyons click here
  • To learn more about the First Salmon Ceremony and the peoples of the salmon click here
  • To learn more about the relationship between Indians and eagles click here
  • For a discussion of this issue that deals with differences between Euro-American and Indigenous views of the natural world read this paper
  • Klubnikin, K., C. Annett, M. Cherkasova, M. Shishin, and I. Fotieva. 2000. The scared and the scientific: Traditional ecological knowledge in Siberian river conservation. Ecological Applications 10: 1296-1306. Read the paper online
  • Annett, C.A. 2001. Another view of the river. Big Muddy: A Journal of the Mississippi River Valley 2:7-19. You can read it online
  • To learn more about Tribes and traditional Lifeways click here