In the Words of Elders: Aboriginal Cultures in Transition

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University of Toronto Press, Jan 1, 1999 - Social Science - 458 pages

Over years of teaching, it became increasingly apparent to the editors of this book (the Aboriginal Education Council at Trent University) that students in their Native Studies classes were dissatisfied with many of the texts they were assigned, which were usually anthropological in nature. Their response was to propose a new text that would provide an overview of the thought-worlds of Aboriginal cultures from the inside.

Bringing together the voices of sixteen Elders and traditional teachers from across Canada, this collection allows readers to compare the vision and experience of a generation of Aboriginal people. Today, Elders are the historians of the Aboriginal past and the keepers of cultural events and ceremonies. They are teachers, healers, and experts in survival, sharing a world view based on the knowledge that all things in life are related and are governed by natural laws. Those represented here include men and women from a variety of traditions and geographical locations.

This unique collection sets a new standard for the representation of First Nations cultures in the academic context. Not only does it mark a shift in the production of knowledge, it fulfils a need for a closer and more respectful collaboration between Native and non-Native communities.


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it is so awesome


Every song you sing just keeps getting better and better
My heritage was so ingrained in me that I knew I would never lose it
that is dependable and is of use to you
We have to go back to the original teachings
Its just like reading a book when I am talking to you
The Elders have waited for the young people to ask such things

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About the author (1999)

PETER KULCHYSKI is Associate Professor in the Department of Native Studies, Trent University. DON MCCASKILL is Professor in the Department of Native Studies, Trent University. David R. Newhouse is an associate professor in the Department of Native Studies and the principal of Gzowski College at Trent University.

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