Mudcat Café message #3136846 The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #137198   Message #3136846
Posted By: Ed T
17-Apr-11 - 10:49 AM
Thread Name: BS: The Indigenous Peoples Outlook
Subject: RE: BS: The Indigenous Peoples Outlook
Thank you Lizzie Cornish for posting your information. I suspect more than a few understand where you are coming from in posting it.

My perspective:

Our distant forefathers had a deep thirst for knowledge of astronomy, mathematics and universal laws that can be traced back to the dawn of man. They also sought to understand how they, as individuals and societies, fit within the harmony and rhythms of nature (and its species), with the flow of the seasons, with the ebb and flow of the tides, with the movements of the planets and stars, and with nature (and various Gods) that held power over their existence.

Today, few societies pay much attention to the human connections with nature and to "Mother Earth". The emphasis is more towards establishing mans dominion over nature. (We are beginning to see the results of the that approach).

Most societies and individuals have lost the sense of "connection" with nature, as if man is separate or supreme. In recent years some ecologists recognize the inter-related nature of all life on our planet, and warn us of "the folly of our ways" (most of the warnings fall on deaf ears). Surprisingly, this inter-connection with nature was recognized by many supposedly "simple native cultures" around the world thousands of years ago.

For past indigenous hunter-gatherer societies, respect of nature and Mother Earth was integral to their culture and religions. They saw the need to live in harmony with nature. This concept remains an important element of many indigenous societies, and what remains of their religions.

Most major religions (of the conquers) introduced the concept that man is above other species and superior to other species, being "separate" from the Earth. This has been adopted by today's society that with a growing urban populations that has forgotten its place in nature. For example, the importance of wilderness areas t our climate is secondary to maintaining a standard of living. When we look at the various Christian teachings few conveys the message of the Christian God, "Be responsible for fish in the sea and birds in the air, for every living thing that moves on the face of Earth.

However, central to most indigenous societies (and remaining religions) is the clear and often repeated message that man must live in harmony with nature and respect its entire species.

It is illogical to downplay the impact of the majority cultures on the few remaining indigenous peoples. Most have seen the impacts of being conquered, separated and pushed aside and off their land, culturally (and in many other ways) assimilated, marginalized, discriminated against, subjected to poverty, and low levels of health care and education. After centuries of such treatment, is it surprising that many try to be successful by being more like us?

After this disgraceful unhumane history, in many countries (and many of them Christian, should we not expect some change? Should we now add an additional indignity on these people by criticizing the few (or, even many) who try to act and behave like us, those in the dominant society that we portray in all of our media as successful?