First Peoples

What it Means to Be Indigenous

It means: to be from a place. It doesn’t mean simply that you live there. It means that you and the place are one thing. For historical reasons, most Canadians and Americans give this power to aboriginal peoples, while claiming cities for themselves, yet without relinquishing domination of the land just given to First Nations peoples. It makes the mind spin. This is saner: certain behaviours are common to all people. We are all brothers and sisters. In European traditions, as well as in aboriginal ones, it used to be that people took pleasure in noticing shapes of animals among the clouds. The contemporary version of those traditions dispel such thought to childhood. Well, in that sense, then, this is childish:P1170366

Hummingbird Feeding on a Flower in the Low Winter Light

Bilbo’s Bog, Larch Hills

Childish is just a name given by people who are not indigenous, to those who are. Entire relationships between people and the world are set by the human ability to make patterns like this. Without it, we are machines.

2 replies »

  1. Nice post Harold. That’s something that’s been discussed in my group, except switch the term indigenous with native. To be native/indigenous means to be connected to place and have a deep connection to all the living things around you. So the question was asked of a class of grade 4 kids: If you’re not native, what are you? Their response was ALIENS!
    Another comment that has been brought up is that moment in time as we reach adolescence, and I remember as a kid being confronted with this question: “When are you going to grow up and join the real world”? Or the comment: “Quit being so childish”. Perhaps that’s the moment in time where we make our collective mistake. I for one thought the Sun and Moon and hummingbird pools were the real world….
    Like you say, we need to maintain our child like nature, it’s what engenders so many quality attributes such as curiosity, vitality, joy and innocence. It is possible to have the best of both worlds.


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