American Indian Solutions to Environmental Challenges

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Meet the People

Campo Kumeyaay identity and culture have been shaped by the land on which they thrived for thousands of years. Since the 1700s, they have survived many changes to those ways of life. Their culture is still important to them today.

Key Terms

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    An area that receives little rainfall, about 10 to 20 inches of rainfall per year.

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    A Kumeyaay word for creator, meaning “the water above.”

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    A compound containing nitrogen that can have harmful effects on humans and animals. Nitrate is found in agricultural fertilizers, manure, industrial waste waters, sanitary landfills, and garbage. Nitrates in water can cause illness in humans and animals.

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    A Kumeyaay word for clans, or extended family groups. Among the Kumeyaay, people traditionally lived and traveled in their sh’mulqs.

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    A Kumeyaay word for the leader of a clan.

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Explore: Territory Maps

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Try These Questions

Why did the Kumeyaay live in the lower elevations, or coast, during the winter and the higher elevations, or mountains, during the spring and summer?
Between 1769 and 1846, Spanish, Mexican, and American people came to Kumeyaay lands. What are some ways these outsiders changed where and how the Kumeyaay lived?
Over the years, what restrictions were placed on the Kumeyaay people to prevent them from expressing their culture?

Take Notes for Story Project

What have you learned about this tribe? What makes the place they live in special to them?

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Why are the people so concerned about the environmental problem in their community?

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