Center for World Indigenous Studies
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Biocultural Synergy

Published: January 8, 2015, Author: Rÿser Rudolph C.

People are animals too, but too frequently human beings chose to step out of the chain of biological and cultural relationships that make the planet work more smoothly. Conventional scientists reported “their discovery” that when human beings disrupt the natural balance of relationships between all living things (killing wolves to reduce the loss of cattle for example) the living environment begins to die. When some wise and generous humans figured that managing the Yellowstone National Park meant killing all of the wolves might control the deer population they failed to understand the chain of biocultural relationships that would would be disrupted as a result. Inventing a nifty new phrase in “tropic cascade” conventional scientists concluded that the whole food chain falls apart if humans destroy the animals (read wolves) at the “top of the food chain.” Park managers apparently also failed to notice when they set about killing all those wolves that they were essentially destroying the park. Fourth World peoples have long lived by the idea of balanced relationships between human want and the requirements for balance in nature. In other words, “don’t take more than you need.”

The Waskarini, Abenaki, Haudenosaunee and other peoples have long known that humans are part of the living environment and if they disrupt the relationships in nature, they risk destroying themselves. Like the wolves, Fourth World nations peoples are at the top of the food chain and so if you destroy the relationship between the people and the land and the cosmos your risk destroying the living environment.

Human cultures must continue to blend in relation to the rest of the environment in a biocultural synergy. If you remove the human beings and the wolfs you remove the natural relationships that produce life.

Biocultural synergy requires that human beings and wolfs and elephants and whales and forests become restored to ensure life. Removing Fourth World peoples from their lands results in the same kind of death that killing wolves produces: Death throughout the chain of life over time. Restore those relationships and life abundant returns.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

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