How Native Americans Managed "Wild" Land Long Before Settlers
How Native Americans Managed "Wild" Land Long Before Settlers
By Sami Grover / treehugger.com
Jun 16, 2016

When European settlers first came to North America, they assumed they were looking at "untouched" nature. Sure, there were native peoples, but history tells us they didn't value the skills or knowledge of the existing civilizations too highly. The fertile landscapes they were beholding must have been ordained direct from God. In making this assumption, they overlooked one of the most sophisticated, wide-spread and sustainable forms of land management ever practiced.


 

Many of these landscapes were not "wild" or untouched by humans—they were in fact carefully created using a broad range of indigenous, land management techniques. Now sustainable agriculture activists are seeking to revive the knowledge that has been lost.

The video above from Perennial Solutions is yet another reminder that we overlook traditional knowledge at our peril. And while the idea of sustainable burning as an agriclutural method may sound alien to many euro-centric ears, we've already learned from Australia that traditional fire management as practiced by native people in Australia can actually help fight climate change.

 

But fire management is just one part of it. Transporting "wild" seeds (seed bombsanyone?), regenerative harvesting (like coppicing), and selective domestication (withoutfancy seed banks) were all tools in the Native American sustainable agricultural toolbox. And they shaped a "wilderness" that has since been largely lost under European-style agriculture.

]

 

As the video suggests, check out the Woodbine Ecology Center to learn what's being done to bring these skills back.

More on Indigenous People and Sustainability
Traditional Fire Management Helps Fight Climate Change
Indigenous People's Climate Change Summit Giving Unified Voice
Indigenous Rights Crucial to Reducing Carbon Emissions from Forestry

0.0 ·
0

Support Films For Action

Films For Action empowers citizens with the information they need to help create a more just, sustainable, and democratic society.

We receive no government or corporate funding and rely on our supporters to keep us going. Donate today.

Trending Today
The White Man in That Photo
Riccardo Gazzaniga34,816 views today ·
The Invention of Capitalism: How a Self-Sufficient Peasantry was Whipped Into Industrial Wage Slaves
Yasha Levine11,779 views today ·
10 Female Revolutionaries That You Probably Didn't Learn About In History class
Kathleen Harris5,957 views today ·
When We Judge a Person Harshly With a Label or Dismissal, We Kill the Human Being Inside of Them
Tim Hjersted2,771 views today ·
Today I Rise: This Beautiful Short Film Is Like a Love Poem For Your Heart and Soul
4 min2,198 views today ·
We All Suffer in This Love-Desert Society That We've Created - Is There an Alternative?
Tim Hjersted1,791 views today ·
Gabor Mate: Toxic Culture - How Materialistic Society Makes Us Ill
30 min1,127 views today ·
Why Natural Disasters Aren’t All That Natural
Ksenia Chmutina, Jason Von Meding, JC Gaillard & Lee Bosher808 views today ·
This Facebook Comment About the UK Election Is Going Viral
Chris Renwick802 views today ·
Load More
Join us on Facebook
How Native Americans Managed "Wild" Land Long Before Settlers