Academic Commentary

Why is water sacred to Native Americans?

Rosalyn R. LaPier

The Lakota phrase “Mní wičhóni,” or “Water is life,” has become a new national protest anthem.

What makes a mountain, hill or prairie a ‘sacred’ place for Native Americans?

Rosalyn R. LaPier

For several months Native American protesters and others have been opposing the building of the Dakota Access Pipeline. The plans for construction pass through sacred land for the Native American tribe, Standing Rock Sioux.

Environmental History and Native American Activism

Joseph Gaudet, University of Michigan

Environmental history is the study of how humans have changed the environment over time and, conversely, how the environment has altered society.

Indigenous Peoples and Indigenous Things

Timothy James LeCain, Montana State University

About 15 years ago the anthropologist Shepard Krech sparked a controversy with his book, The Ecological Indian, which basically argued that the North American Indians were not the proto-environmental saints that some had previously made them out to be.

Native Lands and the National Park Service Anniversary

Rosalyn LaPier, Joseph P. Gone, and David Cournoyer

On August 25th the nation celebrated the 100th anniversary of the National Park Service, a federal agency that manages National parks and related federal lands. Lands that were once owned, and still remain important, to Native peoples.