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
Trending Today
This Impassioned Post by a Charlottesville Resident Sets The Record Straight
Lisa Moore32,176 views today ·
This Chilling Charlottesville Doc Should Be Required Viewing for all Americans
22 min1,719 views today ·
Drawing Equivalencies Between Fascists and Anti-Fascists Is Not Just Wrong, It's Dangerous
Stanislav Vysotsky1,197 views today ·
I Know Islamic State. What They Fear More Than Bombs Is Unity
Nicolas Hénin929 views today ·
Peter Joseph & Abby Martin on Abolishing Capitalism
45 min807 views today ·
A Reformed White Nationalist Speaks Out on Charlottesville
Stacey Vanek Smith607 views today ·
This Animation About The Clitoris Will Amuse and Educate
3 min603 views today ·
Anti-Fracking Activists Celebrate Ruling Against Major Pipeline
Jessica Corbett563 views today ·
Dismantling Power: the Zapatista Indigenous Presidential Candidate's Vision to Transform Mexico From Below
Benjamin Dangl558 views today ·
Load More
Join us on Facebook
How Native Americans Managed "Wild" Land Long Before Settlers