How did one group of indigenous societies, on the Northwest Coast
of North America, manage to live sustainably with their ecosystems
for over two thousand years? Can the answer to this question inform
the current debate about sustainability in today's social
ecological systems? The answer to the first question involves
identification of the key institutions that characterized those
societies. It also involves explaining why these institutions,
through their interactions with each other and with the non-human
components, provided both sustainability and its necessary
corollary, resilience. Answering the second question involves
investigating ways in which key features of today's social
ecological systems can be changed to move toward sustainability,
using some of the rules that proved successful on the Northwest
Coast of North America. Ronald L. Trosper shows how human systems
connect environmental ethics and sustainable ecological practices
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