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

Constitutional rights
and responsibilities

Social Reality

Rights of

Origin of

Exercised as a

Definition of People

Great Turtle Island



Survival for
All Beings

Survival for
the People

Right to Exist


The Land

Spirit of the Land

Judicial and Fiscal Order


Visual representation of nature's laws

The Right to Exist limits the Power of any one group in Creation, for example, removing the Authority of the People to Destroy any other group of existing groups.

Nature’s Laws builds into it limits…limits for humans. Limits for animals, limits for plants. Similarly there are limits to an one person’s power within the group. In fact in traditional systems, very stringent curbs were placed on individual actions that might have impacted upon the community. For example, women had a strong hand in terms of agreements that had anything to do with the group as a whole:

To comprehend the role of women is to understand the limits placed upon the Chiefs in the negotiation of the treaty. The Chiefs did not go to the treaty table with unlimited authority to negotiate with the representatives of the Crown. Just as the Queen's commissioner was limited by the Crown's legislative authority, so too were the Chiefs limited. The Chiefs who entered into treaty only had the authority to share the lands, never to sell or surrender it. Sharon Venne, Understanding Treaty 6, p.191.

You are looking for a place to start and it's right in front of you. Natural law is about limits. No one can go beyond that limit. The insects, plants the four-legged and the humans know that. You never over-populate so that another species dies off. Keep themselves within that limit so they can sustain that life. Native People had that belief. They had their boundaries and they were not to go over the limit. They were within limits and that's why the tribes could co-exist, but that does not exist anymore. The European's don't know the limits. There are 6 billion people on this planet. Centuries ago there were probably only one billion. "All things in moderation." Constantine Auger, Bigstone Cree, April 2003.

The same limitation was placed upon the authority to carry out justice. There was the acceptance that the community had the power to condemn one to death, but such actions were frowned upon, because doing so destroyed community balance. Consensus was certainly necessary in such a case. Rather there was a measured approach to justice:

Chief Standing Bear: "The way of the tribe in dealing with an offender was simple and dignified. There was no violence such as whipping, no taking away of personal effects nor personal liberties, no hounding to persecuting, and no pompous show of authority. When it became necessary for the band to protect itself it did so by merely ignoring and ostracizing the violator. Conversations, games, councils, and ceremonies were carried on as if the disfavored one were not about. This sort of punishment was usually sufficient to make the offender change his habits. If the offense was a minor one, such as bragging or strutting, then ridicule and laughter sufficed to put a stop to it, but the boaster was usually quickly detected and his glory short lived, for he was as quickly resented as he was detected. On the other hand, if a man’s offense were serious, say if he were a murderer, his exclusion from the band would be permanent. He would suffer neither for food nor clothing, but he would not be welcome at the tipis of others and no one would visit his tipi. In time of sickness he would be cared for by near relatives, but he was never again accepted as a credible member of his band … but cases of this kind among the Lakota were very rare, and in all my life I have known only two or three. There is no word in the Lakota language which can be translated literally into the word ‘justice’; nevertheless, there was the certain practice of it as evidence in the phrase wowa un silaI, ‘a heart full of pity for all’" (qtd Bunge 109)


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