12-2 Winter 2000 “Land is Life” Resource Guide

Nov 15th, 2000 | By | Category: 12-2: Land is Life, Resource Guides
By Dale Engstrom

Culturally relevant resources for environmental science instructors

As noted in previous Resource Guides in the Tribal College Journal, it has always been difficult to find resource materials with cultural content for teaching environmental sciences in the tribal college setting. Although limited, we are just rounding the corner and finding more of these materials. Most of these newest resources are found on the Internet. Textbooks have become more environmentally oriented and therefore more sensitive to the needs of the Earth and her systems. Some texts have even started to include a few references to tribal traditional ways of dealing with the environment. 

However, the texts have not caught up with the worldwide web. The most interesting sources for new teaching materials are from the rapidly increasing indigenous internet sites with links to science resources. Native American communities have empowered the internet as an effective communication device and are using it to their own ends.


Native American perspectives, Traditional Ecological Knowledge, and ecology: Native Americans and the Environment

This excellent website is provided by a nonprofit group to educate the public about environmental problems in Native American communities, to explore Native American values and historical experiences on environmental issues, and to promote conservation practices that respect Native American lands and resources. Topics include historical-cultural issues, energy, social justice, fisheries and forestry, treaty rights, management and conservation, and ecotourism. Cyberlinks to many other fascinating places are provided. http://conbio.rice.edu/nae/index.html

Native Americas

The Native Americas journal provides an indigenous viewpoint in articles about issues in the Western Hemisphere. The journal is produced by Cornell University and is usually very current. A subscription version is also available. http://nativeamericas.aip.cornell.edu/Default2.html

Alaska Native Knowledge Network

The Alaskan Native Knowledge Network is a website produced by the Alaskan Federation of Natives, a coalition of five Alaskan tribes, through National Science Foundation funding to promote the teaching of traditional ecological knowledge and preserving the traditions of these peoples. This website contains a variety of environmental articles with local concerns. There are also a few cyberlinks to other websites. http://www.ankn.uaf.edu/tek.html

The Inuit Circumpolar Conference

This conference was convened to consider the integration of two ways of knowing, traditional indigenous knowledge and scientific knowledge. The text from this conference considers the value of each of these ways and the methods to integrate the two ways. Integration was put to the test using real environmental issues in the Arctic. http://www.inusiaat.com/tek.html

Dene Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK)

The Canadian Arctic Resources Committee provides this excellent website to explore the Dene Traditional Knowledge and the relationship of TEK to ecosystems and environmental issues. Most of the articles come from Northern Lights, a quarterly journal that is available by subscription or through this website. Information also comes from books, briefs, and papers. http://www.carc.org/pubs/

Bridging Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Ecosystem Science

This website from Northern Arizona University (Flagstaff, AZ) offers the proceedings from this conference about traditional ecological knowledge in the forest ecosystem. The website has a fair table of content and ordering information. http://www.for.nau.edu/TEK-SCIConf/proceedings.html

Conservation Ecology

The Resilience Alliance at the University of Florida maintains this website to provide access to Conservation Ecology, a journal with very timely articles. This website is not tribal (not TEK) but is very relevant. http://www.consecol.org/Journal/

An article you should not miss discusses the two cultures of ecology, analytical and integrative, and the impact of the ecological approach on the environment. http://www.consecol.org/Journal/vol2/iss2/art4/

Ecology and Climate Change of Glacier National Park

An excellent website provided by the park with a wide assortment of information. For example, you can see remote camera pictures of grizzly bears in the bear DNA project, take an electronic field trip, and look into the park’s research projects, including global climatic changes in the park and mountain landscape ecology. You can see the succession of vegetation in the park over a hundred years as part of a project to predict the impact of climatic change. This site also provides good links to other research sites and national parks around the country. http://www.mesc.usgs.gov/glacier/

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