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Nature's Law
Spiritual Life, Governance, Culture, Traditions, Resources, Context and Background
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Relational Law

Kinship Systems




Kinship Group

Understandings of Relations

Tsu'u Tina Kinship System

Kinship Terms

and Judgement



Visual representation of nature's laws

"An example closer to the spirit of the Lakota idea of relatedness is the Christian notion of the brotherhood of all men under the spiritual fatherhood of God and the biological fatherhood of Adam … The christian ideal that men who truly believe in the brotherhood of all men would gradually develop brotherly feelings which, in turn, would generate ‘brotherly’ actions in their dealing with their fellow men is closer to the Lakota ideal of relatedness … the only difference might be that the Lakota would extend this relatedness to the whole universe. When an Indian woman, for example, takes seeds from the barrow of a field mouse to flavor soup, she does not take all the mouse’s seed; she ‘pays’ for the seeds by leaving some tidbit for the mouse, a bit [of] wasná (pemmican), for instance. Even a mouse must live; it cannot be deprived of its means of life without payment in kind" … "From …[the] notion of the relatedness of all that is, stems an ethic that expounds adjustment to nature both human and non-human which underpins Native American ethical thought and axiology. Adjustment to nature, both kinds, is seen as a value and goal to be attained" (Bunge 94).

"We were left a legacy, one our ancestors worked hard at and suffered to leave to us, so we can't default in teaching our children, especially language. Cultural values are built in, and there are Blackfoot terms that have no English equivalencies," Russell stressed. Many descriptives in Blackfoot assume the tribe is one family and, "That's why old people still speak in kinship terms, addressing young (Meili 53) people as 'my daughter' or 'my son.'" Russell insists that cultural values can be re-introduced and applied to modem life. He would like to see children taught in a wholistic way in school and to be as cherished by the tribe as they once were.


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