Indigenous sense of belonging and interconnectedness with nature is apparent in the expression “All my relations,” meaning “all living things.”
Many Indigenous cultures believe nature is “The Great Spirit”, or “God.”
Within this belief system exists a deep respect of earth and all living things. Individuals actions have an accountability to both community and nature. Decisions and actions are considered in what is good for tribe, nature and all living things.
Identity is intertwined intimately with nature.
This belief is a strong contrast to western culture’s belief that land is ‘for extractions* of its resources’ with the perception of humans are separate from and above nature.
It’s an odd sort of hierarchy, when you think about it, because humans depend on nature to survive.
( Indigenous Canada resource)
Indigenous cultures understand this dependability, and the delicate balance required in this relationship for future generations to thrive. Decisions often consider 7 generations in the future, a signifiant number in their teachings.
( Please listen to One of my all time favourite songs “7” by William Prince. The first link is William introducing the song, singing live at the Roslyn, second link to William’s site has various videos with higher quality sound. https://www.youtube.com/williamprince)
In the last two years, many have rediscovered their connection to nature, finding it a reprieve and sanctuary during difficult times. This has brought some attention to humanity’s tentative relationship with nature, and a cry for positive change.
Moving slowly into a time of healing offers a unique opportunity to learn from indigenous teachings, to be respectful of all living things and nature.
Scientific discoveries in the last year of how nature bounced back from humans disruptive and destructive ways is remarkable. Check out this recent educational enlightening documentary “the Year Earth Changed” to see how.
Painting nature’s landscapes is more than creating a lovely vista to me. Growing up surrounded by wilderness directly influenced me and contributes to my sense of “wholeness.”
We all have a connection to nature, but sometimes it is forgotten, neglected or silent.
Yet nature reminds us, we are not alone, or unsupported. It is here to nourish us in every possible way.
Just like in any relationship renewal, there is an opportunity for positive change, understanding and respect.
By sharing and illuminating this intimate nature- human relationship in my work, I hope you can feel it’s energy, nourishment, healing capacity, and wonder.
~ May you, and all my relations be well. May we be united moving forward into a loving and healthy future.
I just completed the University of Alberta’s “Indigenous Canada” online 12 week course, taught from Indigenous perspective. I highly recommend the course, it’s tremendously informative & educational.
“Glow” 20×30 oil $ 1,800.oo is a wonderful refresh to an earlier piece. I have been working hard developing colour tones, and wanted to include chunkier brushstrokes without the painting feeling heavy. It needed to feel soft and vibrant, with lots of movement. The work I do isn’t about having a template of style, it’s about what the scene calls for. This one needed to have a light feel, the power of it being in the sense of movement.
“Buoy” new 8×10 oil, has such a story! I will just share that the title, “Buoy” has many meanings, “ to stay afloat” “floating device” “ life preserver” “ to cheer” “to bolster” “to embolden” “ to encourage” and “to strengthen”.
“Autumn Forest” or “ The Wise” 8×10 $550.oo is a new painting from a late afternoon wander in the woods last month. The whole forest was aglow and I know I will paint several small and large paintings from this recent joyful wooded walk.