NotesFAQContact Us
Search Tips
Back to results
Peer reviewed Peer reviewed
Direct linkDirect link
ERIC Number: EJ912987
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 22
Abstractor: ERIC
ISSN: ISSN-0161-6463
Images of American Indians in Environmental Education: Anthropological Reflections on the Politics and History of Cultural Representation
Willow, Anna J.
American Indian Culture and Research Journal, v34 n1 p67-88 2010
For hundreds of years, North America's colonizers worked systematically to eradicate the indigenous cultural practices, religious beliefs, and autonomous political systems many venerate. This article illustrates that imperialist nostalgia underlies and directs portrayals of American Indians in environmental education today. Whether unconsciously or unmistakably, intellectual insight is often born of personal experience. This article presents the author's critical perspective on the politics and history of American Indian cultural representation which took shape in the place where academic and applied fields collide, where work weaves itself into the fabric of everyday life. The author argues that environmental education's enduring fascination with Native Americans can be understood as a symptomatic manifestation of non-Native society's collective imperialist nostalgia for the purportedly environmentally sustainable indigenous ways of life it destroyed. Portrayals of American Indians in environmental education are built upon the simultaneous erasure of contemporary Native realities and the glorification of a selectively monolithic Native past; they combine a denial of actual Indian peoples' coevalness with calls for inventive emulation by non-Indians. (Contains 1 figure and 61 notes.)
American Indian Studies Center at UCLA. 3220 Campbell Hall, Box 951548, Los Angeles, CA 90095-1548. Tel: 310-825-7315; Fax: 310-206-7060; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Opinion Papers
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A