First Nation People -First Nations people are communities that have lived on the earth longer than other cultures. These communities are also called 'indigenous'. There are many different indigenous communities across the world. These communities can have different names and ways of doing things. But they all have something in common. They belief that all people, animals, trees and the world are connected and not separate from each other. Interestingly, that is what science is starting to discover now. They also share the belief that we are part of nature and that the natural world is very important for our own well being. Science is also starting to show this too! Here are some valuable stories about who we are and why we are here, from some indigenous communities around the world:
Aboriginal Communities – A creation story told by many aboriginal communities is the story of the rainbow snake. The rainbow snake is understood by aboriginal peoples as an immortal being that represents the cycles of the seasons and the importance of water in human life. When a rainbow is seen in the sky, legend says it is the rainbow snake moving between water holes. Aboriginal communities see the world and people as starting from 'dreamtime'. They believe that people, animals and the land were created by spirits of the ancestors. They gave people tools, land and the ability to dream. In aboriginal communities, dreaming is a very important part of culture, life and well being.
Hopi Communities – In the beginning there were only two: Tawa, the Sun God, and Spider Woman, the Earth Goddess. All the mysteries and power in the Above belonged to Tawa, while Spider Woman controlled the magic of the Below. In the Underworld, abode of the Gods, they dwelt and they were All. There was neither man nor woman, bird nor beast, no living thing until these Two willed it to be. Spider woman took the sun god's thoughts of birds and animals and shaped them from clay. They then made all the people by putting a blanket over them and cuddling them, while singing a magic song. Spider woman, then led the people below the earth through four caverns. They came back up and promised to take care of the Earth.
Symbols and 'Myths' in Creation Stories Many people in the Western world see these stories as 'just myths'. But, when we start to look at the meanings of these stories, we can see that they offer lots of wisdom for human beings. For example, indigenous stories show us the importance of our relationship to the natural environment and to each other. The same kinds of ideas can be found across all kinds of cultural stories, including religious ones too. For example, the idea that we all come from the same source. Like Z's 'Raindrops' article (see Children as Philosophers page)!