Creating Environmental Justice in the TwentyFirst Century

Indigenous Knowledge and Technology: Creating Environmental Justice in the TwentyFirst Century
Author(s): Linda Robyn
Source: American Indian Quarterly , Spring, 2002, Vol. 26, No. 2 (Spring, 2002), pp. 198-
Published by: University of Nebraska Press
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Indigenous Knowledge and Technology
Creating Environmental Justice in the Twenty-First Century
As we begin to examine the relationship between American Indians and en-
vironmental justice, it is important to note that American courts have many
times in the past criminalized, whether consciously or not, traditional knowl-
edge. Indian people who have challenged multinational corporate giants and
the government through political activism in an effort to halt environmentally
destructive projects on their lands have been criminalized and arrested to si-
lence their claims. Leaving traditional knowledge out of environmental policy
is a grave injustice because it is socially injurious to Native peoples and, in ef-
fect, all people, not only in the United States but worldwide.
When writing about Indigenous peoples, the exclusion of environmental
issues also establishes an injustice because it does not recognize the origins of
social institutions among all human beings. Therefore, everything in Ameri-
can Indian culture is associated with an environmental perspective, even issues
that filter through the American court system. As will be examined, Native
peoples today are using their sophisticated traditional knowledge, combined
with militant strategies in some cases, to effect change. Providing equitable jus-
tice for Indigenous people establishes an important precedent that can put so-
cial institutions like criminal justice in a context where the connection be-
tween society and the environment is recognized.
American Indian institutions originate within Native cultures in ways that
associate policies with natural principles and natural laws defined by tradi-
tional cultural perspectives. The following represents a reflection of this
The Native peoples of the Americas represent a wide variety of cultures and
social organization strategies. The diversity of Native cultures and kinds of so-
cial organizations which developed through time represent a high degree of so-
cial/political complexity and are varied according to the demands and neces-
sities of the environment. For example, American Indian nations organized at
the band level of social/political development have used effective strategies to
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take advantage of marginal habitats such as the Arctic and deserts of the Amer-
icas where resources were limited.
Winona LaDuke, a member of the Anishinabe Nation, author, activist, and
scholar of environmental and Indigenous issues, writes that “sustainability in
these marginal habitats did not simply rely on a matter of ‘luck.'” For thou-
sands of years, American Indian people maintained a sustainable way of life
based on the concept of reciprocity or reciprocal relations. Reciprocity, based
on natural law, defines the relationship and responsibility between people
and the environment. All parts of the environment-plants, animals, fish, or
rocks-are viewed as gifts from the Creator. These gifts should not be taken
without a reciprocal offering, usually tobacco or saymah, as it is called in the
Ojibwa language.’
Colonial-style policies and practices concerning the environment and sus-
tainability were formulated with false assumptions that the people of the
Americas were primitive uncivilized savages who impeded the growth of tech-
nology and progress. If we put aside our fascination with technology and ma-
terial wealth, we find that for many people in today’s modern society, life
is primitive and stunted in terms of family values, spiritual life, commitment
to the community, and opportunities for rewarding work and creative self-
expression. These are the very areas most richly developed in the traditional
communities of the Americas.
In her research, LaDuke argues that social and economic systems based
on this type of life are usually decentralized, communal, and self-reliant. These
societies live closely with and depend on the life contained in that particular
ecosystem. This way of living enabled Indigenous communities to live for
thousands of years in continuous sustainability.2
Through colonial-style practices, Native peoples worldwide have been de-
nied equal access to economic power today and in the past. Examples of ex-
clusion of Native peoples throughout the world in formulating important en-
vironmental policy abound. Indigenous peoples and the wealth of sustainable
knowledge they possess have been excluded from decision-making processes
concerning the environmental impact of colonialism, capitalism, and modern-
day corporate intrusion upon their lands.
Louise Grenier is a scholar working in the realms of international develop-
ment and environmental and Indigenous issues through utilizing Indigenous
knowledge. Grenier writes that
Indigenous knowledge (IK) refers to the unique, traditional, local knowl-
edge existing within and developed around the specific conditions of
women and men indigenous to a particular geographic area…. The de-
velopment of IK systems, covering all aspects of life, including manage-
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ment of the natural environment, has been a matter of survival to the
peoples who generated these systems. Such knowledge systems are cu-
mulative, representing generations of experiences, careful observations,
and trial-and-error experiments.3
Since the very survival of Native peoples depended on their being able to uti-
lize knowledge in balance with the natural environment, one could make the
argument that Indigenous Knowledge is technology. Grenier writes that
Indigenous knowledge is stored in peoples’ memories and activities
and is expressed in stories, songs, folklore, proverbs, dances, myths, cul-
tural values, beliefs, rituals, community laws, local language and taxon-
omy, agricultural practices, equipment, materials, plant species, and ani-
mal breeds. Indigenous knowledge is shared and communicated orally,
by specific example, and through culture. Indigenous forms of commu-
nication and organization are vital to local level decision making pro-
cesses and to the preservation, development, and spread of Indigenous
In her researchers’ guide for working with Indigenous knowledge, Grenier
writes about an example of Native knowledge exclusion which comes from
American anthropologist Richard Wilk in his article on sustainability and
technology transfer.5 Grenier writes about Wilk’s discussion of a folder of ma-
terial containing twenty-five separate project proposals, feasibility studies, im-
plementation plans, and project assessments covering a period of one hundred
years. All these studies were concerned with commercializing the production
of edible palm oil from a tree native to the Belizean rainforest. Technologies
developed for use in other tropical palm oil industries were tried. Even with
government subsidies and easy access to dense, high-yield tree stands, every
one of the projects failed while, at the same time, the Indigenous people con-
tinued production of edible oil by using a variety of simple, local technologies
based on knowledge passed down for generations.
Indigenous technology is defined as “hardware (equipment, tools, instru-
ments, and energy sources) and software (a combination of knowledge, pro-
cesses, skills, and social organization) that focus attention on particular tasks.” 6
This definition describes the technology utilized by the Indigenous people pre-
sented in Wilk’s story and prompts Grenier to ask several important questions:
Did anyone bother to ask local people the who, how, where, when, and why of
their local palm oil production system? Could costly failures have been avoided
if the entrepreneurs had bothered to learn about the local production system?
If a combination of Indigenous and foreign inputs had been tried, could hy-
brid technologies have yielded successful ventures? The most important ques-
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tion Grenier raises is, “what would have been the outcome had any of these
proponents worked with Indigenous knowledge?” 7
Until recently, those seeking to exploit Indigenous lands did not consider
drawing upon the vast wealth of Indigenous knowledge. Specifically within the
United States, loss of power and autonomy through the process of colonialism
relegated Indigenous peoples to a position on the lower end of the hierarchical
scale in U.S. society. The legacy of fifteenth-century European colonial domi-
nation placed Indigenous knowledge in the categories of primitive, simple,
“not knowledge,” or folklore. It comes as no surprise then that through the
process of colonization Indigenous knowledge and perspectives have been ig-
nored and denigrated by the vast majority of social, physical, biological and
agricultural scientists, and governments using colonial powers to exploit In-
digenous resources.
Colonization is more than just a convenient economic domination of one
group by another. In its present-day form, colonization continues to under-
mine the political, military, social, psycho-culture, value systems, and knowl-
edge base of the colonized and imposes on them the values and culture of the
colonizer. For the sake of economic control-the main impetus behind any
colonization-the colonizer must constantly devise new means of oppressing
the colonized.8
Colonialism continues today, but with different foreign powers than in the
past, that is, banks, corporations, speculators, governments, and various de-
velopment agencies. Today Indigenous peoples are on the frontline of contem-
porary colonial struggles. They are sitting on resources the rest of the world
wants at the lowest possible cost. Their territories are still considered frontier
lands, un-owned, underutilized, and, therefore, open to exploitation. Because
Indigenous populations are small, politically weak, and usually physically iso-
lated, their vast environmental knowledge base is, for the most part, denigrated
by these new colonizers, making Indigenous populations easy targets as re-
source colonies. Central to the concept of resource colonization is, as John
Bodley emphasizes in his work, Victims of Progress, “that the prior ownership
rights and interests of the aboriginal inhabitants are totally ignored as irrele-
vant by both the state and the invading individuals.” 9
When two different groups of people come together in the process of colo-
nization, lives are changed, sometimes for the better but often for the worse.
The Europeans’ search for gold, precious metals, and fossil fuels demonstrates
how such meetings adversely transformed regions and peoples through social
conflict; these situations still occur today. The history between the colonizers
and the colonized has led to the perception of the latter as an exploitable group
or disposable resource.
In retrospect, the historical relationship that evolved between colonizer and
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colonized lends insight to the reason why exploitation continues to occur to-
day. Most American Indian tribes, for example, believe in the principle of a
strong sense of balance. Before the first Europeans came, the Great Lakes re-
gion of the Chippewa was a vast land mass. The trees, earth, and the sense and
sight of the environment itself influenced the intellect and thinking process of
the Indian people living in that area in the creation of the notion of balance.
This precarious balance still exists, and the relationship between plants, ani-
mals, the elements, the air, water, wind, and earth are all equally and evenly
placed within the whole. For many American Indians even today, their way of
life revolves around the environment. One does not, and indeed cannot, own
the other if a healthy balance is to be maintained. Rather, only what is neces-
sary to survive is taken from one another.’0
As it is with balance, the spiritual connection with the natural world is sa-
cred. There is a balance of knowledge and power between humans, animals, all
of the environment, the heavens, and earth. All these pieces tied together make
up the whole. Spirituality, or The Way, guides the balance.
The incongruence in the values and in the understanding of progress be-
tween these very different cultures helps explain the lack of inclusion of In-
digenous knowledge. For many American Indian people, values are expressed
by the strong relationship between family members, kinship ties, the environ-
ment, and the knowledge of the unity of all these things. European values al-
lowed land and environment to be viewed as commodities to be exploited, and
these colonizers imposed their will upon the land with little thought of the
consequences. The knowledge and values of the Indians from the Great Lakes
region emerged from their woodland cultures and spirituality. There was a
timeless value placed on all things. Native values are circular with all things be-
ing related as revealed from the outer world and their religion. This idea will
be developed in the rest of the article.
An example of woodland culture spirituality comes from the Anishinabe
(Chippewa) people who developed a code of ethics and a value system which
guides the behavior of many in accordance with natural law–or mino bi-
maatisiiwin- translated as the good life or continuous rebirth. LaDuke writes
that mino bimaatisiiwin “guides behavior toward others, toward animals, to-
ward plants and the ecosystem, and it is based on tenets of reciprocity and
cyclical thinking.”11
In contrasting the value system and knowledge base of the Chippewa with
capitalistic values, it is reciprocity or reciprocal relations that define responsi-
bilities and ways of relating between humans and the world around them. This,
in turn, affects the technology used by Indigenous groups, such as the Chip-
pewa, by ensuring methods of harvesting resources that will not deplete sup-
plies needed for survival. LaDuke writes:
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Within this act of reciprocity is also an understanding that “you take only
what you need and leave the rest.” Implicit in the understanding of Nat-
ural Law is also the understanding that most of what is natural is cyclical:
whether our bodies, the moon, the tides, seasons, or life itself. Within this
natural cycling is also a clear sense of birth and rebirth, a knowledge that
what one does today will affect us in the future, on the return.
These tenets, and the overall practice of mino bimaatisiiwin imply a con-
tinuous inhabiting of place, an intimate understanding of the relationship
between humans and the ecosystem, and the need to maintain balance. For
the most part, social and economic systems based on these values are decen-
tralized, communal, self-reliant, and very closely based on the land of that eco-
system. This way of living has enabled Indigenous communities to live for
thousands of years upon their land as, quite frankly, the only examples of con-
tinuous sustainability which exist on Turtle Island (North America). We hope
there will be more.’2
The contrasting views of the value and technology system of the Chippewa
versus the European-American capitalistic values of power, materialism, eco-
nomic efficiency, and immediacy have led to confusion and misunderstanding
about other people and their ways. European-American views toward family
and religion are different than the views of many American Indians. While not
all European-Americans are of the Christian religion, much of the knowledge
contained in the exploitive dynamics of the Christian religion are closely tied
to the concepts of our capitalistic society and are not connected to the earth or
environment as is the spirituality of The Way of American Indians.’3 The re-
sult is a culture conflict in which both sides see their values and methods of
looking at life as the only correct way. In this context, the unequal balance and
hierarchical social structure produced by the expansionary needs of capitalism
are, to many American Indian people, highly destructive to their perception of
the need for balance between physical and spiritual worlds.
The sharp contrast between these two sets of cultural views is a major point
of contention between dominating cultures and Indigenous peoples today.
These differences could also be a contributing factor to changes that are begin-
ning to take place in many Indigenous communities. Native peoples who have
not been included in decision-making concerning the potentially environ-
mentally devastating impact of corporate intrusion upon their lands are criti-
cally thinking about, assessing, and demanding that their voices be heard and
not discounted or ignored as in times past.
In exploring the concept of critical thinking, criminologist Richard Quin-
ney writes that “[W]ithout critical thought we are bound to the only form of
social life we know-that which currently exists. We are unable to choose a
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better life; our only activity is in further support of the system in which we are
currently a part and which continues to exploit us.”14 Nowhere is this more
true than with multinational corporations who engaged in colonial-style proj-
ects on many reservations with disastrous results for the people and the envi-
ronment. As the effects of these disasters emerged, Indian people on other
reservations targeted for corporate exploitation began to take notice. Armed
with knowledge about the environmental stability of their homelands, many
tribes decided that the inevitable destruction caused by corporate exploitation
was not worth the price of letting their resources be taken from the earth. By
utilizing their knowledge about environmental devastation and not accepting
the colonial-style offers of multinational corporations at face value, the tide on
reservations is beginning to turn. Today, Native peoples are calling for inclu-
sion in these decisions by challenging powerful corporations and governmen-
tal institutions through a critical perspective on power and control.
As Indigenous peoples continue to challenge the power structure of multi-
national corporations and the state, and assert their sovereignty rights as First
Nations to control the natural resources within their territories according to
treaties, the question of power and control over resources is beginning to
change. This change can be seen in the relatively recent phenomenon of coop-
eration between some tribal groups and environmentalists. During the late
1960s and early 1970s, mainstream environmental groups and Indian tribes
were usually at odds with each other over issues of concern such as natural re-
sources and fishing and hunting rights.'” When the Sokaogon Chippewa Indi-
ans began their long fight against Exxon’s plans to mine next to their reserva-
tion in 1976, it was as if the death knell for the tribe had sounded with no hope
of staving off this multinational giant. However, many environmentalists be-
gan to realize that “we all live downstream” and saw the importance of Indi-
ans’ assertion of treaty rights as an integral part of environmental protection
strategy. In 1976 the Sokaogon became engaged in a battle not only to preserve
their wild rice subsistence culture and the treaty-protected waters flowing
through their reservation, but for their economic and cultural survival as well.
The Sokaogon’s very cultural and economic survival depended on their ability
to protect and defend the environment. The two could not be separated.16
Through this decade-long struggle against the formidable resources of
Exxon and the state of Wisconsin, the Chippewa were able to garner support
from some non-Indian neighbors, people in the tourist industry who also
stood to lose their livelihoods if the fishing streams were hopelessly polluted
by mining, and people in the environmental community. “By the time Exxon
finally withdrew from the project in 1986, the Chippewa had assembled a
broad-based Indian-environmentalist coalition that included every main-
stream environmental organization in Wisconsin.”17 When Exxon and other
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multinational corporations regroup and return with other mining projects it
will not be easy to get their projects underway. One important coalition known
as the Anishinaabe Niiji (Friends of the Chippewa) that developed from the
ten-year struggle between Exxon and the Sokaogon is now an established po-
litical force with powerful resources and the ability to take positive action to
ensure that Indigenous voices are heard as the resource wars in Wisconsin con-
tinue into the new century.
An extremely important strategy that will continue to be used in the protec-
tion of natural resources is that of asserting treaty rights. According to LaDuke,
one of the most important aspects of Indian treaty rights “is the power of the
treaties to clarify issues which would otherwise be consigned to nation-state
apologists to the realm of ‘opinion’ and ‘interpretation.’ The treaties lay things
out clearly, and they are matters of international law.”‘8 Being victimized by a
long history of exploitation has taught American Indian leaders new ways to
defend the natural resources on their lands by using the law and trust relations
with the United States as weapons in federal court.
By recognizing that a trust relationship exists between the United States and
Indian tribes, and that this relationship binds the federal government to a
set of responsibilities to tribes, courts and laws are being used to ensure that
those responsibilities are met. Important lessons learned in the environmental
battles of the 1970s include using trust status to the tribes’ maximum advan-
tage to protect their natural resources and lands, as well as reminding the fed-
eral government of its obligations as they have been established in treaties.19
To understand this trust relationship, the definition of “trust” must be con-
sidered. Trust is “a right in property held by one person, called the trustee, for
the benefit of another, called the beneficiary, or cestui que trust.” 20 The federal
government has been active as trustee in this relationship by carrying out its
trust responsibilities through the Bureau of Indian Affairs and the Department
of the Interior. This occurred amidst criticism from the tribes for paternalism
and ineffectiveness.21
Through battles fought over the years, tribes have come to realize that they
need to acquire and apply legal expertise to effectively deal with these struggles.
In bringing matters regarding resources to court, tribes have had to shift their
perspective from looking at their lands in a communal “traditional” way to
viewing their properties as “real estate.” Imitating the capitalistic attitudes and
strategies of corporations and demanding their legal, sovereign rights within
the “white” justice system has become an effective and essential defensive
tactic in defending tribal resources.22 Through these conflicts in the U.S. court
system, tribes will continue to develop their own judicial and economic
strengths in establishing tribal control over their own natural resources.
In a society built upon hierarchical power such as the United States, how-
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ever, establishing tribal control over natural resources will meet with resist-
ance. Sociologist Stephen Pfohl has written extensively about deviant behav-
ior, social control, and power from a critical perspective.23 He argues that if we
examine the current situation through the lens of a critical perspective, we find
that the control of resources is governed by the interests of those most privi-
leged by power. Using Pfohl’s critical perspective in examining the situation
of American Indians, I would argue that Indian people have been, throughout
history, ritually stripped of their power, except for treaty rights. Resistance of
Indian people through assertion of treaty rights to keep their land base and
protect their resources threatens the privilege and control of powerful multi-
national corporations and the state.
In the previous example of the Sokaogon’s resistance to Exxon, as they
fought (and continue to fight) to hold on to their way of life, many Chippewa
in Wisconsin have fiercely resisted the destruction of the environment and
the destruction of their treaty rights by multinational corporations and the
state. The Chippewa of Wisconsin, along with several grassroots organizations,
are no longer willing to submit to the corporations’ ongoing war of aggression
against Native peoples and the natural world.24 The Chippewa’s unwilling-
ness to acquiesce to the most powerful institutions in the world has been met
with various institutional sanctions, including criminalizing those who dare to
In order to maintain control over the land and resources of others, (in this
case, the Chippewa of Wisconsin) corporate/state actors must effectively neu-
tralize the efforts of those who would oppose this control. As a tactic to mobi-
lize public opinion in favor of corporations, American Indians who have resis-
ted the environmentally destructive corporate mega-projects on tribal lands
have been portrayed by the media as deviant and un-American because they
are supposedly impeding progress. We need only to look to past examples
of American Indians as victims of ethnocide and ethnoviolence.25 American
Indians, as a whole, have been systematically portrayed as deviant since first
contact with Europeans, and later, European-Americans who have engaged in
deculturating and redefining them as inferior beings.26 Historic rituals of em-
bedding in the Anglo mind images of Native peoples as “savages,” “backward,”
“uncivilized,” and “unintelligent,” justified the continued repression of tradi-
tional ways and forced assimilation into the dominant culture through vio-
lence when deemed necessary.27
Their construction as the “deviant other” along with political and economic
disempowerment provides the context for multinational corporations and
the state of Wisconsin to wage a war of aggression against the Chippewa for
their natural resources. This can be seen in the intense racial conflicts between
the Chippewa and non-Indians experienced in Wisconsin for the past twenty
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years. These conflicts are a relevant political fact. Since off-reservation treaty
rights allowing the Chippewa to spearfish outside reservation boundaries were
reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in the 1983 Voigt case, many northern com-
munities in Wisconsin have been bitterly divided.28 Sportfishers and hunters
find the traditional practices of spearing, gill-netting, and “shining” (night
hunting) used by the Chippewa concerned with following their traditions
rather than sport, objectionable. Opponents of the court’s decision consider it
“unjust” for the Chippewa to have “special privileges” denied to other Wiscon-
sin residents-like longer hunting seasons and the right to shoot deer from
vehicles-just because of some “old treaties.”29 Limited by very strict state
regulations, many sportfishers were upset that the efficient Chippewa methods
of harvesting fish for subsistence were not available to non-Indians. The op-
position started in small groups protesting the regained Chippewa treaty
rights. As the groups enlarged, the controversy turned into racial slurs and vi-
olence. Bait shops in northern towns sold “Treaty Beer” with labels protesting
Indian spearfishing and claiming to be the “True Brew of the Working Man,”
while many restaurants and taverns displayed and dispensed literature attack-
ing spearfishing and called for the abrogation of Chippewa treaties.30 Victim-
izing the Chippewa also included hurling rocks, insults, racial epithets like
“timber niggers,” waving effigies of speared Indian heads like props from a
horror movie, displaying signs with slogans like “Save Two Walleye, Kill a
Pregnant Squaw,” and using large motorboats trailing anchors to capsize In-
dian boats.31
The intense racism experienced by the Chippewa prompted Archbishop
William Wantland of the Episcopalean Diocese of Eau Clair, Wisconsin, to
state that “of all the states I’ve lived in this Union, Wisconsin is the most racist.
I grew up in the South. And I said that before the Voigt Decision was handed
down. It’s obvious-the racism, the hatred, the bitterness, the prejudice.”32
Wantland’s reflection on the hostility and racism toward the Chippewa since
the court’s decision in 1983 is particularly telling: “I felt I was caught in a time
warp this spring in Wisconsin. I thought I saw the ’50os and ‘6os. I thought I saw
Selma and Little Rock and Montgomery.” 33
None of the racism described here is unrelated to multinational corpora-
tions and the ongoing war of aggression against Native peoples and natural
resources. Even though the Supreme Court made its position on the Voigt De-
cision abundantly clear when the it refused to hear the state of Wisconsin’s ap-
peal, and even though the U.S. Constitution states that treaties are the supreme
law of the land, Governor Tommy Thompson criticized the Chippewa for ex-
ercising their treaty rights. It is important to note that every study conducted
on the impact of Chippewa spearfishing, from both the Wisconsin Depart-
ment of Natural Resources and the Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Com-
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mission, to the most recent report commissioned by Congress, has failed to
find any evidence to support the accusations that the Chippewa are threaten-
ing the fish resource.34 This gives one pause to wonder why Thompson and the
corporate CEOs would hide behind false hysteria.
The mass media effectively assisted the anti-treaty movement by fueling the
fires with sensationalism surrounding the treaty controversy and almost com-
pletely ignored the economic and political contexts of the issue.35 Plans to
institute a mining district in the ceded territory of the Wisconsin Chippewa,
actively pursued by the executive branch of the state of Wisconsin, has the po-
tential to cause serious long-term damage to the resource and economic bases
of northern Wisconsin. Behind the veil of the racist rhetoric of the spearfishing
lies the essential and inseparable connection between the political assault
against Indian treaties and the corporate assault on the environment in
the 1990s. By focusing on the issue of resource control in the ceded ter-
ritory, it is possible to see the convergence between the anti-Indian move-
ment, represented by groups like Protect Americans’ Rights and Re-
sources (PARR) and Stop Treaty Abuse (STA), and the pro-mining policy
of the Thompson administration in Wisconsin.36
Through effective use of the mass media and by using the convenient excuse
that spearfishing was a drain on fish resources, it became easy for those in po-
sitions of power to portray the Chippewa as deviants who were “raping the re-
sources,” resisting mining, and therefore impeding pursuit of the capitalistic
American Dream.
Criminologist Raymond Michalowski has written extensively on the subject
of state-corporate crime and the political economy of crime. His work on the
dynamic relationship between the capitalist economic model and the hierar-
chical workings of the state helps analyze resistance as deviance. Michalowski
writes that “it is the political economy of a society in connection with its cul-
tural history that determines the definition of what acts are adaptive, rebel-
lious, or maladaptive.” 37 Michalowski points out that
to understand the “criminality” of any particular individual or group [in
this case resistance by the Chippewa] requires critical examination of the
objective yet dynamic connections between individual experience and
the historically specific character of material and social relations.38
In applying Michalowski’s analysis to the scenario occurring between the
Chippewa and the corporate/state actors in Wisconsin, it is important to rec-
ognize that identity is always socially constructed and that relationships of
power play an important role in this construction. From this perspective, be-
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ing Indian in America is not merely a static condition or state defined by some
constellation of perceived physical differences but is a set of social and mate-
rial relations between American Indians and white Americans that extend back
to the time the first treaties were made. Indigenous peoples have existed within
and adapted to a set of material and controlling social relations that provides
others with greater access to wealth than themselves. Resistance as deviance
and social control is located in recurrent historical struggles to control mate-
rial existence. A critical view of these hierarchical social structures argues that
these historical creations do not exist naturally; they are synthetic. The age-old
structures between powerful institutions and the Chippewa are reproduced
over and over again as part of the everyday struggles of people. A critical ap-
proach to the events occurring between the Chippewa and corporate/state in-
stitutions provides a framework for challenging these recurrent historical
struggles, the hierarchical structure of government, and its application of law.39
Indigenous peoples have existed within and adapted to a set of material and
controlling social relations that provides others with greater access to wealth
than themselves.
Social control is always an exercise of power. Linear colonial logic argues
that those who are “less civilized” (that is, Indigenous peoples who have dif-
ferent ways of utilizing knowledge) are unable to properly exploit the land
and its resources, so therefore, those deemed to be “civilized” (the colonizers)
would make decisions about the land and decide on the “who” and “why”
when making the laws concerning that land and the environment. Ward
Churchill is a well-known scholar, activist, and coordinator of American In-
dian studies with the Center for Studies of Ethnicity and Race in America at the
University of Colorado at Boulder. Churchill and LaDuke have written exten-
sively on issues of Native peoples worldwide. In discussing issues of social con-
trol and land they write,
land has always been the issue of greatest importance to politics and eco-
nomics in this country. Those who control the land are those who con-
trol the resources within and upon it. No matter what the resource issue
at hand is, social control and all the other aggregate components of power
are fundamentally interrelated.40
The many stories of resistance are not solely about Indian resistance, but in-
volve an environmental social movement that is able to counteract corporate
power as well. The assertion of Native land rights takes place in the context
of an environmental movement willing to accept other ways of “knowing” and
“understanding,” to appreciate the knowledge Native people have about the
environment, and to accept Native leadership in environmental battles. As has
been demonstrated in previous examples, Native peoples today are challeng-
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ing the most powerful institutions of a large nation-state by using their capa-
bilities to blend assertion of treaty rights with innovative forms of environ-
mental activism.
The state and multinational corporations have consistently used their his-
torically structured hierarchical positions of power to keep Indian people
powerless and in a position of relative disadvantage in the past. Clearly, when
the efforts of those privileged by power have been blocked by resistance based
in treaty rights, unethical practices in dealing with the tribes have occurred
which have caused them injury and harm. Those in powerful positions have
countered Indian resistance by using the force of racism. Sociologist Robert
Bullard argues that “[W]hether by conscious design or institutional neglect,
communities of color in urban ghettos, in rural ‘poverty pockets,’ or on eco-
nomically impoverished Native-American reservations face some of the worst
environmental devastation in the nation.”41 The struggle engaged in by the
Chippewa to protect their natural resources from the state of Wisconsin and
huge multinational corporations is but one such example.
Environmental racism experienced by the Chippewa is evident in the sys-
tematic efforts put forth to exclude them from participation in the decision-
making process. In an effort to “neutralize” the opposition, corporations have
narrowly defined issues that can be raised in environmental impact statements
and have ignored the objections of those opposed to the destruction caused by
mining. And, as we have seen, with the increasing power of mining opponents,
other methods of “neutralizing” the opposition must be found by the state and
corporations. As illustrated earlier in this article, the state government and cor-
porations have resorted to using the climate of race hatred to weaken and di-
vide potential coalitions active against their multinational corporate vision of
industrial development.
Examining these situations from a critical perspective helps facilitate an un-
derstanding of the way in which those in power are participants in creating an
environmentally harmful atmosphere which maintains current hierarchical
positions of power. The critical perspective presented here can be applied to
deconstruct the unequal relationship between the state/corporate entities and
those who are less powerful, to reconstruct a better form of balance.
As mentioned earlier, balance is a very old and important concept to almost
all Indian people and affects every facet of life. Today, it is widely recognized
that our environment is drastically out of balance. We are in a state of envi-
ronmental deterioration that requires alternative approaches to economic sur-
vival. Underneath the rhetoric of the environmental problem lies the insepa-
rable issue of power and what Stephen Pfohl describes as powerful rituals of
control, which affect human rights as a whole.42 The point is not only to
210 Robyn: Indigenous Knowledge and Technology
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understand the problem, but also to solve it. The common denominator is di-
rect action aimed against the status quo. With the assertion of Native rights
comes a firm rejection of business-as-usual. Structured arrangements of power
within our society have given us images of those who deviate from the domi-
nant order. In a world constructed as much by symbolic action as physical be-
havior, being a person who has disparate political beliefs or has skin of a dif-
ferent color may be reason enough to call in forces of control. This “natural”
or commonsensical character of a social order is really not natural at all but
synthetic, artificial, and feigned.
This historically established synthetic order is now being questioned and,
in the case of many American Indian tribes as previous examples in this ar-
ticle have shown, truly challenged. This is a good start, but more is needed. No
single movement or group of related movements can succeed in offsetting
present situations only through a shared rejection of injustices. They must also
fight for their perception of justice by putting forward a unified vision of the
As tribes continue to challenge state and corporate power, new definitions
of who they are as Indian people and the role they play economically will
emerge. Circular ways of viewing profitable business by utilizing environmen-
tally sustainable methods will assist in redefining the ways Indian people, cor-
porations, and the state do business and will redefine relationships between
these groups. New and different ways to take what is needed from the envi-
ronment without causing total environmental devastation must be examined
in the future. Decreasing the environmental deterioration occurring today
will require alternative approaches to economic security through sustainable
land use practices. Sharing the knowledge that American Indian people have
in this area will place the focus on cooperation rather than on hierarchical con-
trol. Rearranging this focus will have enormous impacts in the area of policy
Policy is built on a variety of philosophical and epist ultimately grounded in subjective choice, and develop skills of strategy and persuasion. Based on this, the cent What philosophical and epistemological frame of refer developing and initiating policy leading to environme relations that are based on reciprocity rather than hi The critical perspective used here stresses the significanc ing how environmental policy should be dealt with a AMERICAN INDIAN QUARTERLY/SPRING 2002/VOL. 26, NO. 2 211
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views about the environment into an American Indian, specifically Chippewa,
way of life. In other words, there is a need to reconceptualize neocolonial val-
ues deemed to be authoritative. When making decisions, policy should be
grounded in doctrines and principles that stress reciprocal power and a holis-
tic way of viewing the environment.
For most of this century, positivist philosophies dominated social science
with the belief that questions and problems posed in the social world could be
understood and solved using the same techniques as those applied to the phys-
ical world. Some have come to question the ability of positivist approaches to
deal with complex social issues like those considered in U.S. policy.43 The ba-
sic problem with the positivist approach is its inability to provide a way to
transcend political interest in order to obtain policy knowledge.
What is suggested here is how policy analysis might benefit from a method-
ology which acknowledges that scientific knowledge is dependent upon the
normative assumptions and social meanings of the world it explores. John
Dryzek is one of the leading political scientists in policy analysis in the United
States. Dryzek suggests that policy analysis should address ethics and norma-
tive theory and the apparent normative basis of the status quo in the decision-
making process; that is, the values and interests represented in the existing re-
gime and policy process.44
Along the same lines, political scientist Mary Hawkesworth argues that in
order to effectively examine policy, the underlying values which drive decision
making must be acknowledged. Most importantly, for Hawkesworth, sources
of power must be critically examined. Indeed, the critical study of any subject
should take into account the hierarchies of power that are inherent in our
The critical perspective proposed here challenges policy analysts to place
themselves within an environmental justice framework which would attempt
to uncover the underlying assumptions that may contribute to and produce
unequal protection. A framework such as this addresses the ethical and politi-
cal questions of “who gets what, why, and how much.”46 Addressing ethical
and political questions such as these is important because one frame of refer-
ence by itself does not inform the whole of the problems associated with neg-
ative environmental impacts on people of color and low income groups.
The critical perspective challenges the policy analyst to choose among social
values, and, because values underlie decisions, the policy analyst should rec-
ognize that by choosing only one framework, their frame of reference is cul-
turally bound and dependent. This point is made by critically examining the
values and lifestyle of American Indians.
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A critical perspective offers a new frame of reference grounded in the doctrines and principles of many American garding the environment. This perspective demands crit the policies of both private and public sectors developed with power in response to environmental issues. The critical tions the assumptions upon which current policies are ba tional solutions, and advocates new ways of thinking abou While not perfect by any means, this perspective allows for and reciprocal relations of power based upon mutual resp these different realities should be reflected in decisions include Indigenous peoples.
Formulating environmental policies from a critical pe taking into consideration questions about responsibilitie ronment and how these responsibilities ought to be refle adopted by the government, in the private sector, and i population as a whole.
As we begin to view our history and future as Native p cal perspective, we can reinterpret the values and validit tions, teachings, and culture within a contemporary con mind, there are many things that are possible to share with One of the most important of these from a Native as well a spective, is the reestablishment of a land ethic that is based perience of our heritage. Some of these values may be trans of society now that we are beginning a new century. Native land generally demonstrate an ethic that presents the earth are all born of the earth and require its resources for our v this perspective it is also possible to see how the relation with nature are of essential importance. This is one of the e that originate generally from within Native culture that ex ness to nature, creation, and each other. It is important to u must begin, as a global society, to realize this wholeness or To illustrate, for many Ojibwa/Chippewa people, the envir issue. It is a way of life. As with other tribes, the Ojibwa co inseparable from the natural elements of their land, plac sustainability at the forefront. Environmental sustainability community to utilize its natural, human, and technologi sure that all members of present and future generations can gree of health and well-being, economic security, and a say AMERICAN INDIAN QUARTERLY/SPRING 2002/VOL. 26, NO. 2 213
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ture while maintaining the integrity of the ecological systems upon which all
life and production depends. The most important aspects of sustainability in-
clude economic security, ecological integrity, democracy, and community.47
As expressed by our ancestors, we are part of nature and must begin to ex-
press an idea of community rather than conquest. Native teachings can help us
understand our relationship with life and creation as well as expand our aware-
ness of nature and natural cycles. We can begin to see that the earth is a re-
source for all our needs, in fact, our only resource. As human beings, it be-
comes increasingly valuable for us to recognize this relationship so that we may
benefit by using the gifts of creation effectively and efficiently. By utilizing the
environment and eliminating waste in appropriate ways, we begin to establish
a way of seeing the future from the perspective of generations to come; not
only with respect to oil and luxury items, but by placing value on clean air, wa-
ter, and soil in ways that will sustain us and our societies into the future. Such
an awareness of life can begin to have a profound effect on our whole global
society. As a community sharing life with the earth, we can see our dependence
with, not independence from, nature. Through the realization that holistic In-
digenous knowledge concerning the environment is important and essential
to our survival as a whole, the teachings that Native peoples of the Americas
present to our global society can be utilized in many ways, if given the chance.
However, our history has been one in which American Indian holistic views
of the environment have come into conflict with the dominant capitalistic na-
ture of early European settlers and continue to do so today. Since the begin-
ning of the United States republic, control of the land and natural resources
has been a source of conflict between European-American settlers and Indige-
nous nations. Disputes over land usage and ownership have defined the total-
ity of government-Indian relationships from the first contact to the present
day. The European perspective of exploitation of land and its resources will
continue into the foreseeable future. Corporate mega-projects, development
proposals, and get-rich-quick schemes have been inflicted upon tribes for
years. Millions of dollars are at stake with large multinational corporations and
the federal government clamoring to do business on reservations. These his-
torically-structured, powerful institutions whose sole purpose for existence is
to make as much money as possible through whatever ethical and unethical
means necessary, will be slow to accept philosophies other than their own.
To illustrate, the 561 federally recognized Indian reservations within the
United States are the most exploited and environmentally degraded lands any-
where in rural America. Through sanctioning of certain power arrangements
by the federal Bureau of Indian Affairs, corporations and federal agencies have
pressured, bribed, cajoled, and enticed their way in to mine for strategic min-
erals that would environmentally devastate the sacred rice beds of the Sokao-
214 Robyn: Indigenous Knowledge and Technology
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gon Chippewa; to strip mine coal, as on the Crow and Navajo reservations;
to drill for oil, as on the Blackfeet reservation; and to site garbage dumps and
medical-waste incinerators, as on the Salt River and Gila River reservations.
This historically structured process of exploitation and expropriation, all in
the name of progress, goes on and on.48
Linear concepts of progress sanctioned through laws created in a capitalis-
tic stratified society make up the current experience of sustainability. What
distinguishes the American Indian perspective on the environment from the
dominant capitalistic paradigm of Euro-centric environmental exploitation is
that Natural Law (all of life naturally moves in a circular fashion) is supreme
law and should provide the guiding principles upon which societies and peo-
ples function. The holistic view of sustainability for the Ojibwa people, for ex-
ample, is that laws made by nations, states, and municipalities are inferior to
Natural Law and should be treated in this manner.49
Holistic environmental paradigms stand in sharp contrast to life in an in-
dustrial society. Natural Law is preempted in industrial society as human
domination over nature becomes the central way of life. In contrast to the
American Indian cyclical process of thinking, this linear concept of progress
dominates industrial societies. Progress is defined in terms of economic
growth and technological advancement and is key to the development of dom-
inant civilized societies. From this perspective, the natural world is seen as
something that is wild and in need of taming and cultivation. Those not part
of this mentality are seen as primitive and in need of being civilized. Civilizing
those who are not part of the dominant paradigm is the philosophical basis of
colonialism, conquest, and the view that Western knowledge is the only legiti-
mate way of “knowing.”
Even though American Indian perspectives have a greater impact today on
environmental politics and policy than previously, American Indian philoso-
phies, values, and knowledge are not included in those policy decisions that
benefit large corporations and serve the interests of the state. There is a vast so-
cial distance between the parties involved in corporate land and mineral issues
that causes a breakdown in communication as well as misinterpretations of
each party’s actions. Walter Bresett, activist and member of the Red Cliff band
of Chippewa, argues that Indians and non-Indians alike are being victimized
by large corporations that reduce economic options.50
Activist and author Al Gedicks writes, “the sooner we stop labeling ‘native
issues’ as something separate and distinct from our own survival, the sooner
we will appreciate the critical interconnections of the world’s ecosystems and
social systems.”51 Environmental concerns can be absolutely crucial within
the context of reservation politics; even before the most hostile of tribal coun-
cils, the kind of “Mother Earth” talk that would make Anglo corporate execu-
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tives or legislators roll their eyes can make all the difference.52 In dealing with
American Indian people when making important decisions, such as formulat-
ing environmental policy, corporate America and the federal government
would be wise to realize that among American Indian tribes there is a grow-
ing respect and a demand for the inclusion of generations of cumulative In-
digenous knowledge which is essential in balancing business practices with
Environmental harms follow the path of least resistance and are connected to
many things such as the air we breathe, our food, water, lifestyles, and legal de-
cisions. Developing economically sustainable alternatives will depend on
many variables, such as research, effective organizing and lobbying, legal rep-
resentation, effective use of the media, interactive utilization of Native rights
and environmental movements by Indigenous groups and state/local govern-
ments, and an essential inclusion of Native beliefs and values concerning the
Including these values singularly or in combination, depending on the con-
text, into the political deliberative and allocative process can help bring about
environmentally sound, long-term, sustainable economic alternatives. With
the inclusion of Indigenous knowledge and values, the socially harmful inter-
action between economic and political institutions that we have seen in the
past can be decreased while at the same time helping restore the balance which
is so important to Native peoples. Clearly, incorporating these kinds of values
and beliefs into policy decisions challenges and decolonizes the harmful,
wasteful projects of profit-maximizing corporations and growth-at-all-costs
government policies while strengthening Indian nations as a whole.
As a global society, it is possible to examine our relationship with the earth
and realize that our future lies in our ability to sustain ourselves and the de-
velopments we choose to impose on the environment. Native traditions have
incorporated many ways to sustain the harvest of resources that will not de-
stroy their future availability. For example, Menominee Tribal Enterprises, in
Keshena, Wisconsin, received international recognition for achievements
made toward sustainable forestry practices. Situated on 220,000 acres of for-
ested lands, the Menominee system of intensive forest management “is now a
recognized leader in shelterwood systems for uneven-aged management of
white pine, and hemlock-yellow birch ecosystems.” 53
We cannot return to a pristine existence, but we can make the best possible
use of what we now have. We have an opportunity as a society to integrate our
ways of “doing” to match the patterns and requirements of nature and the nat-
ural environment. Cooperation with the environment is one way to integrate
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Native traditional values and mainstream concepts of development and future
survival. With the assistance of Native traditions and teachings, we as a society
can begin to identify patterns of nature that do work and present us with al-
ternatives to ecological and global crises.
Corporations and the state would have us believe there is no other way, other
than their way, to survive economically. They do not want to look at other ways
of knowing because those ways might be more powerful than they are. As
Mander writes, the only group of people, so far, who are clear-minded on this
point are Native peoples, simply because they have kept their roots alive in an
older, alternative, nature-based philosophy that has remained effective for tens
of thousands of years and that has nurtured dimensions of knowledge and per-
ceptions that seem outdated to many. It is crucial that Euro-centrism be re-
assessed for its impacts on the environment, tradition, and Native peoples, be-
cause Native societies and their knowledge of the environment, not our own,
may well hold the key to future survival.54
In times past, Native nations in the Americas achieved an ecological balance
with their environment. The great success that Native people experienced us-
ing natural patterns and strategies for survival is available to us now. It may be
time for us to begin to examine the alternatives used throughout history to
achieve the survival of Native societies. For example, Gedicks suggests invest-
ing in locally-owned small firms and in labor-intensive technologies such as
tribal fish hatcheries, renewable energy, recycling, forest products, and organic
farming, which would create far more jobs than mining, while at the same time
contributing to an environmentally stable economy. Gedicks also suggests en-
couraging utilities to buy locally-produced renewable energy rather than en-
couraging electric utilities to build coal-fired power plants. He cites Northern
States Power, a company building a wind farm in Buffalo Ridge, Minnesota, as
an example of available, cost effective technology.55 From an American Indian
context it is important, once again, to recognize the influence of past history,
cultural perspectives, and environmental relationships. The logic that led us
into the problems our society faces today is not adequate to develop informed
solutions to these contemporary concerns.
Traditional knowledge, in all forms, is connected to the environment from
which American Indian societies emerged. The role of the environment in
American Indian culture creates a holistic perspective that influences Indige-
nous institutions, such as criminal justice, education, religion, community and
interpersonal relationships, resource use, harvest, and many other important
aspects of people’s lives.
Together as a whole society, cooperation, not competition, can become a
driving force. It may be possible to see our relationship with nature and the
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earth as a community of living people who interact interdependently with all
communities and institutions of the earth, allowing us to become beings, per-
sons, and societies that are part of nature once again.
1. Winona LaDuke, foreword to The New Resource Wars: Native Multinational Corporations, ed. Al Gedicks (Boston MA: South End 2. LaDuke, foreword, p. xi.
3. Louise Grenier, Working with Indigenous Knowledge: A Guide fo tawa ON: International Development Research Centre, 1998), p. 1.
4. Grenier, Working with Indigenous Knowledge, p. 2.
5. Richard Wilk, “Sustainable Development: Practical, Ethical, in Technology Transfer in Traditional Technology for Environment Sustainable Development in the Asian-Pacific Region,” in procee University of Tsukuba International Seminar on Traditional Tech ronmental Conservation and Sustainable Development in the Asia 11-14 December 1995, Tsukuba Science City, Japan, p. 21. United N Scientific and Cultural Organization, New York; University of Tsu pan. Cited in Grenier, Working with Indigenous Knowledge, p. vii.
6. Massaquoi (1993), quoted in Grenier, Working with Indigenous K 7. Grenier, Working with Indigenous Knowledge, p. 2.
8. G. E. Tinker, Missionary Conquest: The Gospel and Native A Genocide (Minneapolis MN: Fortress Press, 1993).
9. John Bodley, Victims of Progress, 2nd ed. (Palo Alto CA: Mayfield to. Odessa Ramirez, “The Year of the Indigenous Peoples,” Social of Crime, Conflict and World Order 19:2 (1992): 78-86.
11. LaDuke, foreword, p. x.
12. LaDuke, foreword, pp. x-xi.
13. Tinker, Missionary Conquest, pp. 8 -11.
14. Quinney (1974), quoted in Stephen Pfohl, Images of Deviance an A Sociological History, 2nd ed. (New York: McGraw Hill, 1994), p. 40 15. A. Josephy, (1975), “Indian’s Odd Foes,” New York Times, 27 No in Gedicks, The New Resource Wars, p. 189.
16. Gedicks, The New Resource Wars, p. 189-90.
17. Gedicks, The New Resource Wars, p. 19o.
18. LaDuke, foreword, p. xi.
19. Donald Fixico, The Invasion of Indian Country in the Twentiet can Capitalism and Tribal Natural Resources (Boulder: University 1998), p. 177.
20. This definition of “trust” is provided by the fifth edition of Citron’s Law Lexicon,
218 Robyn: Indigenous Knowledge and Technology
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comp. William C. Citron (Cincinnati OH: Anderson Publishing, 1973), pp. 290-91,
cited in Fixico, The Invasion of Indian Country, p. 178.
21. Fixico, The Invasion of Indian Country, p. 178.
22. Fixico, The Invasion of Indian Country, p. 18o.
23. See Pfohl, Images of Deviance and Social Control.
24. A partial list of grassroots organizations includes: Anishinabe Niiji, Chequa-
megon Alliance, Citizens for a Better Environment, Earth First!, Environmental De-
fense Fund, Environmental Mining Network, Environmentally Concerned Citizens of
Lakeland Areas, Friends of the Earth, Madison Treaty Rights Group, Midwest Treaty
Network, Rusk County Citizens Action Group, Sinsinawa Dominican Sisters of Wis-
consin, and Wolf River Conservation Club.
25. See Barbara Perry, “From Ethnocide to Ethnoviolence: Layers of Native Ameri-
can Victimization,” Contemporary Justice Review 5:3 (2000): 231- 47.
26. See Perry, “From Ethnocide to Ethnoviolence”; David Stannard, American Holo-
caust (New York: Oxford University Press, 1992); Devon A. Mihesuah, American Indi-
ans: Stereotypes and Realities (Atlanta GA: Clarity Press, 1996); and M. Annette Jaimes,
“Native American Identity and Survival: Indigenism and Environmental Ethics,” in Is-
sues in Native American Cultural Identity, ed. Michael K. Green (New York: Peter Lang,
1995), pP. 273-96.
27. See Perry, “From Ethnocide to Ethnoviolence”; and James Riding In, “Images of
American Indians: American Indians in Popular Culture: A Pawnee’s Experiences and
Views,” in Images of Color, Images of Crime, ed. Coramae Richey Mann and Marjorie
S. Zatz (Los Angeles cA: Roxbury, 1998). pp. 15-29.
28. Gedicks, The New Resource Wars, p. 163.
29. Ronald N. Satz, “Chippewa Treaty Rights: The Reserved Rights of Wisconsin’s
Chippewa Indians in Historical Perspective,” Transactions 79:1 (1991): 101.
30. Satz, “Chippewa Treaty Rights,” p. iol.
31. Satz, “Chippewa Treaty Rights,” p. iox.
32. Satz, “Chippewa Treaty Rights,” p. 104.
33. Masinaigan (1990f), 7-8, cited in Satz, “Chippewa Treaty Rights,” p. 104.
34. Busiahn (1991); U.S. Dept. of the Interior (1991), quoted by Gedicks, The New Re-
source Wars, p. 164.
35. Gedicks, The New Resource Wars, p. 164.
36. Gedicks, The New Resource Wars, p. 164.
37. Raymond Michalowski, “A Critical Model for the Study of Crime,” in Criminal
Behavior: Text and Readings in Criminology, ed. Delos H. Kelly, 2nd ed. (New York: St.
Martin’s Press, 199o), 196.
38. Michalowski, “A Critical Model for the Study of Crime,” p. 196.
39. Linda Robyn, “A Critical Model for the Study of Resource Colonialism and Na-
tive Resistance,” in Controversies in White-Collar Crime, ed. Gary Potter (Cincinnati
OH: Anderson, 2002), pp. 86, 96.
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40. Ward Churchill and Winona LaDuke, “Native North America: The Political
Economy of Radioactive Colonialism,” in The State of Native America: Genocide, Colo-
nization, and Resistance, ed. M. Annette Jaimes (Boston: South End Press, 1992),
pp. 241-62.
41. Robert Bullard, Confronting Environmental Racism (Boston MA: South End Press,
1993), p. 17.
42. Pfohl, Images of Deviance and Social Control, pp. 7-8, 430 -35.
43. Frank Fischer and John Forester, The Argumentative Turn in Policy Analysis and
Planning, (Durham Nc: Duke University Press, 1993), pp. 214-15.
44. John Dryzek, “From Sciences to Argument,” in The Argumentative Turn in Pol-
icy Analysis and Planning, ed. Frank Fischer and John Forester (Durham Nc: Duke Uni-
versity Press, 1993), pp. 10 -15.
45. Mary Hawkesworth, “Epistemology and Policy Analysis,” in Advances in Policy
Studies Since 195o, ed. William Dunn and Rita Mae Kelly (New Brunswick NJ: Transac-
tion, 1992), pp. 295-329.
46. Robert Bullard, Dumping in Dixie: Race, Class, and Environmental Quality, 2nd
ed.(Boulder co: Westview Press, 1994), p. 119.
47. Anthony Cortese, Elizabeth Kline, and Jessie Smith, “Second Nature Partnership
Training Manual,” comp. and pub. Second Nature (manual used at Partnership Train-
ing: Education for a Sustainable Future, Northern Arizona University, 14-18 June
48. Margaret L. Knox, “Their Mother’s Keepers,” Sierra Magazine 78:2 (March/
April 1993): 50.
49. LaDuke, foreword, pp. ix-xi.
50. Walter Bresett (remarks presented at A Watershed Conference on Mining and
Treaty Rights, Tomahawk wI, 30-31 October 1992).
51. Gedicks, The New Resource Wars, p. 202.
52. Knox, “Their Mother’s Keepers,” p. 50.
53. Dave Bubser, “Menominee Sustainable Forestry,” Cultural Survival Quarterly
16:3 (fall), quoted in Gedicks, The New Resource Wars, pp. 29, 197.
54. Jerry Mander, In the Absence of the Sacred: The Failure of Technology and the Sur-
vival of the Indian Nations (San Francisco cA: Sierra Club Books, 1991), p. 384.
55. Gedicks, The New Resource Wars, p. 197.
220 Robyn: Indigenous Knowledge and Technology
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What discipline/subjects do you deal in?

We have highlighted some of the most popular subjects we handle above. Those are just a tip of the iceberg. We deal in all academic disciplines since our writers are as diverse. They have been drawn from across all disciplines, and orders are assigned to those writers believed to be the best in the field. In a nutshell, there is no task we cannot handle; all you need to do is place your order with us. As long as your instructions are clear, just trust we shall deliver irrespective of the discipline.

Are your writers competent enough to handle my paper?

Our essay writers are graduates with bachelor's, masters, Ph.D., and doctorate degrees in various subjects. The minimum requirement to be an essay writer with our essay writing service is to have a college degree. All our academic writers have a minimum of two years of academic writing. We have a stringent recruitment process to ensure that we get only the most competent essay writers in the industry. We also ensure that the writers are handsomely compensated for their value. The majority of our writers are native English speakers. As such, the fluency of language and grammar is impeccable.

What if I don’t like the paper?

There is a very low likelihood that you won’t like the paper.

Reasons being:

  • When assigning your order, we match the paper’s discipline with the writer’s field/specialization. Since all our writers are graduates, we match the paper’s subject with the field the writer studied. For instance, if it’s a nursing paper, only a nursing graduate and writer will handle it. Furthermore, all our writers have academic writing experience and top-notch research skills.
  • We have a quality assurance that reviews the paper before it gets to you. As such, we ensure that you get a paper that meets the required standard and will most definitely make the grade.

In the event that you don’t like your paper:

  • The writer will revise the paper up to your pleasing. You have unlimited revisions. You simply need to highlight what specifically you don’t like about the paper, and the writer will make the amendments. The paper will be revised until you are satisfied. Revisions are free of charge
  • We will have a different writer write the paper from scratch.
  • Last resort, if the above does not work, we will refund your money.

Will the professor find out I didn’t write the paper myself?

Not at all. All papers are written from scratch. There is no way your tutor or instructor will realize that you did not write the paper yourself. In fact, we recommend using our assignment help services for consistent results.

What if the paper is plagiarized?

We check all papers for plagiarism before we submit them. We use powerful plagiarism checking software such as SafeAssign, LopesWrite, and Turnitin. We also upload the plagiarism report so that you can review it. We understand that plagiarism is academic suicide. We would not take the risk of submitting plagiarized work and jeopardize your academic journey. Furthermore, we do not sell or use prewritten papers, and each paper is written from scratch.

When will I get my paper?

You determine when you get the paper by setting the deadline when placing the order. All papers are delivered within the deadline. We are well aware that we operate in a time-sensitive industry. As such, we have laid out strategies to ensure that the client receives the paper on time and they never miss the deadline. We understand that papers that are submitted late have some points deducted. We do not want you to miss any points due to late submission. We work on beating deadlines by huge margins in order to ensure that you have ample time to review the paper before you submit it.

Will anyone find out that I used your services?

We have a privacy and confidentiality policy that guides our work. We NEVER share any customer information with third parties. Noone will ever know that you used our assignment help services. It’s only between you and us. We are bound by our policies to protect the customer’s identity and information. All your information, such as your names, phone number, email, order information, and so on, are protected. We have robust security systems that ensure that your data is protected. Hacking our systems is close to impossible, and it has never happened.

How our Assignment Help Service Works

1. Place an order

You fill all the paper instructions in the order form. Make sure you include all the helpful materials so that our academic writers can deliver the perfect paper. It will also help to eliminate unnecessary revisions.

2. Pay for the order

Proceed to pay for the paper so that it can be assigned to one of our expert academic writers. The paper subject is matched with the writer’s area of specialization.

3. Track the progress

You communicate with the writer and know about the progress of the paper. The client can ask the writer for drafts of the paper. The client can upload extra material and include additional instructions from the lecturer. Receive a paper.

4. Download the paper

The paper is sent to your email and uploaded to your personal account. You also get a plagiarism report attached to your paper.

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