"We are setting an example for the younger generations to understand their own individual strengths by understanding the struggle of our ancestors who make us the resilient people we are today."-Abuela M'api Rainflowa
Why Preservation is Important
The worldwide preservation of Indiginous cultures is vital to our current society. These cultures need to be protected. To lose these cultures is to lose not only Indiginous identities, but knowledge that has been honed and developed for thousands of years. The concepts these cultures teach us are key in learning how to protect our environment and ecology. Looking to our ancestors is the best way to heal what is happening in our current society.
Preservation of Indiginous language is especially important. Language is the foundation of a culture. This is especially true for oral traditions. Between 1950 and 2010, 230 languages went extinct. That number is shocking. Losing a language doesn’t mean loss of a word or phrase. It is a loss of knowledge that has been amassed for over a millenia. It is a loss of identity, practices, philosophies, and laws. The ideology of Indiginous communities is more than something to appreciate in a museum. It teaches us what it means to be a human citizen, what our responsibilities to our community, Earth, and ourselves are.
Preservation of Indiginous languages, practices and teachings are vital to our environment. When the European settlers came to the Americas they didn’t discover lush and abundant wild lands. They discovered lands that are lush and abundant due to Indiginous agricultural practices. These practices are vital to our environment and are the only way we will turn around our current environmental crisis. While Indigenous Peoples own, occupy, or use only a quarter of the world’s surface area, they safeguard 80% of the world’s remaining biodiversity. This is due to the reciprocal nature in the way they treat the land. Earth is not a resource to be used. The land is abundant only when we revere it and take our responsibilities to it seriously and reverently.
Preservation of Indiginous philosophies and ceremonies is vital to health. To Indiginous cultures ceremony is an integral piece of health and wellness. To Indiginous Peoples ceremony is both self and community care. Many of these ceremonies center around healing. They provide a place for self discovery, mental health care, and communal celebration and healing. Many of these ceremonies are also rites of passage. They teach us what it means to be accountable, responsible, and respectful to ourselves, family, and community. Losing these ceremonies deals a devastating blow to societies that are already marginalized and underserved in regards to basic human services. Worldwide the life expectancy of Indigenous Peoples is up to 20 years lower than the life expectancy of non-indigenous people. They also suffer higher rates of landlessness, malnutrition and internal displacement than other groups.
Preservation of Indiginous language and philosophy is vital to our world Economy. Indigenous Peoples make up only 5% of the global population, yet they account for about 15% of the world’s extreme poor. Indiginous communities have yet to recover from colonization. Their attempt to become Sovereign is severely impeded with the loss of their own Indiginous culture and oral traditions. Indiginous laws and economic systems that developed over thousands of years are either completely extinct or at risk of being lost completely. Without their history and traditions they are forced to start over from ground zero.
How to Help
It is up to each Indigenous group to determine how their knowledge and heritage is shared and taught. They are the masters of their own heritage and hold the exclusive right to pass them on and teach them. This means it’s important to give them their voice back. In the United States use your own voice to vote Indigenous people into office. Stand with Indigenous community leaders and ask them directly what they need and how you can help.
Indiginous cultures are worldwide and extremely diverse, but the common thread through them all is their land. Indiginous communities are inextricably tied to their land, no matter what part of the world they come from, or which language they speak. There are many organizations around the world that are dedicated to passing legislation that protects Indiginous lands. Many of them are responsible for organizing events and protests aimed at protection.
Support local Indiginous groups that pass on their own heritage. Many of them need donations of time and money. Signing up to volunteer with your local communities is a wonderful way to support. Houston Aztec Dance is one group that is dedicated to this mission.
Fundraiser for Houston Aztec Dance & Drum Group
“Emphasizing the importance of family, honoring elders and children first, we give students a way to look at history, culture and identity of their own indigenous roots from around the world. We apply the concepts of self-control, discipline and respect to themselves and in turn, one another. This we present through the "circle concept" that all Native American ceremonies/dances are structured. Specifically, we are maintaining inter-generational traditions, singing Nahuatl songs, and studying Mexica Danza (dance) and pre-Hispanic drumming within ceremony as a path to healing ourselves and integrating it into our ways of life as the teachings apply to us today is our primary focus as a whole.”
This fundraiser, specifically, is raising awareness for the need of Indiginous preservation. The money raised in this effort goes to ceremonial supplies used in a ceremonial circle to heal women. To celebrate this we drew our inspiration from the archetype of the Divine Feminine. This energy is also something we have repressed and denied in our current society. This repression is adversely affecting our mental and emotional well being. It is contributing both to the repression of women and a main factor in our toxic masculinity pandemic. The money goes to the preservation of Indiginous Ceremony. The items for sale go to boosting Divine Feminine awareness and help us all heal through her energy. I love these items and designing my end of the products has helped me jump start my own healing journey. My sincere hope is that these items will help bring more healing in the world, while benefiting a wonderful cause. I am so excited to introduce you to the Maiden, the Mother, and the Crone.
It is not only important to raise funds for Indignous cultures. It is also vital to raise awareness for this cause. Just watch the news to see just how far we’ve lost our way. Colonization has all but eradicated one of the most abundant tools we have to heal and learn from. Supporting Indiginous cultures feeds the fire that will light our way out of the dark. Promoting and supporting these communities is the least that can be done after all that has been done to them.
Learn more about protecting Indiginous Culture:
Houston Aztec Dance at https://www.houstonaztecdance.com/
Other Places to Learn and Donate
Source about prtecting lands- https://indianlaw.org/ILI
Another group deticated to preserving Indiginous culture- https://www.culturalsurvival.org/
The Chahta Foundation- https://chahtafoundation.com/
The AMerican Indian Center for Houston- https://aichouston.org/