Indigenous Studies

Most cultures that gave birth to the modern era of today have indigenous roots. Unfortunately, people have pushed aside these roots to make way for the modern society and its beliefs. The universities are making an effort to preserve the memory of such works. Find out how

History and it’s role in humanity today

No matter how anyone puts it, the world of humans today stood on the feet of several traditional and indigenous cultures before coming up to what it represents today. Unfortunately, colonization has shifted the focus from the beauty of these traditional cultures into modern times. The result? A generation which has no link to the former times and no understanding of the relevance of culture in our world today. It is indeed sad and shocking.

Scholars have widely debated the necessity of preserving indigenous studies and cultural studies. A clear cut answer has not been obtained as there are always some who prefer to look forward and neglect what was behind. However, some scholars have also argued that creation evolves, and so does humanity. Some things linger on and others die off or become extinct. The rush to safeguard some of the things that were supposed to be extinct is in fact messing with the natural order of things. Languages, for instance, is a great tool and reflection of the indigenous times before. While scholars believe in teaching these languages so that they stay in the system for long enough, their colleagues argue it out, citing the example of the Latin language which, although seems ti have become extinct, is the mother of many languages, especially the widely spoken English language. Therefore, in their opinion, halting the natural process to evolve can in-fact keep us as a people in the past.

These arguments are valid, yet a people need to know and understand where they came from and why they are where they are in order to appreciate this process of evolving. This is why many universities and even countries have pushed the agenda to teach indigenous cultures to students who wish to take it up as a study. This includes the preservation of the languages gone before because they reflect the soul of the people and the beauty of the culture.

Humanity today, can therefore not sit aside and ignore the history which made them who they are. In certain countries like Canada and the United States, the current generation is usually ignorant of the indigenous cultures that existed in that same space of land before they came in. This has resulted in a people without roots who also have wrong stereotypes about how things came to be. In order to curb this incoming cancer, universities all over Canada, for example have taken it upon themselves to offer courses in indigenous studies all across the country.

Why it is important to study indigenous cultures

In the Americas, before the British colonies were established, lived the Native American people who were referred to as Indians. These people formed the foundation of what is known today as ‘America’. Some of today’s streets were named after these people and unfortunately, a great number of people in America today do not know the role of these people and how they influenced America today.

The study of indigenous cultures will therefore curb the toxicity that comes from ignorance and the notion that people have to look beyond the pond in order to find a rich culture. Yes, the understanding of foreign culture is good enough, but the knowledge of indigenous cultures give more than a couple of reasons why humans are invariably the same in their thinking and way of life. It could just be that one group is more in touch with their indigenous nature than others.

Also, the moving forward does not negate the struggle of the journey. This is also what universities hope to teach, that students should learn and appreciate the beauty and the colours of their cultures, which will teach them to respect other cultures better.

The Different Forms of Indigenous Studies

Indigenous studies can be divided into several categories according to the interest of learners. This really narrows things down and increases the desire to learn since all of the studies are not thrown at a person at once. Different things can be taught from the literature to the indigenous languages. Taking these classes will open your eyes to understand some of the various things that take place today. When studying indigenous languages, you will be forced to see the world from their perspective and incorporate the beauty of the world through their eyes. The cultures speak volumes when it comes to their philosophy, way of life and the myths that guided their living. This is a branch that will be taught to people who want to learn more about indigenous studies.

What is interesting to note is that even to study the languages, the different nuances will make more sense to you if you are exposed to the culture. That way you can fully comprehend and even learn better. Several strange mythologies guided their way of thinking in the days of old, today, you can find that even in their languages, the belief system has been well represented there. It makes for a great study and a powerful revelation to who humanity is and how we lived before we were colonized. Reality can be perceived through the eyes of culture, and taking these studies ensure that your narrow minded way of thinking is removed because you will be stretched to reason beyond your current scope of thinking.

Indigenous studies actually do more good than harm and should be incorporated in even more schools. Learning about the beauty of humanity, where we came from, and why we are where we are makes for a very interesting conversation that needs to be had. Everyone, as much as possible needs to join in this conversation and appreciate the true beauty of the human race.

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