Hunting for Justice

An Indigenous Critique of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation

in Environment and Society
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  • 1 University of Oregon ljeich@gmail.com
  • 2 Seton Hill University davidcbaumeister@gmail.com
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ABSTRACT

Within the mainstream environmental movement, regulated hunting is commonly defended as a tool for preserving and managing populations of wild animals for future generations. We argue that this justification, encapsulated in the seven principles of the North American Model of Wildlife Conservation, perpetuates settler colonialism—an institutional and theoretical apparatus that systemically eliminates Indigenous peoples, expropriates Indigenous lands, and disqualifies Indigenous worldviews—insofar as it manifests an anthropocentric ideology that objectifies hunted animals as “natural resources” to be extracted. Because this ideology is antithetical to Indigenous views, its imposition through hunting regulation interrupts Indigenous lifeways, contributing to the destruction of Indigenous identity.

Contributor Notes

LAUREN EICHLER is a PhD candidate at the University of Oregon. Her areas of research include continental philosophy, Indigenous philosophy, and genocide studies. In her dissertation, she argues that dehumanization and animalization are central to the practice of genocide and that one aspect of genocide prevention should be to alter ontological assumptions about human/animal difference that enable dehumanization. Her publications have appeared in the Inter-American Journal of Philosophy and the APA Newsletter on Native American and Indigenous Philosophy. Email: ljeich@gmail.com

DAVID BAUMEISTER is Assistant Professor of Philosophy at Seton Hill University. His areas of research include environmental philosophy, critical animal studies, and European philosophy from Kant to Derrida. His publications have appeared in American Dialectic, Contemporary Political Theory, Derrida Today, Environmental Philosophy, and the International Journal of Philosophical Studies. Email: davidcbaumeister@gmail.com

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