Has Native Culture Faded Into Folklore?

Have you ever noticed how we go through “thematic” periods in our lives? In my case, I find that I go through very specific “themes” which I am usually only aware of in hindsight. But every once in a while I am overwhelmed by a multitude of themes and this is where I am at today. My life seems to be rolling and moving at a river’s pace. But always one topic takes greater importance so, over the past few weeks the emphasis has really been on building a “community” for myself and my family.

After the workshop I attended my ‘theme” was connection to the planet and our personal responsibility here.  Of course this is still a daily focus in my life and has been for many years, but by focusing on it through conscious intention that weekend I was really brought to a deeper understanding of our interrelatedness and connection to everything alive.  The other very important thought that the weekend offered me was of the importance of community.  We are also connected to each other, and because the human is the only creation (we know of so far) that has conscious intention and foresight in their bag of tricks, then it is also our responsibility to consciously promote interrelated functioning (community) between humans.  But as you already know, we are sorely lacking in community in our culture.  It’s one of the things I envy about those who live in second or third world culture. they haven’t been torn apart from the proper functioning of one human being with another yet.  Our lack of community only throws gasoline on the fire that makes us believe that we are separate from nature.  In fact, it is this inherent belief that we hold which has caused us to make every single environmentally detrimental decision throughout history. If we really understood how absolutely connected we were to the living world, we would and could not make the decisions we are currently making.

We have a huge job of changing the way we interact with the world ahead of us, and I think it is only the indigenous cultures of every nation that can be the leaders of this change. Most in second and third world nations have never lost their innate cultural connection to the earth, the seasons and the deep intimate understand of the balance of things. Although they may express it all very differently, at its very roots, every indigenous culture relies on a set of belief systems that is positively co-existent with nature. But our culture seems to have ruined something very important, and after what I saw last weekend, I have great doubts as to whether or not it can be regained.  We do not have a clue how to survive on this earth. Most of us wouldn’t have a clue where to find food, or create shelter.  Not that i am being all “doomsday”, but aren’t these basic skill every human being should have? How to cloth and feed and house yourself based on the natural resources at your disposal?  Given the opportunity however most of us would perish pretty quickly in some of the conditions these people live in.  They have skills and knowledge and an energetic connection to the earth which for us at this time is critical. My fear is…maybe they have lost it?

Last weekend,  I was extremely disheartened when I drove through our local Mohawk reserve in search of some sage for smudging with my husband.  Every ten feet there was a little shack selling cigarettes and maybe one or two touristic crafty crap places selling little plastic native dolls with dresses all beaded to “made in china” perfection, but not a leaf of sage to be found anywhere.  No drums, no sage. Only cigarettes and Playboy Lighter’s at “discount prices”.  It was really sad and pathetic all rolled up into one.

Now it feels like we don’t have an indigenous culture here anymore. And I must say…we are truly screwed if this is true.  Of our own actions and governmental stupidity, we have systematically extinguished the very essence of what we need to turn this speeding train around. We have bitten off our noses despite our face. ( I have always wanted to use that line…it’s a great visual. )

So, that’s my  “theme” today.  My conundrum is wondering whether or not after everything we have done to damage our Native Cultures – do they still have what it takes to teach us what we need to know or have they forgotten as well?



2 thoughts on “Has Native Culture Faded Into Folklore?

  1. Your “theme” is extremely valid. You express what has been upsetting many of us, but there is far too much opposition for positive change. Watching how the world has changed, with it’s disregard for the past, is a tragedy from which humanity may never recover. I agree with you.


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