In fact, opinions are pretty lumpy.
Take, for example, the issue of sea lions at the Columbia River.
For about 10 years the issue has been controversial, with hungry sea lions swimming up the Columbia and foraging on the salmon returning to spawn. Some folks adore the cute little critters while others are furious that the invading pinnipeds are eating the protected fish.
Problem is, most of the sea lions are protected, too.
While the news media tend to blame the sea lions, local residents (who blamed sea lions, too) also blamed politicians, the dams, the federal government, fishermen and environmental laws. But they also blamed—somewhat—Native American fishermen and Native American governments.
Drill down a little deeper and you find that the folks most likely to blame Indians embrace values that favor human control over the environment.
Researchers call this an “individualist” worldview, where individual freedoms tend to be more salient than community values.
Residents who agreed with statements such as “plants and animals exist primarily to be used by humans” and “the balance of nature is strong enough to cope with the impacts of industrialized nations” also thought Indian fishermen and governments shared the blame.
But the residents also felt that invading sea lions should be killed, if necessary. Removing sea lions would help protect salmon, which are integral to Northwest Indian culture and livelihood.