As an applied anthropologist, I work on the twin tasks of impact assessment and conflict resolution as these are necessitated by proposals for major construction projects or natural resource development. I run a consulting firm which works with American Indian tribes, federal agencies, and corporations in the Pacific Northwest regarding the design, siting, or permitting of major and often controversial facilities or resource uses: hydroelectric projects, natural gas pipelines, timber sales, nuclear waste storage facilities, and the like. In conjunction with tribal colleagues, I participate in assessing the cultural implications of proposed environmental change. When a conflict exists between tribal cultural practices or values and a proposed project, as is common, we determine whether there are any changes in the design or siting of the project through which both the values of the tribe and the technical/economic requirements of the developer can be accommodated.

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