"Indigenous" Views on the Economy

The term indigenous is a descriptive that implies a group of people have inhabited a certain physical space for generations - at least long enough to develop specialized knowledge about the certain environmental space that they have inhabited. Indigenous peoples continue to live in various levels of tradition around the globe, and each group owns a distinct connection to the place on the planet in which they live. While the distinctions between any given indigenous groups are quite easy to elaborate, the commonalities are typically more difficult to express. Still, the commonalities exist, and in fact, one could picture the many distinct indigenous traditions as being part of a larger whole. We might call this an "indigenous worldview" or "indigenousness". Whatever the label, the whole can be expressed through the commonalities which consist of values, experiences, traditions, ways of knowing, and more. It could be argued that these commonalities are at the forefront of the growing number of indigenous movements around the globe, and directly responsible for the success and strength of these efforts. 
Yes! magazine recently published an interview with Rebecca Adamson, founder of First Peoples Worldwide and president of First Nations Development Institute. Adamson astutely explains how an indigenous worldview could be applied to the economic crisis facing the U.S. and other western nations. For instance, she articulates the meaning of the economy from the indigenous worldview and contrasts that with the economy in which westerners find themselves embedded: 
What indigenous experience tells us is that an economy is about fairness and equity. It should be for the well-being of your people and the sacredness of creation. You take care of your place because it provides for you. And the place provides for you because you’re protecting it. We have to begin to rethink our economic system so that it’s accountable for our place. The economy used to be about livelihoods and the provision of a household, but we’ve lost that purpose. We have created an economic system with a goal of material wealth, rather than human development.
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1 comment:

  1. Anonymous4:22 PM

    would have liked to see more on what this woman has to say about the economy.


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