Re: Indigenous folks protect environment?

Thu, 13 Oct 1994 21:04:58 EDT

The Saami (Same, Sami, Lapps) are *the* answer to this question,
for reasons that perhaps are of interest. It's not on the the-
oretical plane, particularly; there are other ethnicities that
have even longer traditions of subsistence economies, marginal-
ity to hegemonic polities, minority linguistic status, and so on.
However, on a pragmatic level, it's the Saami, among Europeans,
who keep getting invited to Fourth World political action con-
ferences, whose photographs appear in journalistic coverage of
protests against mines and dams, and whose folkways receive
mention in academic publications. There are good reasons for
this, but they're not just the superficial ones.

I suggest, therefore, that a closer and explicitly comparative
look at the Saami might reward those interested in how "Western
society" evaluates ethnicity, resource management, and cognition.

It is not only such groups, however, that can be said to develop
local resource management strategies. There are Japanese cooperatives,
small community access rules in Lofoten, Norway and in the outports of
Newfoundland, Canada, just to name a few. I can supply references for those
who may be interested.

Trish Clay

Cameron Laird ( +1 713 267 7966 ( +1 713 996 8546

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