Our Human Story
We as human beings are at a critical juncture in our relationship with each other and our earth community. Elders of different cultural traditions name this in various ways. Some have referred to this time as the 'Great Turning,' a time when we must shift to life-sustaining ways of being. In this vein, the late Seneca Elder John Mohawk’s call for ‘the re-indigenization of all peoples to the earth as a living being’ remains a compelling and deeply necessary vision. These voices offer a vital touchstone to innovators, educators, activists and researchers as we go about our work.
As groups of individuals and communities coming together with a clear focus for healing ourselves and the larger earth community, we can have a profound effect on the trajectory of where we go. We are fully capable of effecting the fundamental shift in consciousness and action necessary to fulfil this vision. This means we must go from regarding the larger planetary system as a collection of exploitable commodities and objects to, instead, embracing the diversity of cultures and life forms; effecting this shift within life-giving relationships and actions.
In Okanagan Elder and scholar Jeannette Armstrong’s word’s 'Sharing one Skin' with the earth and human communities is a perspective that is implicit in virtually all First Peoples’ traditions, including the Indigenous ancestors of all humanity today. This is a theme that will be shared and woven throughout the Elders’ Voices Summit, forming the foundations of our time together. Drawing on the human capacities of head, heart and hand, together we will explore themes that include: Indigenous Resurgence; Elders’ teachings, Social-Ecological Innovation, Indigenous-Settler-Newcomer relations, Holistic, Land-based learning and Ceremony. Through intergenerational and intercultural relationships, old wisdoms and new knowledge, together we will lay the foundations for an Indigenous and Intercultural International Resilience Network.