own Indigenous Knowledge (IK).”
James Dumont, Anishnaabe Elder & Traditional Teacher,
4th Degree - Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge
At the interface between First Nations and the Settler Society, Ancient Spirit Rising: Reclaiming Your Roots & Restoring Earth Community engages with themes of cultural appropriation, social justice, solidarity, allyship, re-centering indigenous values, animism, rewilding, sacred sites, European Indigenous Knowledge (EIK), the Old Ways, cultural recovery, rejuvenating the ecocentric self, and our shift to localized community.
In terms of cultural appropriation, we need to ask why the modern non-native spiritual seeker who aspires to connect with nature automatically uses sacred symbols such as the smudge, the dreamcatcher, the headdress, the bone choker, the talking stick and the tipi. Who gave us permission to use these objects and symbols, and where are our own sacred expressions and tools as European people?
In Ancient Spirit Rising I suggest that a truly radical act in defiance to the hegemony that Empire has created is to let go of our polyglot approach and focus on our own ancestral-sourced indigenity. In the process of becoming the most dominant society on earth, as Eurocentric people we traded away our place in the web of life, abandoned our eco-ethics, and surrendered our bond to the earth and the wholeness that it brings. The highest denunciation of patriarchal Empire and colonial values would be to recover a tribal worldview connected to the Earth, followed by developing a sense of the sacred specific to the roots of our ethnicity. As earth-connected peoples secure in our own indigenous knowledge (IK - or possibly said European Indigenous Knowledge ~ EIK) we could better contribute to the rebalancing of society, and the active “12th hour” shift in worldview that needs to happen for our species to survive.
(1) James Dumont, “Introductory Remarks,” Elders and Traditional Peoples Gathering, Trent University, Peterborough, Ontario, February 12-14, 2010.
(2) The term “indigenous” coupled with “knowledge” and used as the acronym “IK” is in widespread and popular use among Turtle Island First Nation leaders, academics, authors, cultural creatives, activists, wisdom keepers and community people. “IK” has been found to be the perfect descriptor for a Turtle Island First Nations’ specific cosmology, worldview, spiritual traditions and lifeways, as in Anishnaabe IK, Haudenosaunee IK or Hopi IK. I use “Euro-Indigenous Knowledge” or “EIK” to describe the ancestral earth-connected cultures that originated elsewhere than Turtle Island. On Page 147 in Ancient Spirit Rising, I address the controversy regarding these terms, and my clarification on the terms “indigenous,” “IK,” “Euro-indigenous,” “EIK,” neo-indigenous and ecodigenous.