Module 2 / Post 2: Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Indigenous Ways of Knowing is a short video in which Bruce Martin discusses the connection between language and culture and the different ways of knowing. Martin discusses how the English language is, at its roots, comprised of words taken from many other languages and therefore no longer has a connection to place. He also comments on how English is a language of nouns whereas Ojibwe is a language of verbs that describes their worldview. In Ojibwa culture, the world is alive and everyday things and objects that Europeans would consider inanimate are considered by the Ojibwa to possess spirit and are in fact animate. The relationship that the Ojibwa have with the world around them is juxtaposed by the lack of relationship that Westerners have with their environment.

This video is a nice introduction to considering the differences between Indigenous and Western ways of knowing. I particularly like that Martin discusses the connection between language and culture. For Indigenous peoples, the loss of their language also means the loss of their culture. I would imagine that English is an inadequate language replacement for Indigenous peoples in maintaining a connection with the land and their culture. This video has given me some things to think about as I delve into my research on Indigenous ways of knowing.

~Dan

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