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Becoming Indigenous – Finding Our Way Home

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Course dates: 
Monday, 7 September, 2015 to Sunday, 17 July, 2016
Becoming Indigenous

Convened by Colin Campbell, Pat McCabe and Mac Macartney

With Special Guests Atossa Soltani, Drew Dellinger, Bill Plotkin, Loretta Afraid of Bear Cook, Martin Shaw, Lucy Hinton and many more to be confirmed

4 month residential: 7 September to 20 December 2015

Supervised personal research and mentoring: December to July 2016

One week 'Coming Home' residential: 11 - 17 July 2016

Hiraeth: a homesickness for a home to which you cannot return, a home which maybe never was; the nostalgia, the yearning, the grief for the lost places of your past.

What does it mean to really belong to a place, a community, an ecosystem?

So much of the way that ‘modern life’ is lived is displaced from the land, other people and the living beings around us. Modern culture is one of movement, competition, isolation and consumerism and along the way many people have become resigned to the loss of home - somewhere we truly feel we belong.  Deep down we feel the hiraeth and yet don’t know where this feeling of sadness comes from or how to heal it. We search for relief amongst the things that have caused us disconnection from our place and catch only glimpses of a different way to be, a way of magic and mystery and wildness and soul; a way that perhaps we have somehow lost and long to return to.

One place in which modern culture looks to learn about true connection is the indigenous traditions that remain on our planet – timeless ways of living that honour the relations between ourselves, the creatures and the land around us. These traditions seem to hold a sense of spirit central to a harmonious way of being on the planet that has been somehow displaced in the West. And yet, so much ‘difference’ now exists between the two cultures, so much grief is held by so many for the abuses and disrespect of the past and present. How do we begin to bridge the gap in order that we can learn from each other? How can we find the common ground that makes us all indigenous once again to Planet Earth? How can we all find our way home regardless of the culture, lineage, beliefs and place that we find ourselves within.

This programme is a deep journey into the question of what it means to be indigenous and how it feels to come home. Once in the place of home, connected to our birth-rite of place and community and belonging, how do we act in the world to create change and help others find the way?

We bring together teachers, thinkers, elders, ceremonialists from both western and indigenous cultures to consider what it means to be indigenous in the 21st Century.

How do we heal the grief of the past, how do we stop the abuses of the present, what knowledge and wisdom can we share, how can we move forward into a world together and what part can each of us play in making this world a home for all.

Programme Structure

The programme will have two residential components separated by a period of private research, mentorship and online sharing. The first residential will be for four months during which participants will be resident at Higher Close Dartington Hall and attending sessions in Schumacher College’s Elmhirst Centre. The second residential week will be a final sharing and homecoming ceremony in the same location.

The 4 month residential component will consist of a series of short courses running from Monday lunch to Friday lunch. Your journey through these short courses will be facilitated and there will be additional sessions outside of the set courses for group discussion and personal reflection. Where possible we will arrange 1:1 or small tutorial times with the convenors and visiting teachers. There will also be an element of 'apprenticeship' as the teachers will pass on information on how you can run similar processes and ceremonies in your life and work. 

Visiting Teachers

Each module will include week-long courses or shorter workshops hosted by visiting teachers to Schumacher College that will include indigenous elders and spokespeople, many of whom do not regularly teach outside of their own countries. We will also be using video footage of private interviews taken during the Findhorn Foundations New Story Summit. 

As part of the course we will be planning a series of events and ceremonies that will be open to the general public and some of the taught material will be recorded for wider publication.

Programme Content

The programme will be a rich mix of ceremony, celebration, joint exploration, taught learning, private research and creative expression. We will be learning from the land, each other and our own personal stories of the past and future. This will be a personal and a group adventure that will lead to both the transformation of each and every participant and will build and develop the knowledge and wisdom in this subject area.

It will be convened by three programme leaders each expert in indigenous wisdom in different traditions, each leading a month-long module. They will be joined during their module by guest contributors who will run week-long short courses and workshops. We will also be using video material from attendees interviewed at the recent New Story Summit at the Findhorn Foundation.

During the online part of this programme you will be encouraged to choose a project in your place and community under the mentorship of one of the teachers identified in the residential component of the programme. This will not be examined or accredited in any way and so is for your benefit alone. The residential ‘Coming Home’ week at the end of the programme is an opportunity to share your project experience with the group. During this time there will also be regular skype sessions with the group and video content and teaching sessions made available.

Module 1: Ways of Being, September

Convened by Colin Campbell

Colin Campbell grew up in rural southeastern Botswana, the son of a renowned anthropologist and a creative healing mother. He is currently a practitioner of traditional African medicine, based in Cape Town, South Africa and the UK. He receives clients from all over the world, and facilitates international group processes relating to natural law, transformation, healing & personal power, sacred sites, and cross-cultural cosmology.

His work bridges major world cities with ancestral homelands and forgotten wilderness, taking him from the Amazon Basin to Los Angeles, the sacred sites of Venda to the urban grit of Johannesburg, and remote Ethiopia to the City of London. Colin co-founded and co-runs a training school in Botswana for traditional doctors and sangomas with his brother Niall Campbell. He is also a lifelong artist and musician, his style once again bridging the traditional with the contemporary, the timeless with the timely, and the sounds of the sacred with the lyricism of electric rocking funk.

7 - 11 September 
With Bill Plotkin and Geneen Marie Haugen
Coming Home to an Animate World

14 - 18 September
With Colin Campbell (South Africa)
An Indigenous Worldview - Four Nations of Ancestors 

21 - 25 September 
With Drew Dellinger and Martin Shaw
A Cosmology of Connection 

28 September - 2 October
With Colin Campbell, Lucy Hinton and special guests
The Bones of Ritual

Module 2: Ways of Knowing, October/November

Convened by Pat McCabe

Woman Stands Shining, Pat McCabe, has the honour of being of the Dine (Navajo) Nation. She brings the understanding of Indigenous ways of knowing into discussion and inquiry on Sustainability. She carries the foundation of Beauty and Spirit into places where it has formerly been kept out. Pat is an active participant in Indigenous Peoples gatherings worldwide most recently in Chile, Belgium, Ecuador, Peru, Mexico and Bali.

She has worked with the International Center for Cultural Studies in India and with Sarvodaya with Dr. A.T. Ariyaratne in Sri Lanka, as well as with organizations and gatherings in the U.S. Her recent work includes being a cultural consultant to the Pachamama Alliance, presenting at the 2013 National Bioneers Conference, and presenting on “The Feminine Design and Sustainability” in the U.S. and Internationally.

 

5 - 9 October      
To be confirmed

12 - 16 October
To be confirmed

19 – 23 October
Bayo Akomalafe and Ej Clement-Akomolafe (Africa)
Health and Wellbeing - Through Nature, Ritual and Community

26 October - 6 November
Pat McCabe and Mac Macartney (North America)
Five-Fingered Ways Of Knowing-Beyond Intellect Into Relationship

Module 3: Ways of Being, November/December

Convened by Mac Macartney

Tim ‘Mac’ Macartney has been working as a people and organisation development professional since 1984 before which he enjoyed an eclectic and spontaneous career path that included drama and theatre skills, restaurants, mine rescue, horticulture, and various social enterprises. He is the founder of Embercombe, a published author, a trustee with two other charities, and an associate with Leaders’ Quest www.leadersquest.org.uk. Over a period of twenty years Mac has been mentored and coached by Native American metis ‘Medicine’ people to learn the cultural and spiritual teachings that once informed the practice of his own British indigenous culture. The values, principles, and wisdom of this tradition inform and guide all aspects of his work. Mac’s book ‘Finding Earth, Finding Soul – the invisible path to authentic leadership’ speaks to the necessity for each of us to gather our courage and step out of the shadows and become ‘the leaders we have been waiting for’.

This module will include a Council of Elders and The Journey, a week-long programme at Embercombe.

9 - 13 November
Mac Macartney, Loretta Afraid of Bear Cook and Linda Lorimer
Creating Indigenous Ceremony

16 – 20 November 
Atossa Soltani and Lewis Fox
Our Indigenous Story - Mapping and Re-Telling World Narratives

23 - 27 November
Atossa Soltani and special guests (South America)
Indigenous Activism

30 November - 4 December
Carolyn Hillyer and guests (England)
An Indigenous Worldview

7 – 11 December
Mac Mccartney
The Journey at Embercombe

14 - 18 December
Council Week/Reading Week

Fee: 
£ 8 214.00
Fee £ 8214 fully residential / £ 4954 non-residential. Fee Includes comfortable accommodation, all meal, tuition, materials and field trips.