The relationships that make an Indigenous lifeway possible are too complex and mysterious to be fully explained. Still, for thousands of years our ancestors have sought out knowledge of their worlds, the relationships that shape them, and how to maintain wholeness and balance within them. The following is a very basic understanding of traditional concepts many Indigenous peoples have found to be true.
All natural things are alive, connected and communicating with everything else by a spiritual essense or “life force”. Imagine this connection like strands of a spider web. You can imagine this is a very large, complex spider web. Indigenous peoples have understood they can receive information from the world by understanding movements within this web.
Every living thing has a spirit, and we are spiritually connected to each other and all life through relationships that are bigger and more mysterious than we truly understand. These place-based relationships connect us to life on Earth, across time to our ancestors and future generations, to spirit worlds, and to the living stories in the land. In a decolonization process we rely on these relationships of place to teach us how to live as Indigenous people again.
The sacred knowledge of life is not stored in your brain, but in the living web of all life – what we call Mother Earth. The living history of our peoples and places that includes rites and ceremonies, songs and stories, language, and other cultural knowledge never dies, but is held by Mother Earth awaiting to be reawakened through authentic connection with the land and our relatives.