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Environmental Ethics

Volume 12, Issue 1, Spring 1990

Annie L. Booth, Harvey L. Jacobs
Pages 27-43

Ties that Bind
Native American Beliefs as a Foundation for Environmental Consciousness

In this article we examine the specific contributions Native American thought can make to the ongoing search for a Western ecological consciousness. We begin with a review of the influence of Native American beliefs on the different branches of the modem environmental movement and some initial comparisons of Western and Native American ways of seeing. We then review Native American thought on the natural world, highlighting beliefs in the need for reciprocity and balance, the world as a living being, and relationships with animals. We conclude that Native American ideas are important, can prove inspirational in the search for a modem environmental consciousness, and affirm the arguments of both deep ecologists and ecofeminists.

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