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Tswalk: A Nuu-chah-nulth Worldview
Apr 15 2020 - 5:00pm
Green College Cross-Sectoral Series: Indigenous/Science Partnerships - Exploring Histories and Environments
Event location TBD.
E. Richard Atleo, hereditary chief Umeek
In a view of reality described as tsawalk (one), relationships are qua (that which is). The ancient Nuu-chah-nulth assumed an interrelationship between all life forms – humans, plants, and animals. Relationships are. Accordingly, social, political, economic, constitutional, environmental, and philosophical issues can be addressed under the single theme of interrelationships, across all dimensions of reality – the material and the non-material, the visible and the invisible. As a consequence, certain words in the text, such as “polarity,” “spiritual,” “numinous,” and “belief” are placed within the view of reality described as tsawalk – one. These definitions offer a Nuu-chah-nulth perspective on the nature of reality in that all questions of existence, being and knowing, regardless of seeming contradictions, are considered to be tsawalk – one and inseparable. They are interrelated and interconnected.
Biography: Dr. E. Richard Atleo, Umeek, is a hereditary chief of the Nuu-chah-nulth Ahousaht First Nation. He received a PhD (Education) from the University of British Columbia in 1990 and has held various teaching positions at University of Manitoba, Simon Fraser University, University of Victoria and Malaspina University College (now Vancouver Island University), where worked to create the college’s First Nations Studies Department. He served as co-chair of the internationally recognized Scientific Panel for Sustainable Forest Practices in Clayoquot Sound, a member of the board of Ecotrust Canada, and a research liaison at the University of Manitoba. He was also a social worker, elementary school teacher, principal, federal ministerial assistant, and assistant superintendent of education.
Dr. Atleo is the author of Tsawalk: A Nuu-chah-nulth Worldview (2004) and Principles of Tsawalk An Indigenous Approach to Global Crisis (2012), both from UBC Press. In Tsawalk: A Nuu-chah-nulth Worldview, Dr. Atleo introduces readers to an Indigenous worldview drawn from the Nuu-chah-nulth origin stories. His presentation of Tsawalk, meaning “one,” offers a way forward, allowing for Western and indigenous views to collectively contribute to a better understanding of the universe. Principles of Tsawalk An Indigenous Approach to Global Crisis continues to develop these ideas, turning the worldview of Tsawalk onto the contemporary problems we face to live sustainably. He offers the Nuu-chah-nulth principles of recognition, consent, and continuity as a philosophical foundation for addressing our shared struggle for balance and developing more equitable and sustainable communities.