With Colin Campbell, Jon Young, Greg Cajete, Carolyn Hillyer and David Peat (by skype)
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 peopleand 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.
In this three week intensive, we will look closely at the cosmologies and traditions of selected indiegnous traditions, focussing specifically on understandings and interactions in the relationship between humans and the natural world. We will explore how elements of indigenous ways of knowing, western scientific thought, experiential practice and ritual can inform our own personal and collective thinking, feeling, stories and actions around place-making, nature connection, community and culture repair and sustainable living.
This will be an intensive that brings together theory and practice, critical thinking and direct experience, as we work together to ask, and hopefully find answers to, some of humanities core questions around place, home, belonging, connection, indigeny and sustainability. You will be joined by a number of studetns from Schumacher College's postgraduate programme in Ecology and Spirituality which will allow for rich interaction and dicussion.
Greg is a Tewa author and professor from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. He has pioneered reconciling indigenous perspectives in sciences with a Western academic setting. His focus is teaching "culturally based science, with its emphasis on health and wellness.Currently he is director of the Native American Studies program and associate professor of education at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque. Currently he is director of the Native American Studies program and associate professor of education at the University of New Mexico in Albuquerque.
Carolyn Hillyer is an artist, musician, writer and traditional drum maker who lives and works in the deep heart of Dartmoor’s wild hills. She is the host of Thirteen Moons international women’s festival at her moorland farm, where many of the workshop journeys that she creates also take place. She travels widely with her work, from Japan to Canada to Arctic Siberia.