Great Plains Studies, Center for


Date of this Version



Published in Great Plains Research, Vol. 18, No.1, 2008. © 2008 Center for Great Plains Studies, University of Nebraska-Lincoln


Native Americans and the Environment is arranged in five parts: "Shepard Krech and His Critics," with essays by Krech and others; "(Over)hunting Large Game"; "Representations of Indians and Animals"; "Traditional Ecological Knowledge"; and "Contemporary Resource Management Issues." Each essay provides useful information on American Indians and the environment, demonstrating the complexity that Krech alludes to in the first chapter in which he discusses the debate his book triggered and welcomes the wealth of discussion it has generated. He argues that the mask of the ecological Indian mystifies complexity, as does generalizing about "the" Indian anything. The rich essays that follow are indications of the variety of Native American economic strategies, ways of understanding their environments, and the politics of revitalization. Krech's afterword is a response to the authors that will keep the debate alive, inspiring continuing scholarship on the issues.