Original Instructions: Indigenous Teachings for a Sustainable Future

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Melissa K. Nelson
Inner Traditions / Bear & Co, Jan 16, 2008 - Nature - 384 pages
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Indigenous leaders and other visionaries suggest solutions to today’s global crisis

• Original Instructions are ancient ways of living from the heart of humanity within the heart of nature

• Explores the convergence of indigenous and contemporary science and the re-indigenization of the world’s peoples

• Includes authoritative indigenous voices, including John Mohawk and Winona LaDuke

For millennia the world’s indigenous peoples have acted as guardians of the web of life for the next seven generations. They’ve successfully managed complex reciprocal relationships between biological and cultural diversity. Awareness of indigenous knowledge is reemerging at the eleventh hour to help avert global ecological and social collapse. Indigenous cultural wisdom shows us how to live in peace--with the earth and one another.

Original Instructions evokes the rich indigenous storytelling tradition in this collection of presentations gathered from the annual Bioneers conference. It depicts how the world’s native leaders and scholars are safeguarding the original instructions, reminding us about gratitude, kinship, and a reverence for community and creation. Included are more than 20 contemporary indigenous leaders--such as Chief Oren Lyons, John Mohawk, Winona LaDuke, and John Trudell. These beautiful, wise voices remind us where hope lies.
 

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Contents

Lighting the Sun of Our FutureHow These Teachings Can Provide Illumination
1
Uncovering the EcoSpiritual Values of the Original Instructions
21
Indigenous Democracies
53
The Art and Science of Kinship
85
Indigenous Feminine Power In Honor of Sky Woman
137
You Are Where You Eat Native Foods and Traditional Agriculture
169
Decolonization and Global Indigenous Struggles for Justice
219
ReIndigenization
251
Indigenous Resources
324
Notes
338
Bibliography
343
Contributors
347
Books of Related Interest
360
Backcover
362
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About the author (2008)

Melissa K. Nelson, Ph.D., is an ecologist, writer, educator, and social activist whose work is dedicated to indigenous revitalization and cross-cultural reconciliation. She is a professor of American Indian studies at San Francisco State University and president of The Cultural Conservancy, a nonprofit indigenous rights organization. She also coproduced the award-winning documentary short film The Salt Song Trail: Bringing Creation Back Together. She is a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians and lives in the San Francisco Bay Area.

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