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Building off of Lessons 1 and 2 in this unit, students learn about Native Americans’ stewardship of the land pertaining to fish and wildlife.
In Lessons 1 and 2 of this unit, basic traditional American Indian beliefs regarding people’s relationship with the natural world were presented through origin stories. In this lesson, students will examine how people show respect and care for the land. The students will demonstrate what they have learned from Lessons 1 and 2. They will investigate how American Indian organizations put those teachings into practice. The lesson will demonstrate how each student can care for the land and build a better community.
Many American Indian tribes across the country have a natural resources department in their tribal organizations. These departments preserve and protect tribal property, natural habitats, vegetation, waterways, lakes, dams and parks. These departments also enforce regulations and sell licenses for hunting and fishing. These departments care for fish and wildlife. They care for animal orphans such as deer, porcupines and raccoons. They stock lakes, rivers and streams with fish. Many Native American tribes also have a department devoted to environmental health or environmental protection. This department is responsible for enforcing regulations for a cleaner, healthier and safer environment on reservation lands.
Many tribes now have their own carefully controlled fish and wildlife populations, including animals such as antelope, deer, buffalo, elk and ferret. Regulations have been developed to control the populations of these animals. Many tribal colleges on American Indian reservations are educating the people about preserving the natural environment on their lands.