Courses Overview >> Short courses >> Becoming Indigenous 2017 - Finding Our Way Home

Becoming Indigenous 2017 - Finding Our Way Home

Course dates: 
Friday, 1 September, 2017

With Colin Campbell, Pat McCabe, Mac Macartney and special guests Loretta Afraid of Bear Cook, Carolyn Hillyer and Martin Shaw


1 September - 1 December 2017 (full-time residential at Schumacher College)
January - July 2018 (online webinars and mentoring)
July 2018 (Coming Home Week at Schumacher College, date to be confirmed)

Programme Structure:

This 10 month programme is a deep journey into the question of what it means to be indigenous to our place, our land and our community. Once in the place of home, connected to our birth-rite of belonging, how do we act in the world to create change and support others?

A three-month residential followed by supported personal research and mentoring the Becoming Indigenous Programme  brings together teachers, thinkers, elders, ceremonialists from both western and indigenous traditions to consider what it means to be indigenous in the 21st Century.

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. Western 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, the homesickness, 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 western culture looks to learn about deeper 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?

What People Are Saying

" I doubt that the limited tool of language can explain the profound effect the Becoming Indigenous course had on my world view and my sense of self. There are many door to pass through now, but the deep roots that I planted in the woods with my new clan are keeping me strong and full of faith in our species and the potential of this moment."  - Florence Devereux

"The Becoming Indigenous course broke me open and changed the direction of my life.  I feel deeply grateful to have had this experience and if I could I would do it all over again!” - Anna Haber

This incredible course brought myself and all of its participants into contact with indigenous elders and practitioners from North and South America, Africa, and Europe; indigenous activists such as Atossa Soltani - founder of Amazon Watch; and some of the most prominent leaders in the paradigm shift in ecological consciousness; such as Mac Macartney, Charles Eisenstein, Bill Plotkin, Colin Campbell and Pat 'Woman Stands Shining' McCabe - Chris JS.

"Becoming Indigenous is a spiritual course and it has changed my life.
The course heals despair and disconnection. Learning from indigenous people and traditional practices it goes beyond the boundaries of belief, for it is a process of attaining a 'knowingness' through the experience of doing. When we pay tribute to important life events through ceremony, it reminds us of how intimately connected we are with the Great Mystery and nature, and helps us be at peace with the inevitable changes that life brings. Becoming Indigenous was one of the best experiences in my life!" - Maria Eduarda Souza

Programme Content

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

The programme is led by three principle teachers, who have expertise in different indigenous traditions from Southern Africa, Native America and the British Isles. They will be holding the threads throughout the residential and online components. They will be joined by special guest teachers from around the world, including indigenous elders and spokespeople, many of whom do not usually teach outside of their own countries.

Programme Structure

Throughout your 3-month residential journey, you will experience rituals, ceremonies, stories and sharing around the fire. You will connect with the woods, the land, the moor, the sea and each other, reading, integrating and where possible attending additional closed sessions and tutorials with course teachers and  faculty members at the College. In addition we intend to offer an introductory approach to traditional craft making and bush skills to complement the sacred ritual and ceremonial ways of knowing.

Module 1: Ways of Being, September
Convened by Colin Campbell with guest teachers Eve Annecke and Lucy Hinton

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.The programme will have two taught components separated by an online period of self-directed individual inquiry, online webinars and mentoring.

Join Colin Campbell and guest teachers for a deep self-exploration using traditional techniques and ritual practices from the indigenous South African traditions. You can expect divinatory bone readings, a supported solo vision-quest in the woodlands and wild surrounds of Schumacher College and a magical steam ritual.

Module 2: Ways of Knowing, October
Convened by Pat McCabe and guests teachers Lyla Johnson, Carolyn Hillyer, Nigel Shaw, Lorreta Afraid of Bear Cook, Linda Delorimer and Mac Macartney

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.

Join Pat McCabe and guest teachers as they bring you their rich knowledge and exploration of ceremony. You can expect a Pilgrimage across Dartmoor, a ceremoney at the Dartmoor Roundhouse and a Lakota Sweat Lodge.

Module 3: Ways of Being, November - December
Convened by Mac Macartney and guests teachers

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 (link is external). 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.

The online component of the programme is designed for you to continue the inquiry you have begun during the residential phase with the mentorship of one of the teachers identified by yourself fom the taught component. During this time there will also be regular online sharing and a number of webinars with the course teachers.

The second taught component is a residential ’Coming Home’ week for sharing and celebration at the end of the programme. This will be an opportunity to share your experiences and learning with the group and articulate what plans you maybe taking into the future.

The college recognises the necessary time commitment and other resources needed to embark on this programme. With this in mind we highly recommend that you visit the college and or make contact with the programme convenor to discuss any questions you may require further information before submitting an application. We are anticipating high demand for this programme and recommend early application.

Fee Structure

Fully Residential = £8240 includes accommodation, all food and snacks, teaching and facilitation, online support and mentoring, final homecoming week.

Non-Residential Option = £6140 does not include accommodation but does include lunch, dinner and snacks for all short course and Home Weeks, teaching and facilitation, online support and mentoring for the first term and the final homecoming week.

£ 8 240.00
RESIDENTIAL FEE includes private accommodation, all food and snacks, teaching and facilitation, online support and mentoring and final homecoming week. NON-RESIDENTIAL FEE (Call Tel: +44 (0) 1803 847237 To Book) = £6140 does not include accommodation but does include lunch, dinner and snacks for all short course and Home Weeks, teaching and facilitation, online support and mentoring for the first term and the final homecoming week. The Becoming Indigenous Programme will be based in the elegant surrounds of Dartington Hall's Elmhirst Centre, the College's second venue.