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Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples™

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Maps of traditional Indigenous territories

“I’ve noticed a trend that people maintain their own tribal name based on being in their traditional homeland. I think a lot of it is because the names they used for themselves usually are descriptive phrases. So, a lot of tribes call themselves, ‘we are the people at the mouth of the river’. If you have been removed from your territory through the trail of tears, or the long walk by like a thousand miles from where that mouth of the river is people no longer think of themselves as ‘the people at the mouth of the river’. When you get dispossessed of your traditional homeland, there is a cultural rift that happens. A loss that happens from being off of where you are supposed to be.” Aaron Carapella, Two Row Times, 2013


There are maps of reserves (reservations in the United States), maps of language groups, maps of treaty-making, regional maps of traditional territories but up until recently there weren’t any that showed the original Indigenous traditional territories with original Indigenous names.

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Topics: Indigenous Peoples, Aboriginal History

Fabulous Five Indigenous Women Nominees for Canadian Banknotes

The Bank of Canada put out the call for nominations of Canadian women for a series of new banknotes. This is not the first time women have been featured, but, since the bank began issuing banknotes in 1935, it is still a rare occurrence. Between 2004 and 2012, the Famous 5 - Emily Murphy, Irene Marryat Parlby, Nellie Mooney McClung, Louise Crummy McKinney and Henrietta Muir Edwards, and Thérèse Casgrain appeared on the $50 bill.

 

In order to determine who should be featured, the bank has asked the public to submit their nominations. Here’s the criteria:

  • They are a Canadian (by birth or naturalization) who has demonstrated outstanding leadership, achievement or distinction in any field, benefiting the people of Canada, or in the service of Canada.
  • They have been deceased for at least 25 years.
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Topics: Indigenous Peoples

What is the Relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Animals

From time to time people ask me about the relationship between Indigenous peoples and animals. For some, the knowledge of the natural world - the land, plants, animals, seasons and cycles of nature - has been a central tenet of their lives and worldviews since the dawn of time. Their understanding of the natural world is sophisticated and comprehensive. The natural world, now commonly referred to as the “environment”, is not viewed as a separate entity but one, interconnected aspect of the whole. This interconnectedness equates to a moral responsibility to care for, live in harmony with, and respect the natural world.

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Topics: Spiritual Beliefs, Indigenous Peoples

Hereditary Chief definition and 5 FAQs

 

"The great aim of our legislation has been to do away with the tribal system and assimilate the Indian people in all respects with the other inhabitants of the Dominion as speedily as they are fit to change." Sir John A Macdonald, 1887

 


Long before Prime Minister John A. Macdonald made the above statement of intent, the Indigenous Peoples who had occupied the land since time immemorial had effective, traditional forms of leadership and governance. The traditional form of governance pre-contact was most commonly based on leadership by hereditary chiefs.

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Topics: Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous relations

What are appropriate gifts for Indigenous Guest Speakers

This article goes out to all the people who organize events that include Indigenous speakers and we thank one of our readers for suggesting we write on this topic.

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Topics: Indigenous Peoples

The Relationship between Indigenous Peoples and Place Names

 What is the relationship between Indigenous Peoples and place names? Indigenous place names carry knowledge that has been passed from generation to generation - they are the story maps that connected Indigenous people to place and guided Indigenous people from place to place. This people and place connection has remained strong despite the era of assimilation and the impacts on culture and community.

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Topics: Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous Peoples Worldviews vs Western Worldviews

Leroy Little Bear: "Any individual within a culture is ging to have his or her own personal interpretation of the collective cultural code; however, the individual's world view has its roots in the culture - that is, in the society's shared philosophy, values and customs. If we are to understand how Aboriginal and Eurocentric worldviews clash, we need to understand how the philosophy, values and customs of Aboriginal culture differ from those of Eurocentric cultures" [1]

The world we live in is multi-cultural with a corresponding plethora of worldviews. In this article we provide a definition of "worldviews" and a comparison of Indigenous and Western worldview perspectives. Understanding the core differences between Indigenous worldviews and Western worldviews is an important component in achieving cultural harmony and respectful relationships. In this article we give a snapshot of the basic differences between Indigenous and Western worldviews. We are speaking in very general terms in the description of these differences and are in no way indicating that individual Indigenous cultures share the same worldviews; ditto for generalizations of Western worldviews.

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Topics: Indigenous Peoples

Indigenous or Aboriginal Which is correct?

“Which is correct? Indigenous or Aboriginal” is a frequently asked question for us at Indigenous Corporate Training Inc.. The federal government’s move to Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (INAC) from Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development, while a very positive move for Indigenous Peoples in Canada, has people asking the question. We really appreciate the question and the motive behind the question - to respect Indigenous Peoples by using the correct terminology.

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Topics: Indigenous Peoples

12 Days of Reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples

To celebrate the release of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s Recommendations and Report in 2015 and in the spirit of Christmas, we have put together 12 suggestions for what individuals can do to support reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples during this holiday season.

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Topics: Indigenous Peoples, Reconciliation

Indigenous Peoples and the Environment

“Indigenous peoples have known for thousands of years how to care for our planet. The rest of us have a lot to learn and no time to waste” Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at 2015 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

 

Federal and provincial governments come and go and take with them their particular view of the value of protecting the environment. Indigenous Peoples on the other hand who do not come and go (have been here since time immemorial) place an extremely high value on protecting the environment and the resources that are important to them.

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Topics: Indigenous Peoples