OOS 37-7
American Indian resilience and reproduction of ecological knowledge

Thursday, August 14, 2014: 10:10 AM
306, Sacramento Convention Center
Enrique Salmon, Department of Ethnic Studies, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA

Resilience theorists seek to understand the source and role of change, particularly the kinds of change that are transforming, lead to adaptive systems, and are sustainable.  When applied to Indigenous communities attention is given to social adaptations that occur in episodes interspersed with periods when “cultural capital" builds up.  Suddenly these periods are flavored with what are called “reorganizations” of social legacies.  This episodic behavior is caused by interactions between short term and long term cultural variables. In other words, the merging of ancestral and new kinds of social and ecological knowledge 


This presentation will examine American Indian cultural resilience manifested in the social and linguistic reproduction of ecological knowledge.  A conclusion that will be suggested is that specific American Indian adaptations are the result of enduring ecological processes that have become encoded in American Indian grammars, lexicons, and language.