Monday, 3 January 2011

118 days: Blanket # 3: The Wilderness

"No one can deny that the impact of European arrivals on Indian tribes and individuals has mostly been tragic. From the point of view of Indian peoples alive today, the story of that encounter is one of astonishing staying power amid vast and devastating change and loss. When Europeans arrived on these shores, they generally agreed that the wilderness was a place of dark and mysterious dangers, a place to be tamed, cut back, reduced to civilized plots of farmland and towns. It was assumed that the Indians - savages - lived in the untamed woodland wilderness among all of Satan's plots and schemes. Today in America, vast hordes of European-derived citizens flock to the wilderness, grow angry at any invasion of the wilderness (such as a cow pod) besides their own, and consider such places almost sacred. In this, they often invoke the benign ecological presence of the Native Americans, to whom many plots of land are indeed sacred. The notion of wilderness in American minds has changed by approximately 180 degrees, and perhaps some of this is thanks to the Indian population."

In the Hands of the Great Spirit:
The 20,000 Year History of American Indians
(Free Press: New York, 2003)

Blanket # 3:
  • Establish a/the wilderness | woodland
  • Is the wilderness the land?
  • The wilderness | land as sacred
  • Ecology and preservation | conservation
  • Ownership vs Guardianship

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