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How Northwest tribes lived to keep their lifestyles sustainable

respect and responsibility in pacific coast indigenous nations

The word "sustainable" has come into broad use in our language in recent years, indicating the importance of bringing human activities more in harmony with the needs of the planet and its other occupants. In other words, doing things more like the indigenous people of North America did for thousands and thousands of years.

We get a more focused look at the practices of two tribes in our part of the continent in the book Respect and Responsibility in Pacific Coast Indigenous Nations: The World Raven Makes. The book follows practices both ancient and modern of the Nuu-chah-nulth (or, Nootka) of Canada and the Makah, now on Washington's Olympic peninsula.

The information came from the tribes, written up by co-authors Raymond Pierotti at the University of Kansas and Eugene Anderson, professor emeritus of anthropology at the University of California, Riverside. They visit the JX to talk about the ways in which indigenous people avoided "the tragedy of the commons."

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The Jefferson Exchange is Jefferson Public Radio's daily talk show focused on news and interests across our region of Southern Oregon and Northern California. Angela Decker is the senior producer, Nash Bennett is the assistant producer, and Geoffrey Riley hosts the show.