A People’s Ecology: Explorations in Sustainable Living

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Presents a tapestry of perspectives on the interplay of health, cultural ecology, diet, agriculture, and environment, which are foundations of sustainable living, rooted in the historical traditions and practices of Indigenous peoples.



A People’s Ecology presents a tapestry of perspectives on the interplay of health, cultural ecology, diet, agriculture, and environment, which are foundations of sustainable living. It offers personal stories, documented information, traditional understandings, and speculations of future directions. Each contribution calls on us to reclaim our human heritage of “caring for our home fires”—a metaphor that can inspire the revitalization of our connections to the earth, all living things, and each other.

The contributors examine the underlying ecology of sustainable living rooted in the historical traditions, environmental practices, and sense of place of Indigenous peoples, and describe the impact that disruption of this way of life continues to have on health, well-being and communal identity. Drawing on an alternative paradigm of “healthy environment, healthy culture, healthy people,” this book explores possibilities of applying the principles of sustainable living in both non-Native and Native communities.

The authors make a substantial contribution to our knowledge of many subjects, including foods, food traditions, and farming among Indigenous peoples; health problems resulting from the adoption of a “modern” diet by Native communities; efforts to restore the self-reproducing food plants that are the foundation of sustainable agriculture; permaculture and environmental restoration; the folk healing system known as curanderismo; the renaissance of ancient building practices; and organic foods retailers as activists.

Gregory Cajete, Ph.D., is a Tewa Indian from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico, and assistant professor in the College of Education, University of New Mexico.

 

Author: Gregory Cajete, ed.

Illustrations: Black & white photos

Binding Availability: Paperback

Published: 1999

Tribes/Ethnic Groups: Various