The Circle of Life: Preserving American Indian Traditions and Facing the Nuclear Challenge
This chapter reviews the historical legal, political and cultural relationships between Indian tribes and the United States (US) government in the context of nuclear policy. It includes a description of American Indian cultural worldviews as well as an evaluation of the Indian policy events that led to the establishment of a national military and civilian nuclear apparatus. The chapter highlights the complexities associated with the environmental justice field, and the deep cultural divisions that characterize this society's history. It provides an introspective view of Indian culture and the importance of its preservation to Indians. The chapter presents a legal and political description of the foundational principle of Indian tribal sovereignty and its relevance to nuclear power development. It offers an overview of the relationship of man and the environment from an American Indian cultural perspective. The chapter also offers a review of the violation of Indian sovereignty and the contradiction between US Indian policy and US nuclear policy.