Pow Wow Essays

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Le film, la controverse qui a fait suite aux chasses Makah, ainsi que d’autres écrits indigènes offrent un prisme à travers lequel on peut proposer une théorisation de la conscience environnementale amérindienne.

In an effort to make an assessment of the place of an American Indian environmental consciousness, this essay compares two related Makah whale-hunting events with a completely different text, the American Indian film , in which a character insists that trickster will protect Cheyennes and Indian people generally from environmental degradation.

The film, the Makah whaling controversy, and other Indigenous writings offer texts through which one can theorize an American Indian environmental consciousness.

An earlier, much different and shorter version of the argument set forth here was originally presented as “‘The Truth Hangs over Your Head’: Sanctioned and Unsanctioned Crimes against the Environment”.

We may be perfectly sure where we are in relation to the supermarket and the next coffee break, but I doubt that any of us knows where he is in relation to the stars and to the solstices.

Our sense of the natural order has become dull and unreliable.” ( 47-48).Buddy opposes the mine, and the film suggests he has the political power to get the proposal defeated.Philbert has a two-fold purpose in taking the trip to Santa Fe.Afin de tenter d’évaluer l’importance de la conscience environnementale/ écologique amérindienne, cet article se propose de comparer deux chasses à la baleine, impliquant toutes deux des membres de la tribu Makah, avec l’approche très différente proposée par le film amérindien Powwow Highway.Dans ce film, l’un des personnages est persuadé que le ‘trickster’, ou ‘Décepteur’, protégera les Cheyennes, et plus généralement le peuple Indien, de la détérioration de l’environnement.In the spring of 1999, with the sanction of the International Whaling Commission, among other entities, the Makahs, an American Indian tribe whose reservation is on the Olympic Peninsula in extreme northwestern Washington state, reaffirmed an 1855 treaty right by successfully hunting and killing a grey whale and then bringing it back to the town of Neah Bay.Eight and a half years later, in the fall of 2007, a group of five Makah men (including two veterans of the first hunt) participated in an unsanctioned hunt that resulted in the death of another grey whale.The illegal hunt does differ, however, in that because of the hunters’ poor preparation and lack of expertise, the whale suffered an especially brutal killing.Legally, of course, the differences between the two hunts are immense: one had the approval and sanction of appropriate governing entities, the other did not.The questions I want to ask in this essay are not so much about the differences between legal and illegal whaling, but rather whether or not the two hunts differ in the context of an American Indian or Indigenous land ethic, and if so how.In an effort to make an assessment of and a statement about the place of an American Indian environmental consciousness as reflected and represented in American Indian art and life, I compare these two related Makah whale hunts with a seemingly completely different text, the text of an American Indian film, (as well as the novel on which it is based) and the actual Makah whaling hunts offer very different but related “texts” through which one can theorize an American Indian environmental consciousness.


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