The Power of Song in the Protection of Native Lands

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The Power of Song in the Protection of Native Lands, Melissa Nelson and Philip M. Klasky, Orion Afield
The Storyscape Project, born out of protests against a proposed nuclear waste dump on American Indian lands in California, aims to educate the public about the need to preserve tribal lands based on its importance in native stories and songs. From a Western perspective, preservation is usually measured in numbers of species and size of habitat, says Melissa Nelson and Philip M. Klasky in Orion Afield. But from a native perspective, preserving the spiritual relationship between people and land is the first critical step in restoring the land. That's the reason behind Storyscapes' most recent project, the Salt Songs. In an effort to protect some 2,500 acres of land in Nevada, the project aims to record the songs of the Southern Paiute people and purchase 2,500 acres of native lands chronicled in the songs.
--Kate Garsombke
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