Shepherd Kreck III questions the empirical validity of the ecological Indian stereotype. He argues that historical Native American resource management made sense according to the ideas and myths through which Indians understood the world, and particularly their relationship to nature. He emphasizes that this cultural basis for resource management was not essentially the same as contemporary ecological science and did not always lead to practices that conform to contemporary conservation ideals. Kat Anderson, on the contrary, argues that California Indians by keeping ecosystems in a modest or intermediate level of disturbance, in many senses Indians lived in ecological harmony with nature. Answer one of the following questions.
- Which argument is more compelling? Use specific examples to support your claims.
- Krechs argument has triggered a strong response from critics such as Sioux Indian historian and legal scholar Vine Deloria, who calls Krechs argument anti-Indian and others who have accused Krech of implying that American Indians must be stopped from controlling their own resources at any cost. Why has Krechs argument, which reviewer Kimberly Tallbear describes as well researched and largely valid, elicited such strong responses? And do you think that Krechs argument has any ethical and/or political implications regarding contemporary Indian claims to authority over natural resource management?
1. RRs should be written in the form of a response to an essay prompt, including:
- A thesis statement (1 sentence) in the first (typically brief) paragraph responding clearly to the question asked (e.g., In this essay I argue that )
- A summary of the key points of your argument supporting your thesis (1-2 sentences directly following your thesis statement, and typically at the end of the first paragraph [e.g., To support my argument, I consider points A, B and C.])
- A well-reasoned argument (typically 2-3 paragraphs after the thesis statement paragraph)
- Topic sentences describing paragraph contents and reflecting key point in your argument
- Sentences containing relevant information and analysis supporting your thesis
- A conclusion sentence at the end of the final paragraph that expands on your thesis
2. Respond to the question based primarily on readings. There is no need to draw from outside material, though you may do so.
- Write succinctly and clearly, editing out all unnecessary verbiage.
- Use proper grammar and pay attention to writing style.
- Summarize and/or use examples to support your thesis.
- Demonstrate a close reading of the material and refer to specifics of authors arguments.
- Paraphrase rather than using quotes, unless you want to highlight and/or analyze something specifically related to how an author says what you choose to quote.
3. Your personal opinions and feelings about the material are important, and you are strongly encouraged, but not required, to express these in the assignment. For instance, you may:
- Relate issues and themes to contemporary social, environmental or political topics
- Explore your feelings about the issues raised in terms of personal experiences
- Comment on the ethical implications of the issues addressed by the question
Form: 1-2 pages total writing (no third pages, please).
- 1.5 spacing / 1 margins / 12-point font.
- Use parenthetic references for all citations of quotes and ideas drawn from readings, with page numbers in MLA format [e.g., (du Buys 1998, 23)]. Do not include a list of works cited, unless you cite material that is not on the course syllabus.
RRs please include content, form, creativity and writing quality