Native Paradigm refers to the way reality is viewed from a Native American perspective and also refers to the language used to express that view. Since colonization, Native Paradigm/worldview has been fractured. In their committed and dedicated effort to reunite students with Indigenous identity and culture within an academic setting, Blackfoot scholars, Dr. Leroy Little Bear and his life partner Amethyst First Rider, have developed Native Paradigm to articulate key components of Indigenous worldview. Continue reading…
Constant Flux: is the notion that all of creation is in constant motion or flux at all times. Nothing remains the same and only change is constant. Constant Flux is a continual, non-stop wave of movement that encompasses all that is and all that is not. It is a symphony of change that is ever present and elusive to the eye, yet influences every aspect of humanity. Within the flux are patterns and repetitions such as the movement of the stars, the four seasons, animal migrations etc. A harmonious relationship with the movement of the cosmos through an allegiance with these patterns and repetitions is crucial to keeping balance in the flux. The land is a reference point in the cosmos.
Landscape/Space: the land lives in you, your home territory cannot be erased and no matter where you go or where you are you bring a piece of that territory with you. Tribal identity is connected to the landscape, and the landscape is the reference point in the flux. You are now invited to pursue your dreams here at the University of Lethbridge in Blackfoot territory, home of the Nitsitapi, the real people. Medicine Rock is the name given to the University of Lethbridge in 2002 by Blackfoot Elder Bruce Wolf Child. What follows is a map to all the people who are here to help you on your journey.
Trickster: culture hero, creator, clown epitomizes chaos or the flux, the shape-shifter of change who crosses boundaries and teaches lessons. Trickster teaches us how to behave. In Blackfoot Territory the Trickster is Napi and Napi stories illustrate the folly of overextending oneself in any way. Imbalance creates chaos. As students struggle to keep balance, persistent challenges such as identity, finances, transportation, and housing can be overwhelming and create personal chaos. What follows are websites to resources that can help you regain that balance.
Interrelationship: works on the premise that everything is connected, that all species rely on each other to sustain life. When one aspect is out of balance, it affects the whole. This is the idea of All My Relations. Amethyst First Rider says: “… so we are instructed to recognize all our connections, from the sky to this dimension of Earth, and underground or the water beings. So in our science, our knowledge comes from experiencing, not experimenting, but
experiencing how the connection is. And we do this in our daily lives. It’s a very soft way to dance, a soft way to walk, because we do it very naturally... it’s about the connecting.” (2003). Interrelationships extend within to all around us. Here are the community services to guide you and help you.
Spirit/Animate: Everything is alive or animate. All of creation is imbued with spirit. Spirit or energy (quantum talk), is understood to be the fundamental cornerstone of the way the universe works. Spirit is reality, an unremitting, enduring, influence, unseen but ever - present. Spirit is a life force that permeates all things, even in what Western civilization might consider the inanimate. One could look at a rock and say it has no spirit, however; in the animate world, “the rock may vibrate at a much slower pace than ours making it appear as an inert object” (Little Bear, 2000). The power of that spirit may manifest in different forms, but the unifying essence is the same. Renewal ceremonies are methods of accessing spirit. In the words of Amethyst First Rider, "that's why we pray, so that when things go wrong, we can pull it back together" (1999, 27).
Renewal: is manifested through ceremony and is an integral part of Native paradigm because it maintains, sustains and influences the relational network. Renewal refers to the act of maintaining good relationships. Here you will find connections to renew relationships.