Blog Assignment #5

I believe that LaDuke’s thesis is “There is a direct relationship between the loss of cultural diversity and the loss of biodiversity.” I believe that LaDuke made a clear connection between tribal issues and how they related both to the environment and to each particular tribes culture that was having the issue being discussed. As LaDuke goes through each chapter and each story, I feel that the relevancy of each issue becomes stronger, and by the time we get to the end of the book we are looking at issues that tribal people and nations are facing today (2014) in the United States of America. I believe that LaDuke did a good job of supporting her thesis in the book because every class discussion we were looking at both issues dealing with biodiversity as well as issues dealing with cultural aspects being effected by environmental issues. I absolutely enjoyed this book, not just the content but the class discussions that developed from reading it. The first case study I liked was the White Earth case, in the Great Lakes region of Minnesota. This case study showed how mineral assets could be assessed and how quickly ownership of land could change hands. The second case study I enjoyed was the Buffalo Nations. This took a cultural aspect in the beginning of the chapter to help me grasp the importance of nature, environment and culture. In the 1800’s buffalo killing was part of a military policy; however so many Native tribes honored the buffalo as being sacred. The problem this created was that the killing of buffalo’s contradicted with Buffalo Nations beliefs causing them to second guess their tribes teachings and question their cultures. This made the connection of biodiversity and cultural diversity clear to me. The third example from the test I enjoyed was Hawai’i. I liked how this chapter talked about how Hawaii became the island it is today and that the original Hawaiians were actually from other places in the south pacific. This chapter also talked about how many plants that are on Hawaii today were not indigenous to the island. I believe that the way Hawaii was originally colonized (by indigenous people) would be the correct way to colonize a place, for the sake of knowledge and living better rather than for the sake of capital gain.

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