Theodore MacDonald is Associate Director at the Program on Nonviolent Sanctions and Cultural Survival at Harvard's Center for International Affairs. He has undertaken academic and applied research in various parts of the Upper Amazon, mainly in Ecuador, since the early 1970s. Among his publications on the region are De Cazadores a Ganaderos, recently reprinted by Abya-Yala publications, and Ethnicity and Culture among New 'Neighbors:' The Runa of the Ecuadorian Amazon, published as part of the Allyn and Bacon series Cultural Survival Studies in Ethnicity and Change.
Abstract of paper given at
Indigenous Traditions and Ecology
The paper first reviews the recent rise of "Traditional Environmental Knowledge (TEK)" as a field of research led largely by academic researchers and environmentalists. It then reviews the participation of Amazonian Indian organizations in, or in opposition to, this research. It ends by considering the relationship between these research efforts and the current, widespread political mobilization of Amazonian indigenous peoples.