In a new venue but familiar function, I recently participated in composing a meta narrative for the International Indigenous Peoples’ Forum on Climate Change. Corresponding with colleagues and associates at the UN climate change talks in Poznan, Poland over the last two weeks, I was indirectly involved in clarifying the indigenous position to world leaders and world media.
While dealing in ideas — in my case working with words — necessarily entails building on the work of others, collectively constructing a conceptual guide involves new creations and forms of collaboration. Crafting a narrative that can complement visual and audio images in such communicative instruments as art, song, dance and film, helps in energizing the social nexus where core values converge.
Creating a synthesis of these values held in common by the World Indigenous Peoples’ Movement, as well as the environmental and democracy movements, requires mastering the arts of communication, humanities, and leadership within a political science context. Meeting that challenge is both exciting and daunting; navigating the global terrain, however, calls forth lessons and principles learned about relationships at a foundational level. Everything we build on them goes back to the element of respect.
The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.access here