Re: Indigenous Greed?

Bret Diamond (diam9018@TAO.SOSC.OSSHE.EDU)
Mon, 6 Mar 1995 23:25:51 -0800

"backwardness" of native peoples. Danny Yee writes about the
unsustainability of swidden horticulture as practiced by many indigenous
groups for thousands of years. Biologists, Anthropologists, and Soil
Scientists, (among others) have published numerous reports dispelling the
myth that swidden horticulture is not sustainable. The key factor in its
success, is a large enough area of land in order to provide for
sufficiant rotations/fallow periods for the land to recover. As the
available land supply diminishes, so does the viability of swidden
techniques. But again, we need to remember that these people are merely
trying to feed themselves, not buy a new Lexus or put a down payment on a
ski condo at Vail.
I believe that if we are to have any hope for our future, we need
to reexamine the ways that we use the earth. We have the potential to
learn a lot from native peoples that have 20 or 30 thousand years of on
the job training.