This continent’s original inhabitants were members of diverse societies and many varying cultural views. Nevertheless, many of the tribes viewed the earth as a sacred mother who provided everything they needed to live. Most cultural viewpoints respected the environment and embraced philosophies of taking only the resources needed to survive. These views clashed with those of colonizers, who used the differences to justify taking tribes’ homelands. These conflicting cultural views of the natural world continue to clash in current struggles over environmental issues. This course explores the traditional views of land as sacred, focusing on in-depth study of the Navajo, Apache, Hopi and Cherokee cultures. It then analyzes the clash between these views and those of the colonizers. Finally, current struggles and legal cases involving land rights, environmental issues and protection of sacred sites are examined, demonstrating that these different cultural views of land continue to cause conflict in the contemporary world.


4 s.h.

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