Table of Contents


From Rights to Responsibilities: Toward a Biocultural Resurgence


Langscape Magazine, Volume 12, 2023



Rights and Responsibilities: An Inextricable Link
Luisa Maffi




Reviving Eco-Civilizations: Our Best Hope for the Future
In Hawai’i, the concept of rights is more accurately understood to mean responsibilities.
Kawika Winter

From Rights to Responsibilities: Regenerating Kinship Relations
For Indigenous Peoples, their relationships to the lands, waters, and natural world shape their responsibilities, governance, and self-determining authority.
Jeff Ganohalidoh Corntassel

It All Starts with Opening Our Hearts: A Dialogue about Earth Jurisprudence
Every being on Earth has both inherent rights and the responsibility to participate in the web of life.
Mashudu Takalani and Gertrude Pswarayi-Jabson

Custodianship for the Common Good: Restoring Traditional Concepts of Rights and Responsibilities
Inclusive international law and governance and a shared ethical framework are needed to sustain both people and the planet.
Nigel Crawhall


Struggles & Victories


Territory of Life: The Story of Ibola dja Bana da Massaha, the Reserve of All Massaha Children
A forest community in Gabon affirms its will for self-determination and responsible management of its ancestral land.
Benjamin Evine-Binet

The Wealth of Our Lands: Celebrating Boititap Korenyo with the Ogiek of Mount Elgon, Kenya
A community advocates for land rights and protects its ancestral forest with mapping technology.
Rudo Kemper

Forest of Our Past, Forest of Our Future: Managing the Woods of an Ancient French Commons
A walk through one of France’s land commons reveals that the right to self-govern ensures the responsible management of natural resources.
Gretchen Walters and Alain Levet

Legal Rights and Spiritual Responsibilities: Indigenous Land Struggles in Costa Rica
Indigenous Peoples fight for their land rights to uphold their inherent responsibilities to the earth.
Felipe Montoya, Gilbert González, Ana María Martínez, Julie Hard, and Mathieu Poirier


Threats & Actions

Piikanissini: A Piikani Collective Biocultural Heritage Approach
Biocultural community protocols can help Indigenous Peoples communicate ancestral laws and responsibilities to external actors.
Ira Provost

Give and Take: Shifting Perspectives on Kalamos Island, Greece
A local community grapples with increasing social and environmental pressures that are changing the balance between rights and responsibilities.
Léa Denieul-Pinsky

Gone with the Tide
Rising sea levels threaten a local community’s biocultural heritage and the residents’ right to an ecologically responsible way of life.
Thor Morales

Ituri: Challenges and Prospects for Biocultural Heritage in Conflict Situations
A civilian peacekeeper explores the role of biocultural rights and responsibilities in achieving reconciliation and a lasting peace in conflict areas.
Paulin Regnard

One Last Offering of Oranges
The right to formal education is considered so sacrosanct that we fail to see how it can undermine our biocultural responsibilities.
Chang Liu

Women Do It Differently: Realizing the Responsibilities of Rights in an Indigenous Community of India
Village women succeed where the men had failed in restoring the community’s fisheries.
Kanna K. Siripurapu and Aniket Bambole

Ethical Straw: Reviving a Sustainable Weaving Tradition in Nepal
Indigenous Newah farming communities reaffirm their identity and protect the land by rekindling ancestral artisanal skills.
Sheetal Vaidya, Manju Maharjan, Samjhana Dahal, Yuvash Vaidya, and Prakash Khadgi

“Good Fire”: An Intertribal Alliance Empowers Native Californians to Restore Their Homelands
Tribal members take responsibility toward the land by reviving ancestral cultural burning.
Jeanine Pfeiffer


(Life’s) Journeys


Growing Pains: The Price of My Negligence
Reflecting on his life’s path, a young writer from Ghana realizes that there are no rights without responsibilities.
Abraham Ofori-Henaku

Listening to the Land
A wilderness hike reminds a young woman that privileges come with responsibilities.
Jessica Herman

The Oyster Picnic
A designer takes responsibility to learn about the landscape and the Aboriginal languages that describe it.
Kathryn Morgan

Rites and Responsibilities: What Role for White Settlers in the Work for Indigenous Sovereignty?
Reconnecting to her roots, a descendant of settlers reflects on the legacy of colonization that her ancestors both endured and perpetuated.
Darcy Ottey and Sharon Shay Sloan, with members of the Re-Calling Our Ancestors team 

All Our Relations

We Are Wildlife; Wildlife Is Us
Indigenous Peoples have a right to draw resources from the local environment and an obligation to follow traditional practices to protect it.
Saw Moe Aung

Where Elephants Drink: Water Bodies and Human–Elephant Coexistence
Water patterns and an ancient human–elephant social contract hold important lessons for eco-justice.
Elizabeth Oriel

Hunting with Amnesia: Remembering Our Responsibilities to Indigenous Lands
Indigenous cultures understand wildlife as fellow nations whose actions enable or curtail human aspirations.
Jay Cooney and Brandon Harrell

Web Extras

The Rohingya Refugees: Language and Our Ethical Responsibility
A young volunteer reflects on the rights of refugees and the responsibilities of host countries.
Deven Carse with Milana Carse

On Becoming A Steward
In Mexico and Canada, a budding environmentalist learns important lessons in awareness and responsibility.
Brian Jones

Rani’s Rayah
A Dayak woman unleashes the power of song in defense of Borneo’s forests.
Pinarsita Juliana


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