Valuing Indigenous wisdom is one of the central themes to our mission.
This wisdom informs our activities and decisions and is done in consultation with guidance from our First Nations friends, in the spirit of honoring and education.
We learn of Hózhó, the concept of the Beauty Way- a way of living in balance with the beauty, harmony and well-being of all life from our Navajo friends, and of Mitakuye Oasin (we are all related) from our Lakota Friends.
Indigenous wisdom, from all over the world, teaches us about the power of the circle, that water is life, that respecting and learning from one's elders is a sacred duty and that we must tend to the land today so that those who will live on it in seven generations will have a beautiful and thriving Unci Maka (Grandmother Earth).
We have found that people today not only need, but crave, exposure to these Indigenous lessons, values and ways of life. A broad array of Indigenous wisdom is shared by our Native friends and integrated into everything we do. When Native and non-Native people come together in this way, opportunities emerge to understand each other's culture, re-learn what our fast-paced society has erased and create lasting friendships across lines of difference.
This impact, while immeasurable, tends to be quite profound as articulated by past participants:
Cultural presentations and opportunities are integrated into our events and volunteer service trips. When available, they can also be scheduled for your school or community organization, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. There is no fee.
In alignment with the Indigenous wisdom of reciprocity and gift economies, all Tipi Raiser's events and programs are FREE. We trust that those who join us on our mission receive the gift that is inherent in that experience and that they will give back to the best of their ability - in this way, we can all stay in balance.
"When a society loses the sacred - when everything has a monetary value, the commoditization of human life cannibalizes itself." Basil Brave Heart
Grants and donations subsidize presentations, Gen7 Youth activities and volunteer service trips.
With the careful guidance of our Native consultants, volunteers learn not only the proper way to raise a tipi but they learn the significance of each aspect of this sacred dwelling. The number and placement of the poles and the positioning of the door (to the east) all hold meaning. The interplay of storytelling, history and spirituality all weave together in the raising of a tipi.
Community Dinners and Games
Occasionally volunteer groups will host or attend a community dinner in which we share a meal with the community, play, socialize, cook and clean together. These dinners are a great way to connect with one another – sharing stories, playing traditional games, learning about each other’s lives and making new friends.
Drumming / Singing / Traditional Dance
In Native cultures the drum, regarded as a living entity, holds great cultural and symbolic power. It is often seen as a sacred protector and the heartbeat of their people. When possible, volunteers will have an opportunity to learn about the history and current day significance of the drum and traditional dance in Native cultures.
Supporting Lakota Artists
Native arts and crafts reflect their rich cultural heritage. Artists are invited to visit our volunteer groups to display and sell their art, conduct live demonstrations as well as teach the history and significance around their chosen medium. Bead-work, quill-work, paintings, jewelry and moccasins are some of the art forms that are shared. Supporting these artists through purchasing their art is an important part of their livelihood on the reservation.
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