Monday, October 04, 2010

Outside the Realm

Coast Salish nations gathered recently at Swinomish to discuss action on their international effort to restore the resources of the Salish Sea. Part of their discussion with each other, as well as with representatives from the federal governments of Canada and the US, was what strategies held out the most promise of success.

As one of the few international indigenous initiatives on environmental restoration -- one that includes the bays, sounds, straits and estuaries surrounding Seattle and Vancouver -- Coast Salish Gathering bears watching as a pilot project for harmonizing the interests of aboriginal and settler societies. Along with the usual political, economic and cultural difficulties involved in such an undertaking, healing the damage done by two centuries of wanton destruction will require confronting both overt prejudice and covert bigotry.

Preparing for this aspect of any holistic enterprise demands the dedication of academic abilities outside the realm of conventional scholarly involvement.

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