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Can Indigenous Beliefs Save the Contemporary World?

By Duane Champagne

Many people, including many indigenous people, think indigenous worldviews are an archaic part of the past and have no bearing on present-day life and issues. However, indigenous beliefs and ceremonies are continuously renewed, and persist among many tribal communities.

The persistence of indigenous understandings of the world is no accident. Indigenous knowledge, wisdom, and moral teachings are bound with the creation teachings of the culture and nation. Indigenous knowledge is seen as sacred teachings, which the tribal community and individuals carry out through ceremonies, and through individual and national actions.

In many traditions, as among the Hopi, if the teachings and ceremonies are not carried out properly then the world will be destroyed, both physically and figuratively. In the Hopi, Navajo, and Pueblo traditions, one world might be destroyed, but it is not the end of universe, but rather the beginning of a new transformation to a world where their is more moral balance and conformity to the original instructions.

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