Indigenous Knowledge

The film excerpts under this theme consider the role of women, ways of thinking about hunting and fishing, forestry management, the technique of building an igloo, the importance of spirituality, and the preservation and transmission of ancestral values.

Excerpts


Bella Bella

Bella Bella 1


Circle of the Sun

Circle of the Sun 1


Eskimo Arts and Crafts

Eskimo Arts and Crafts 1


Our Nationhood

Our Nationhood 6


Tales of Sand and Snow

Tales of Sand and Snow 1


Passing of Gifts - In order to cultivate new understanding of and appreciation for the scholarly knowledge preserved, this theme celebrates ancestral gifts that have been passed on from generation to generation.

Aboriginal men and women in their roles as Elders preserve and promote a worldview that is in stark contrast to the worldview of non-Aboriginals. Knowledge is passed from one generation to the next on a wide variety of topics including traditional hunting and trapping, stewardship, spirituality, holistic medicine and language.

Nature serves as a classroom for the transmission of skills and knowledge that has kept Native people alive and healthy since their appearance on Earth. Hunting and trapping techniques along with the preparation and preservation of animals is practical knowledge that is eagerly shared and received.

Stewardship is practised notably within the forestry and fisheries industries operated by Aboriginals. This practice is based on the belief that Aboriginal people have an obligation to protect Mother Earth and all her gifts for this generation and generations still to come. Aboriginal people accept the responsibility of stewardship because they recognize that they are a part of, rather than apart from, all creation.

Elders teach about humanity from a holistic perspective in which a healthy human being is balanced physically, emotionally, intellectually and spiritually. Traditional Aboriginal medicine works to help a person achieve a balanced state in which they live harmoniously with the world around them. Vital to the well-being of a person is the recognition that spirituality plays a crucial role in maintaining health. To this end there are many teachings around ritual and ceremony that help to strengthen the spirit.

Knowledge related to linguistic patterns or language is also transmitted. This is the lifeblood of any and all Aboriginal cultures and, indeed, the very health of an Aboriginal people has come to be defined in terms of how well the indigenous language has been passed on to future generations.


© National Film Board of Canada | Copyright | Accessibility | Credits
This web site is partly funded by Canadian Culture Online