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Re: Native Fishery Managers


Patricia Clay <[log in to unmask]>


Academic forum on fisheries ecology and related topics <[log in to unmask]>


Thu, 5 Dec 1996 16:42:57 -0500





text/plain (1 lines)

> From [log in to unmask] Thu Dec 5 16:35:57 1996
> Mime-Version: 1.0
> Content-Transfer-Encoding: 7Bit
> X-Beyondmail-Priority: 1
> Conversation-Id: <199612051529.KAA23660@atlantis>
> Subject: Re: Native American Fishery Managers?
> Comments: cc: [log in to unmask]
> To: Multiple recipients of list FISHFOLK <[log in to unmask]>
> The key portion of Aldo-Pier Soleri's query was:
> > > I would like to know if there are any fishery policies, in the US
> > > or elsewhere, set up _by and for_ the indians. The aim is to
> > > attempt learning their ancient views (ecological philosophy,
> > > etc.) on exploitation of fish resources.
> In the northwestern US those Indian tribes which made treaties with the US in
> the mid-1800s have legally established authority and responsibility for
> comanagement of the fishery resources with the state governments. Therefore,
> any policies that apply to the shared resources (such as escapement policies
> for salmon) are jointly set up and adopted by the Indian and non-Indian
> managers.
> The technical basis for these policies necessarily reflects a mostly modern
> world view since the ancient world view does not hold much weight in the US
> federal court which is the arbitrer of disputes over the interpretation of
> treaty rights. One consequence of this is that the tribes are forced to hire
> biologists (such as myself) who are well versed in the modern reductionistic
> scientific world view. Also, the tribal responsibility for fishery management
> is carried out under the authority of the tribal governments which were set up
> under great influence from the US Bureau of Indian affairs, and therefore
> reflect the non-Indian, more than the Indian, philosophy.
> Nonetheless individual tribal members and tribal leaders still carry on
> traditions related to natural resources. For example, the Tulalip Tribes
> hold a First Salmon Ceremony each spring to celebrate the annual renewal of
> cycle. The ceremony reflects the reverence and respect the people have always
> held for the resource, and the ancient songs and dances are combined with
> modern speeches reaffirming importance of restoring and maintaining the
> resource today.
> Ceremonies such as this one perhaps provide a glimpse into ecological
> philosophies prevalent in this area before the arrrival of Europeans.
> Unfortunately the vast majority of non-Indian citizens in this area are so
> devising their own schemes for "saving" the salmon and other species that they
> do not have time to learn what they can from the relics of ancient wisdom
> is available from their native neighbors.
> > > This could be an interesting opportunity to, perhaps, incorporate
> > > ancient ecological knowledge into our reductionistic scientific
> > > world.
> There is an internet discussion group whose subject is indigenous knowledge
> applied to natural resource management. You can subscribe by sending eMail to
> [log in to unmask] with "subscribe indknow <firstname> <lastname>" in
> the body of the message. Currently this is a fairly low-traffic list.
> Kit Rawson
> Tulalip Tribes
> Marysville, WA USA
> (360) 651-4478 [log in to unmask]

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