chapter  11
32 Pages

ENVIRONMENTAL ETHICS

The first thing to say about the Native American perspective on environmental ethics is that there is a great deal to be said. I don’t think that anyone has clearly understood yet how the Indian conceives of himself in relation to the landscape. We have formulated certain generalities about that relationship, and the generalities have served a purpose, but they have been rather too general. For example, take the idea that the Indian reveres the earth, thinks of it as the place of his origin and thinks of the sky also in a personal way. These statements are true. But they can also be misleading because they don’t indicate anything about the nature of the relationship which is, I think, an intricate thing in itself.