Life Generative Indigenous Wisdom

”Thus, many statements of Indigenous wisdom such as ‘we are all related’, ‘respect the land’ and ‘never take more than you need’ are simple, direct moral instructions from which complex social, economic, cultural and environmental processes unfold”.

”Indigenous wisdom is not anthropocentric but eco-centric, in that it is sourced from the relationships of life. The patterns of Indigenous logic, science, society and culture flow from the patterns of reality as seen and experienced in nature. Thus, Indigenous wisdom is not only directly connected with natural environments, it is defined by and emerges out of a relationship with nature……

Perhaps the most important is relationality, the principle that connects and inter-relates the different spheres of life. Each thing has a relationship with each other thing and with the totality of all things. Hence relationships are not only multidimensional but also multilevel in that the micro-world of personal experience has direct implications for macro-worlds of community and “country”…….

The indigenous perspective assumes complete interdependence across social and ecological environments and a shared focus is that wisdom can be found in the personhood of wise individuals and particularly in their capacity to lead, display and pass on knowledge and to give wise counsel……

Indigenous knowledge traditions, the whole of the socio-cultural system is shaped around reciprocal relationships with local natural environments. This includes systems of governance and leadership, economy, exchange and trade, language, social, religious and cultural practices and more broadly Indigenous life, worlds, and worldview…….

Indigenous perspectives on wisdom emphasize the connectedness and the interpenetration of time, space, and relationship. This holds particularly true for the lens of time which not only takes a longer-term view of the implications of actions on future generations but sees the welfare of the future and the honoring of the past as a present responsibility……

Indigenous peoples across the planet have survived and flourished through many periods of social, cultural and environmental change. The intergenerational sustainability and the knowledge and wisdom that produced it are common features of many Indigenous societies across the world. Leadership researchers have proposed the notion of “global leadership” and the need for the “meta values and competencies” in dealing with complex global problems. Building a “big picture” conceptualizations of leadership must include indigenous views to be truly global…..

Indigenous wisdom is not anthropocentric but eco-centric, in that it is sourced from the relationships of life. The patterns of Indigenous logic, science, society and culture flow from the patterns of reality as seen and experienced in nature. Thus, Indigenous wisdom is not only directly connected with natural environments, it is defined by and emerges out of the relationship with nature…….

While the shifting contexts in which wisdom might be lived are diverse and complex, those that act in ways that balance and sustain healthy natural and human relationships are wise leaders and those that do not are foolish. The moral implications of wise and unwise leadership are central to most Indigenous creation stories…..

Indigenous worldviews speak of wisdom within a much more connected matrix of the human, the natural, the historical, the environmental and the communal. To be a wise leader cannot be separated from participating in the relational life of one’s “country”. This relational lens plays out most particularly in Indigenous attitudes towards the place and the natural world where a concept of “sacred geography” and “sacred sites” lies at the heart of what it means to be wise. We have called this the “sacred ecology lens” because it involves a sense of spiritual connectedness that includes and balances multiple human and biological systems”.

Indigenous worldview offers a unique source of wisdom for making sense of the relationship between nature and society. The scientific study of wisdom and wise leadership has much to gain from engaging with Indigenous lenses of intergenerational, radical relationally, multi-level ecology and integrated sacredness.
Assist. Prof. Mark Edwards.
Assoc. Prof. Roberto Biloslavo,
Dr. Blaze Kwaymullina,
Assist. Prof. Ambelin Kwaymullina.

Göran Gennvi is a favored expert in Transformative Development, both on a personal and organizational level. Göran’s trademark is “Circles of Trust and Quests for Wholeness”.

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