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  • Titill er á ensku “The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother.” Learning from Native American Approaches to a Sense of Place and Sustainability
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  • Útdráttur er á ensku

    “The Great Spirit is our Father, but the Earth is our Mother”. This is one of many great Native American sayings that give us a reason to believe that Native Americans had great respect for the land they lived on. To have this kind of respect it is essential to have some kind of connection with nature. First of all, every human being needs to belong somewhere and have a sense for a place called home, a sense of place. Then it is essential to know what makes that place unique for the individual as well as having things in common with others. Native Americans had as good a sense of their land as possible as they lived solely with nature and from it, developing sustainable methods of cultivating it and passing their knowledge on from one generation to the next.
    To develop a strong lasting sense for one’s place it is essential to know what place means to us personally as well forming a common connection through history. Each place has its unique story with heroes and heroics; and having strong historical figures and learning from their vision can play a major role in developing identity. Bringing this knowledge back to life and teaching children of all ethnic backgrounds a sense of respect for their certain place (it can be their state, city or town) along with practicing sustainability from early on, is a very important aspect for their future welfare as well as our planet’s self- sufficiency. Through examining how indigenous peoples treated nature efficiently and with respect, by looking at some of their ancient agricultural techniques still partly practiced today, and by pointing out the importance of history, can all provide us with valuable data to work with in a search for a more sustainable and joyous sedentary lifestyle in connection with the natural surroundings that for each and every one of us is our particular home.
    Keywords: Native Americans, Sense of Place, Sustainability.

  • 21.1.2013

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