In this essay, an indigenous scholar traces his thinking on how best to reveal the layers of knowledge encoded in American Indian thought in terms that can be understood by non-Native peoples. Recently, resilience theory, which seeks to understand the source and role of change, particularly the kinds of change that are transforming, lead to adaptive systems, and are sustainable, seems best suited for this task. Enrique Salmón reflects on the various ecological and sustainable innovations that contemporary American Indian communities are initiating that are helping them to remain resilient as well as the important lessons that others can draw from that can have significant impacts on the practices that can help to mitigate the impacts of anthropogenic climate disruptions, landscapes, and ecosystems. Among human communities, resilience results from periodic episodes when cultural capital has been built up. This cultural capital, the author explains, consists of indigenous people who still speak the language, the storytellers, the ritual singers, the farmers, and the wise elders, but also Native youth working to reorganize and develop new methods and practices based on centuries-old traditions that can be used to revitalize traditional ecological knowledge.

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