Indigenous Mind Program

Indigenous Mind program offers a sacred circle in which students engage deeply with their ancestors, the story of their people, and their homelands. Native Elders help in this process. Coursework and intensives, including a journey to an ancestral homeland, are enhanced by the innovative use of technology to create a ‘witness’ to one’s process. Taken together, these elements unite in a catalytic, transformative learning experience. We are delivered to the door of ‘New Consciousness’ called for in the indigenous histories and prophecies around the world–a consciousness that ushers in a life vibrant with renewal and Earth-honoring practices. Global climate change, environmental and human concerns have thrust the geo-centered program to the very forefront of forward-thinking curriculum and research.

Living what it teaches, the Indigenous Mind Program makes extensive use of both technology and ritual to bring students to the threshold of their own indigenous ancestry, homeland, and traditional ways of knowing–to the remembrance of Indigenous Mind. This involves a profound shift in consciousness, in ways of knowing and living, and requires clear minded commitment to biophilia–a love of life.

Traditional ways of knowing help us ground ourselves in who we are, and in our responsibilities to future generations. Students bring healing first to themselves and then to their families, their ancestors, and ultimately to the earth.

This program has been developed by Dr. Apela Colorado, a pioneer and recognized leader and Elder in the field of Indigenous Mind.

 

Philosophy

The Indigenous Mind program is founded on the belief in, and wisdom of, traditional ways of knowing. For Native people who live within their tribal culture on the ancestral lands of their people, the program offers an opportunity to strengthen the connection and discern new global applications of their traditional knowledge. For students who have grown up steeped in the modern world, the Indigenous Mind program inspires a new way of seeing and being in the world, grounded in recovery of one’s origins and tribal wisdom.

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Earth-based indigenous knowledge and ways of life are disappearing rapidly, yet most Western thinkers do not grasp the scientific depth of this knowledge nor the meaning of its loss. Recovering indigenous roots enables students to understand and research the environment and healing from an indigenous perspective. Our vision is to help students recover a way of thinking and being that supports sustainability and promotes interdependence. We hold that indigenous consciousness can be recovered, even after many generations. Our scholarly, personal process is designed to heal the dissociation that is characteristic of contemporary Western consciousness — a perceived split between body and mind, spirit and matter, human and nature, human and human. Such remembering takes time and requires extensive grounding.

The Earth Summit and various UNESCO resolutions have affirmed the validity and global significance of indigenous knowledge, yet few people understand its depth and application and fewer still are trained in indigenous science.This concentration helps students to shift their basic assumptions and perceptions to embrace indigenous knowledge–to stand in the mindset of one’s tribal ancestors and to keep hold of that vantage point in today’s time.

Indigenous science is a holistic discipline that draws on human senses and ways of knowing to reveal the balance of all things. Indigenous scientists, Elders and scholars consider nature to be alive and intelligent, interacting with it as an active research partner. They guide students beyond an individualistic sense of self, restoring a sense of their interconnectedness to the web of all being through their indigenous wisdom traditions.

 

Educational Approach

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The recovery of indigenous roots is a rigorous process of remembrance that involves:
  • A profound shift in ways of knowing;
  • Inquiry methods based on an indigenous paradigm;
  • Scholarship grounded in the historical, archaeological, mythological, and anthropological literature of one’s culture;
  • The personal integrity and patience for healing a dissociated existence.

What the program does not offer is a set of techniques that can simply be appended to an already existing collection. Recovery of indigenous mind involves an honest examination of the historical process that has split the Western mind. It means grieving the genocidal patterns of colonialism and confronting patterns of internalized oppression.
It requires ending one’s personal and cultural addiction to “progress.” It calls for honoring spirits that have been neglected for centuries. It means facing the discomfort of uncertainty–a recognition that our knowledge of community, healing, and nature is incomplete.

We invite people who seek to recover an authentic indigenous mind and life. The program is for those who see the importance of preserving and passing on traditional worldviews, and for those who long to recover and re-establish the lifeways and values of their indigenous ancestors–lifeways that teach responsibility for reversing the destruction of the planet.