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Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples ©

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Indigenous Trade Networks Thrived Long Before the Arrival of Europeans

“There used to be millions of us. Although there were no population counts, best estimates suggest that there were at least 40 million of us in the Western Hemisphere in 1491. In 1542, Las Casa, the first Spaniard to make a population guess said, “it looked as if God had placed all of or the greater part of humanity in these countries.”

 

Market economies are not foreign to us. We created them ourselves. We traded goods over hundreds of miles. The Mayan had a complex trade network. How could corn be used all throughout the Americas before contact, if we did not trade? How could pipestone end up in our territory before contact when it only comes from Pipestone, Minnesota, if we did not trade?

 

Trade cannot be financed without capital. We had to build transportation methods such as boats. We had to build large public buildings and maintain armies to provide order. These required community investments that were based on a future return to the community and to individuals.

 

We had to create institutions to facilitate trade. From Alaska to California we agreed to a common trade language, Chinook. We recorded transactions relating to labour and goods. We achieved this because we created a system that was supportive and encouraged individual initiative.” [1]

 

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Topics: Indigenous Peoples, Aboriginal History

Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples™ Blog Passes 1 Millionth Visitor

 

I am delighted to announce that our blog, Working Effectively with Indigenous Peoples™, surpassed the 1 millionth visitor milestone in mid-March. I started the blog in 2011 as a free resource for people seeking information about Indigenous Peoples. It spluttered along for a couple of years slowly gaining traction. Our biggest month was 7,000 visitors. I wanted to reach a greater audience so moved to a platform called Hubspot, and that is when the blog really took off. We now have an average of 60,000 visitors a month which is quite a leap from our earlier efforts.

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Topics: Indigenous Peoples, Indigenous Awareness

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. However, it should be noted that "chief" is a European term. Traditional leaders were headmen/women, clan leaders, heads of villages, groups of people. 

 
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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