Guidelines for Indigenous Peoples Papers
I am asking that you write about a specific indigenous group. The final paper should be 10-12 pages typed, complete with a bibliography. A sign-up sheet will be circulated and you will select one of the groups on the list, or you can check with Dr. Mills if there is a group you are interested in but is not on the list. This paper will focus on a particular ethnic or indigenous group, but will require that you integrate and apply many of the concepts from other parts of the course, especially about population and environmental sustainability, collapse, environmental justice, cultural diversity and sacred space.
Part #1 Environmental Sustainability – (Draft due Feb. 11)
A) Traditional Period
– Description of the group/ territory/ type of environment they inhabit/ include a map if available
– Population – find out, if possible, what the population of this group is now and what it might
have been in previous centuries or time periods
– Livelihoods and any environmental impacts – what were the traditional ways of survival
(e.g. hunting and gathering, swidden agriculture, etc.) and what were the environmental
modifications and impacts associated with such practices by this group?
– Was this group living an environmentally sustainable lifestyle in the traditional period?
B) Modern Period: colonization/ modernization/ globalization
– What have been the changes to the traditional agriculture or means of livelihood of this group?
– Population changes? Migrations?
– New environmental impacts or ways this group is affected by the actions of
dominant groups that govern or control them
– Environmentally Sustainable Today? Why not?
Part #2 Identity, Social Well Being and Cultural Survival
A) What is their socio-economic status in their own country and world today (e.g. if possible find out
what their average incomes, infant mortality rates, employment status, education levels, life
expectancy, access to health care, etc. are compared to the average for the country they are
B) Are there now or have there been in the past any human rights abuses? (e.g. discrimination,
persecution, beatings or killings, lack of voting status, unequal treatment in justice system, etc.)
C) Environmental justice issues today? (e.g. unfair pollution, resource extraction, water issues)
D) What are their concerns about cultural survival/ esp. language and religion?
E) Can they still practice their own religion?/ Are there any threats to their sacred places?
F) What broader lessons can we learn from this group? Of what relevance are they to you or to all of
us living in the US today?
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