Re: Indigenous folks protect environment?

Harold Hietala (hhietala@SUN.CIS.SMU.EDU)
Sat, 17 Sep 1994 13:27:56 -0500

On Sat, 17 Sep 1994, Rob Quinlan wrote:

> In the last week or so I've seen several postings which seem to take as a
> foregone conclusion that indigenous people know how to take care of their
> environment. To me this notion sounds like Rousseauean, hogwash. If
> indigenous peoples environments are less messed-up than our own, then I suggest
> it's because there are just less of them.
> Since when has swiddening been an environmentally sensitive approach?
> Is anyone interested in talking about this?
> RQ

Yes, another excellent example is afforded by the Bedouin. They, for
example have done an excellent job of devastating their natural
environment over the past 10,000 years. How about
Easter Island! Anyway, this is not to distract from the focus (however
romantic, and I dearly love it) that the indigenous peoples of the world
are certainly more in tune with the planet than are we of the
industrialized nations. I think we need to keep things in perspective.
The simple idea that indigenous peoples are perfect is, to me, a fatuous
notion based on human worship.