It is the Karuks' intimacy with a particular habitat, both sacred and natural, that embodies their distinct cultural identity. The mystery and power of their relationship to this habitat, to their land, is unassailable - deeper than all the forms of destruction it has had to endure. The land continues to hold a spiritual energy that shapes and reflects the human activity within it; it is through the reassertion of their severed relation to the land, their culture and identity indelibly fused within it, that will begin to reconcile this lengthy and dissonant conversation with the dominant culture.

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The suppression of native culture and human diversity sadly parallels the destruction and desecration of bio-diversity and natural resources. This is the cycle that must cease. The Indian mind knows this, we know this: It is far better to cooperate with nature and live within its interconnections than to overwhelm it, possess it for profit, without consideration of the resources, or the people that care for them. The Karuk insist that policy not emanate from political transients - that the people invested in the long term future of a place, its inherent caretakers, its traditional and historical residents, should become the policy makers, insuring their birthright and allowing them to resume a functional and active part of these, their homelands.

© 2008 Andrew Chambers