Again, the savage Indian
14th June, 2000
Kirkpatrick Sale is shocked by a new and disturbing view of the ecological role of the American Indian.
It’s hard to believe, but there seems to be an attempt to try to discredit the now-familiar image of the American Indian as an ecological model, thus eliminating in a single blow one of the fundamental inspirations for the modern environmental movement and a festering source of recurring guilt that is lodged deep in the American psyche.
The conspiracy, if that’s not too grand a word for it, is largely the project of academics, a nit-picking fraternity that manages to break forth only when it is called upon to serve the masters at whose tables they are allowed to nibble the crumbs. But the real forces behind it are the powers whose onward course of exploitation and despoliation is being challenged by environmental regulations rooted in a regard for nature that was assumed to be the principal legacy of the natives of this continent.
Their theory being that if you can discredit the history of those native peoples, and make them out to be just as ruthless and disrespectful of the natural world as you are, you can effectively disarm the environmental critics: See, we all do it, have always done it, it’s human nature, it’s progress don’t you know, and there’s no stopping it....
To view the rest of this article - you must be a paying subscriber and Login
Using this website means you agree to us using simple cookies.