What Does Indigenous Connectivity Mean?

Photo: Unsplash

The worldview of many Indigenous Peoples includes the principle of connectivity - that everything in the universe is connected. The spirit world is connected to the mortal world, the sea is connected to the land, and the sky is connected to the ground. Connectivity explains the connection people have to their communities, their traditional territories, and the ecosystem on those lands.  

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Indigenous Trade Networks Thrived Long Before the Arrival of Europeans

Dene man in a birch bark canoe, Northwest Territories, 1928. Photo: J. F. Moran / Department of Indian Affairs and Northern Development fonds / Library and Archives Canada / a102526-v8

“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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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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What Is the Relationship Between Indigenous Peoples and Animals

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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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Hereditary Chief Definition and 5 FAQs

Three generations of Josephs.

"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, or groups of people.

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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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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.

DYK: In Canada close to 30 000 official place names are of Indigenous origin, and efforts are ongoing to restore traditional names to reflect Indigenous culture. [1]

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Indigenous Worldviews vs Western Worldviews

"Any individual within a culture is going 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 multicultural 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. 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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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 first change the name of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development to Crown-Indigenous Relations Northern Affairs Canada (CIRNAC) indicates the intent of a changing relationship with Indigenous Peoples in Canada. But it has people confused and asking which is correct. Indigenous or Aboriginal? We really appreciate the question and the motive behind the question - to respect Indigenous Peoples by using the correct terminology.

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12 Days of Reconciliation With Indigenous Peoples

To support the work of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission’s calls to action and in the spirit of Christmas, we have put together 12 suggestions for what individuals can do to contribute to reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples during this holiday season.

We suggest printing this article and posting it in your workplace to encourage others to participate in the 12 Days of Reconciliation With Indigenous Peoples. You can also share through your social media networks.

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