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You got to have fish: Families, environmental decline and cultural reproduction

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Tending, harvesting, preparing and consuming traditional foods including salmon, acorns, mushrooms and deer are family activities in Karuk culture. Families are important sites for cultural reproduction, especially in the context of structural genocide. In this article we examine how colonial violence continues to impact indigenous families today in the form of environmental degradation. Runs of salmon, lamprey, steelhead and other species in the Klamath River have declined precipitously in the past two decades, and availability of forest foods is also limited by a combination of non-Native regulations and environmentally degrading management practices. How does environmental decline impact indigenous families? Decline of salmon and other important foods has resulted in families spending less time together. Environmental decline thus limits the transmission of cultural knowledge, identity development of youth and the strength of social ties within families, and also appears to be associated with younger age of death, leading to further reductions in cultural reproduction within families.
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Keywords: COLONIAL VIOLENCE; COLONIALISM; CULTURAL REPRODUCTION; ECOLOGICAL REPRODUCTION; ENVIRONMENTAL DECLINE; FAMILIES; INDIGENOUS PEOPLE; KARUK

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Email: [email protected] 2: Email: [email protected]

Publication date: 2016-11-01

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UA-1313315-21
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