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At the dawn of the third millennium, dramatic challenges face human civilisation everywhere. Relations between human beings and their environment are in peril, with mounting threats to both biological diversity of life on earth and cultural diversity of human communities. The people of the Circumpolar Arctic are at the forefront of these challenges and lead the way in seeking meaningful responses. In this book, Karim-Aly Kassam positions the Arctic and sub-Arctic as a homeland rather than simply a frontier for resource exploitation. Kassam aims to empirically and theoretically illustrate the synthesis between the cultural and biological, using human ecology as a conceptual and analytical lens.
Drawing on research carried out in partnership with indigenous northern communities, three case studies illustrate that subsistence hunting and gathering are not relics of an earlier era, but rather remain essential to both cultural diversity and to human survival. The book deals with contemporary issues such as climate change, indigenous people, and the impact of natural resource extraction. It is a narrative of community-based research, in the service of the communities for the benefit of the communities. It provides resource-based industry, policy makers, and students with an alternative way of looking at indigenous communities and addressing concerns of socio-economic development and the environment.
Introduction; Relations Between Culture & Nature: A Critical Consideration; Human Ecology Reconceptualised: A Lens for Relations Between Biological & Cultural Diversity; "Man & His Friends" -- An Illustrative Case of Human Ecology in Ulukhaktok, Northwest Territories, Canada; "The Weather is Going under" -- Human Ecology, Phronesis & Climate Change in Wainwright, Alaska, USA; Mapping Human Ecology: A Transformative Act; Implications of a Human Ecological Outlook; Index.