Tim Yearington ALGONQUIN VISIONS

        Traditional Ways of Knowing 

 

Traditional "Ways of Knowing" encompass the knowledge we gained by living in harmony with the natural world. The very teachings we learned thousands of years ago were originally inspired by the land; the plants, animals, elements, the weather and seasons. Our ancestors collectively retained the natural wisdom we gained through songs, stories, legends and myths. Ancient red ochre pictographs and birch bark scrolls helped us remember the things we needed to know to live smart - and be well.

Yet in our current age people are now seduced by the need for material possessions, technology and smart phones. And because of this many people - particularly youth - are struggling emotionally and mentally.

Issues of fear, depression, anxiety, apathy, drug abuse, alcohol abuse, dependence on technology, mental health, ADHD, PTSD, NDD (Nature Deficit Disorder) are all steering people away from the inherent power within themselves to have self-worth, find purpose and be happy in life.

Ancient human teachings can help us to remember what matters most: We're all Native to the Earth! Therefore, to help us find our way in life we are all entitled to seek vision on the land at sacred medicine sites to help us gain more emotional, physical, spiritual and mental stability. Old thunderbird medicine ways teach us that we'd better "fix the fire first". This means we take care of our inner emotional world first. The balance for our emotional world is our spiritual world - our own beliefs - and this is where the knowledge of the thunderbirds (shamans) help us. Seeing our own self from a much higher "bird's eye view" helps us to recognize our whole world at one time. This vision then helps us improve our life.

Indigenous teachings are becoming much more significant in today's technological world. The healthy benefits of Traditional Knowledge and ways are being recognized, embraced and utilized by people worldwide.

Today the higher perspectives of our Algonquin Worldview are mainly encompassed in various teachings such as the Medicine Wheel model and also The Seven Grandfathers. But there is much more to know than these fundamentals offer to the modern learner. Increasingly important today, motivational thunderbird teachings still exist within the deeper, mysterious aspects of our ancient legends, manitous (spirits), animals, helpers, stories and ceremonies. When we learn the true value of the very things our ancestors left behind for us to find, pick up and use, we come to see they're still capable of assisting us in our everyday lives.