African Ways Of Keeping Culture Alive Essay

1150 Words Dec 6th, 2016 5 Pages
Native ways of keeping culture alive must be revitalized, as colonization was detrimental but did not destroy everything. Indigenous relationships with the peopled universe emphasize environmental values and a way of being that holds strong to cultural values. Colonizers desperately tried to erase this deeply rooted culture, but it is hard to erase a link so completely tied to the land. Deeply embedded in each native person’s pedagogy is history, collective trauma, the reverberating effects of genocide and colonization, and yet Native peoples are resilient, proving strength time and time again.
Everyone has something to teach, and indigenous peoples know the peopled universe (Gross) is populated by teachers. The relationship of Indigenous peoples with the land – as it is a relationship, as Kimmerer says, embedded in reciprocity – is not one of possession or monetary value, but of inherent worth and a need to protect. It’s a give and take, the gift economy leads to reciprocal relationships with the earth and all her peoples: “a gift is also a responsibility” (347). Kimmerer, in her novel Braiding Sweetgrass, often speaks of this familial connection with plants. Those who populate the earth all belong to themselves. Kimmerer realizes her Potawatomi “language [is] a mirror for seeing the animacy of the world,” (55) of the peopled universe - a native way of knowing the highlights the environment’s importance. The Thanksgiving Address is a powerful method of teaching, giving…

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