July 06, 2007

Professor:  Tribes knew best

Haskell prof chosen for Live Earth appearance

Dan Wildcat to speak on national television about environmentWildcat will be one of several experts talking from an American Indian perspective.

“It probably doesn’t make sense for everyone in North America to live in a traditional, wood-frame house,” Wildcat said.

For one reason, he said, there are lots of places on the continent that don’t have any timber. Try finding a fertile forest in Western Kansas, for example.

That’s why American Indians who lived on the plains often built grass lodges or earthen berm homes. Wildcat said Americans ought to spend more time today researching how to build homes—with modern conveniences—from materials that are readily available rather than spending massive amounts of fuel and energy to ship timber and other supplies to a site. Plus, he said, sometimes how we build today doesn’t make as much sense as the way frontier-era tribes were building.

“An earthen-berm lodge seems very insightful in a landscape where we have tornadoes,” Wildcat said.

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