Global Encyclopedia of Territorial Rights

Living Edition
| Editors: Kevin W. Gray

The Debate about Responsibility for Land

Living reference work entry



Cultural, moral, and ecological obligations of Indigenous peoples to care for, steward, and manage their biosphere. These responsibilities are situated within a relational kinship network wherein Native peoples are interconnected and interdependent on the natural world – and vice versa. These teaching are culturally and geographically diverse for every group of Indigenous peoples but can collectively be referred to as the Original Instructions – ethical philosophies derived from oral tradition on how to live sustainably and treat one’s kin networks, including other human beings, nonhumans, and the natural world. These teachings provide protocols for hunting, fishing, gathering, ceremonies, and family life.

Today Indigenous peoples fight to protect their lands from encroachment, occupation, and development. The responsibility to protect Indigenous territories is fundamentally connected to Indigenous identity and...

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Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Humboldt State UniversityArcataUSA

Section editors and affiliations

  • Lavonna L. Lovern
    • 1
  1. 1.Valdosta State UniversityValdostaUSA