Thunderbird Partnership Foundation

Culture as Foundation

The Spirit

The most important part of the Indigenous worldview is the spirit. In our life on this earth, the spirit is always central, working with the body, mind, and heart. Culture promotes spiritual expression. One’s spirit wants to live life to the fullest. A connection to spirit is essential to wellbeing.

The Circle

The circle is primary to all of life and life process, similar to how the seasons follow a circular pattern. We can see the interconnectedness and interdependence to life.

Harmony and Balance

The world is constantly changing, but it works towards harmony and balance. It’s like when people sing in harmony, individual voices blend together beautifully. We learn balance when we ride a bicycle. We live in harmony and balance with our family, friends and neighbours when we respect each other’s differences and care for one another.

All My Relations

We are all of Creation and are connected – people, plants, trees, animals and rocks. As relations we need to look after each other. Once this is accepted, we accept that we are no better and no worse than anyone else or any other being. Surrounded by our relations in Creation, we are never alone.

Kindness, Caring, Respect

The Indigenous worldview recognizes that the universe cares. The Creator cares for his Creation. Mother Earth cares about her off- spring and all of earth-life. The beings within Creation care for each other and about how they relate to one another. Kindness and caring are gifts from the Creator that we are born with. When we nurture this gift through our relationships, we learn about respect.

Earth Connection

We are of the earth and from the earth. We are related to all people and creatures, as we all call the earth – Mother. Mother Earth herself is a living, breathing, conscious being, complete with heart/ feeling, soul/spirit, and physical/organic life, just like all the relatives of Creation. Indigenous identity and relationship are defined by the land and our connection to the natural world.

Path of Life Journey

The experience of living in this world is understood as a journey of the spirit moving through stages that are interconnected and continuous. Babies learn to crawl and then to run. We grow up and figure out what our purpose is in life and how we can contribute to the life around us. We grow old. We’re not alone on our journey because we’re connected to our ancestors who came before us and to those who are not yet born.

Language

Language is the voice of the culture and therefore the true and most expressive means to transfer the original way of life and way of being in the world. Culture is the expression, the lifeways, and the spiritual, psychological, social, and material practice of the Indigenous worldview. Our native languages are a sacred gift from the Creator. So, language is more than just a way of communicating.

 

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