In writing Loss of Indigenous Eden and the Fall of Spirituality, Blair Stonechild of Cree, Saulteaux, and Métis heritage, and member of the Muscowpetung First Nation, worked with Elders and reflects on his contact with Europeans as a Qu’Appelle Indian Residential School survivor, academic and historian. He has experienced efforts to eradicate Indigenous culture and spirituality first-hand as a residential school survivor and acknowledges this destruction on thousands of survivors unable to speak their language and detached from their culture and practices of spirituality. It is the conflicting positions on culture and worldview - a conflict of ideology - realized in the rise of ‘civilization’ that is the pursuit of this book. Loss of Indigenous Eden posits that the Indigenous world preceded that of modern civilization, that it contained values vital to human survival, and that the significance of ancient beliefs needs to be re-explained for today’s world. Decolonizing Indigenous heritage is shared in the commonality of Indigenous culture, shared strong beliefs about the transcendent and consistency of the fundamentals of spirituality across the globe as a foundation for decolonizing and revitalizing Indigenous heritage. This book is also a response to the historical repression and ridicule of Indigenous spirituality and uses the Truth and Reconciliation Calls to Action including 48, the right to self-determination, to practice, develop and teach their own spiritual and religious traditions, customs and ceremonies. The voices of Elders speak to a vision of the world based upon intuition and reflection of their spiritual and cultural knowledge not the contents of books. Loss of Indigenous Eden therefore revisits and re-interprets the history of world civilization showing how Indigenous heritage and spirituality is underappreciated. Over 10 chapters foundations, society, time, traumatic history and ecolization, transcendent, relationship with spirit, power and wealth and greed, consequences of resource exploitation, meaning and quality of life, and the historical relationship between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples briefly describes the book. Blair Stonechild is the author of The Knowledge Seeker. Highly recommended.
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