ERIC Number: ED462236
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2002
Reference Count: N/A
The Need for an Ecological Cultural Community.
St. Clair, Robert N.; Busch, John A.
This paper discusses social and cultural change, deep ecology, and systems thinking in relation to the maintenance of Indigenous cultures and languages. All cultures change, and the current crisis in language loss for Native communities is related to cultural change. From a systems perspective, culture is a way of thinking about one's social system. As the social structures and actions of the system change, culture lags behind, and the cultural values of the community begin to conflict with the social structure. The dramatic changes in Inuit lifestyle in the past century are offered as an example. However, today all societies are undergoing tremendous changes as the information age unfolds. When the conflict between social structures and cultural values becomes too great, a cultural revolution occurs and a new cultural model appears. "Saving" a culture forever is impossible, so indigenous peoples must work at saving the good aspects of their culture and sharing them with others. At this moment, the world faces a variety of ecological crises. Deep ecology--a spiritual view of the world as an organic, integrated system--looks to the values of indigenous peoples. Native peoples must overcome mistrust, share their values with the larger ecological community, and thereby preserve those values in a new network of cooperation. (Contains 25 references.) (SV)
Descriptors: Acculturation, American Indian Culture, Biculturalism, Cultural Interrelationships, Cultural Maintenance, Ecology, Ethics, Futures (of Society), Social Change, Social Values, Systems Approach, World Views
For full text: http://jan.ucc.nau.edu/~jar/ILAC/.
Publication Type: Opinion Papers; Speeches/Meeting Papers
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A