Sunday, February 14, 2021

Lee Klinger – Indigenous-based forest management – looking to the past for a way forward •Nov 14, 2019


I'm happy to introduce you to the work of Lee Klinger that appears in this book by Jacobs, D. T. [Four Arrows] (2006). Unlearning the language of conquest: Scholars expose anti-Indianism in America (University of Texas Press). He is the only non-Native American contributor to this anthology and his work is outstanding. His specific contribution is titled, "Ecological Evidence of Large-Scale Silviculture by California Indians," pp. 153-165. It debunks myths about Indigenous peoples of the Americas as lacking in technological know-how. 

Far from it. Silviculture refers to the extraordinary scientific knowledge and wisdom of our Indigenous ancestors to maintain and preserve forests.  Modern humans are mostly not even able to think at the level about which he writes and speaks as in this video appearing below.  That is, our Native ancestors to this continent tended not only gardens and farms, but actual forests and woodlands. They set trees and forests on fire with great knowledge and intention, yielding the impressive groves of the giant sequoias and redwoods in the Northwestern regions of the country, known as California and Oregon today.

If we are to save ourselves and the planet, we would do well to revitalize and embrace Indigenous languages, wisdom, knowledge, and ways of knowing and being in relation with Mother Earth. Thankfully, as you can hear in this video presentation, this is exactly what Klinger is doing.

Check out an earlier illuminating blog where I post a piece on Four Arrows titled, "The Indigenization Controversy  For Whom and By Whom?"

Finally, Unlearning the Language of Conquest  is an excellent addition to your bookshelf, as well.

-Angela Valenzuela

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