Monday, November 12, 2018

Return to Aztlan

In Nelhuayotl, In Aztlan



In March of 1969 the National Chicano Youth LiberationConference was organized by the Crusade for Justice in Denver, Colorado. Led by Rodolfo “Corky” Gonzalez, the Crusade for Justice was a major focal point of the Chicano Movement during the lead up to the National Chicano Moratorium in East Los Angeles in 1970. Drawing upon the inspiration and historic example of the Mexican Revolution of 1910-17 and invoking the universal human right of Self Determination as confederations of Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples, the National Chicano Youth Liberation Conference of 1969 reclaimed the diverse indigenous roots of the participating Chicano Pueblos in a continental geo-political project of nationhood and self-determination known as the Plan Espiritual de Aztlan.


The struggle for liberation as Indigenous Mexican Peoples, the struggle of Aztlan, was not a new struggle. In 1813, in Chilpancingo, Guerrero, Mexico the Congreso de Anáhuac made the first historical proclamation of the Independence of Mexico from the Crown of Spain. At the time, the historical geographic designation of Anáhuac extended into the northern reaches of the territories of the Uto-Aztecan language families with their respective Original Nations of Indigenous Peoples.  Among these Uto-Aztecan families of native nations are the Utes of what is now known as the state of Colorado.

The proclamation of the Plan Espiritual de Aztlan in 1969 is an echo of the declaration by the Congreso de Anáhuac in 1813. It is an echo that returns now fifty years later even stronger in power and purpose, in vision and resonance in order to regenerate the memory, indigenous consciousness, and political will of Continental Confederacy and Indigenous Nationhood in responsibility as defenders of the Territorial Integrity of Mother Earth.



Statement of the Keeper of the Hopi Fire Clan Tablets

Keeper of the Fire Clan Tablets
The Public Statement of the Keeper of the Hopi Fire Clan Tablets, during his Prophetic Mission to the New Mexico State Capital at Santa Fe, December 1990

The Spanish, the Mexican, and the United States governments have all fought over someone else's land without consulting the original native peoples living on it, then created some kind of document. But what of the rights of the original native peoples? Who has the ability to look into this, and see that the basic rights of the Hopi and other native peoples are restored?

This is the key to the problem that threatens all life on earth. If someone can uncover this information and bring it before the world, it might be possible to reverse the destruction of the native cultures that lies at the root of the devastation that now threatens our entire world.



The Chicano Moratorium of 1970 in East Los Angeles

To be continued….

Tupak Huehuecoyotl 



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YouTube:
Return to Aztlan



Eventually, while the reductionist and materialistic descriptions of the quantum wave functions refer to the “collapse” into singularity, the vision and science of Xinachtli records the history as a memory of emergence, a creation story. A creation story that is uninterrupted by the cycles of time and the horizons of space, a continuity of consciousness that regenerates itself from within its own possibilities, probabilities, and intentions to finally reflect and inflect the reference of our Nican Tlacah Earth Born reality.  Cemanahuac Tonantzin: the articulation and systemic communications of the Nahui Ollin cuadralogue via the four phases of Quetzalcoatl (energy-matter): Solid-Liquid : Gaseous-Plasma.


Earth-Water : Wind-Fire

The Mestizo Concept:

A Product of European Imperialism

By Jack Forbes



"Y mis hijos -  
Que les pasará?
Reconocerán la
lucha
de sus tatas?
Sentirán el calor de
su historia indígena,
como yo los enseñe?
Serán ahogados
en el río
de la historia europea, o
nomás
mojados?"


 500 Años del Pueblo Chicano, p.235














Friday, October 19, 2018

The Legend of Truth and the Doctrine of Power

By Tupac Enrique Acosta


Legend is the loom of history.  As was narrated thousands of times by the eminent mythologist of the West, Joseph Campbell, all of the cultures and nations of the world encounter one another in the process of weaving a collective conscience, a legend of the future - a design that that emerges from the dual axis of the need of the human being to comprehend the reality of our nature, and at the same time, the nature of reality.

In the world of Legend, there is law and there is also a boundary in the form of a shoreline.  The law proclaims that no one can in reality understand the world through attempted isolation; instead it is necessary to give your heart to the world to know who we are as human beings.  The boundary is the horizon of all human knowledge from its historical beginnings in all parts of the planet, yet this is only a boundary which invites us to approach with respect and, if we arrive with the passport of humility, we shall cross to be received in the mysterious house of wisdom.

Should we violate the law, intending to isolate ourselves in castles of arrogance, racism, nationalism, religious prejudice, fear, ignorance and lies we must then deliver the key to our self constructed prison to the Sheriff of the Doctrine of Power.  Perhaps this name is not really appropriate since in truth he HAS NO POWER only the key which we ourselves have given him that opens the door to liberation.

(In actuality, the Sheriff presents himself in global cultural matrix as the Nation State.  To occupy our attention, occasionally he will toss into the cell of psychological control the games of chance which are known as electoral campaigns.  Or, alternatively we are sentenced to be sent to fratricidal [all of them] or religious wars [also all of them]).  In this context, within this paradigm of civilization, war and economics are synonymous.

A few intend escape.  A few intend to see the world as it really is, without false borders and ordered instead by the real powers of love and justice in ecological balance.  These implement a plan to wake the rest, actualizing political campaigns such as the “Dream Act” so that it shall be recognized universally that “Education is for all those who work to learn”.  Others, invoking the millennial roots of humanity itself, call to the winds with the shell trumpet of the seven seas – atecocoli – and continue on the path of a global humanity.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, the Sheriff panics to discover a maiden escapee from the prison is headed for the border, and so he urgently calls to alert La Migra (Border Patrol).  The maiden’s identity in the myth is AKA “Snow White”, while La Migra appears as the old, ugly witch who lives in the land of lies and for that reason cannot see - not even her own face, her personality in human terms - in the mirror of the Legend of Truth. 

How the story ends everybody knows, but not yet.  The maiden still sleeps; she has NOT awakened but remains captured by the forces of fear, guilt, and the darkness of isolation which derive from a collective conscience which pretends ignorance of being active accomplice to the Doctrines of Power.  The spell which binds her conscience in coma is the poison of the Domain of Dominion: the prison of patriarchy.

In the traditional songs of our Izkalotlan Pueblo, there is a popular verse which goes:

Even the Suns will die, the Stars shall sacrifice themselves,
Giving their blood which is the Light, offering their flesh
Which is pure Energy,
So that the Spirit
Shall be reborn.

On Saturday September 13th, in their humble home of the NAHAUCALLI, Embassy of Indigenous Peoples, the community voices of the Izkalotekatl who bring the song to life, gathered to invoke the memory of the Legend of Truth in attendance at the Annual Human Rights Conference of TONATIERRA.  The song sings of the prophecy of the Sixth Sun, the Sun of Justice which is now dawning for the Indigenous Peoples of the continent and the world.

In addition to collectively addressing the themes of active community campaigns in the field of Civil Rights such as that of the Dream Act among many others, the issue of Human Rights was presented powerfully by the Macehualli, Jornaleros (Day Laborers) of the community who provided a theatrical presentation of realities of jornalero life, the struggle to organize, and the victory of community.

The theme of this year’s annual conference was Los Hijos de Maiz y el Camino a Cancún, and so it was the youth in attendance who took the lead to implement a direct public action in support of the movement by the Indigenous and Campesino movement mobilized on the very same day in Cancún, México in opposition to the agenda of the World Trade Organization.

A report by the legation of Tlahtokan Aztlan which attended the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues in New York last May was also brought forward and discussed, as well as the work by La Alianza Indígena Sin Fronteras led by José Matus of the Yaqui Nation.  The Black Mesa Water Coalition reported on their work to preserve the sacred aquifers of Black Mesa in the Four Corners area of the Hopi and Navajo Nations, acknowledgement that the dialogue on Civil, Human and Indigenous Rights is at all times referenced by our collective obligations as Indigenous Nations of the territory.

The Doctrines of Power identified and exposed for community tribunal were:

  • The Doctrine of Discovery and the Royal Crowns of Europe – October 12th 1492
  • The Doctrine of Colonization of the Continent and Indigenous Peoples of America 1492-2003
  • The Monroe Doctrine, USA – December 2, 1823
  • The Doctrine of Permanent War, USA – 2003




www.nahuacalli.org

tonal@tonatierra.org
802 N. 7th Street
Phoenix, AZ 85006



Saturday, September 22, 2018

The Mantle of Patriarchy and the Dome of Dominion




DISMANTLING the Doctrine of Discovery: The Statue of Freedom on the US Capitol

"More than that, however, it implies a break with modern Europe with its monarchies and despots while still claiming the MANTLE of Western Civilization."

As you can see from the picture she looks nothing like the Statue of Liberty outside New York which was created by the French over twenty years later; the Statue of Freedom is a completely American design.  This means we should look and see what symbols she has, and what that says about mid-nineteenth century America.  She is wearing a toga, a common feature in American statues, but why?  What is it about togas that was and is so popular in American art and architecture?  Obviously togas hearken back to Roman and ancient Greek ideals, so that implies an attachment to a Republic.  More than that, however, it implies a break with modern Europe with its monarchies and despots while still claiming the mantle of Western Civilization.


However, she is wearing more clothing on top of the toga.  A Native American fur coat covers most of the toga.  And on her head she is wearing a military helmet with a headdress of eagle feathers going down her back.  This makes her look very Native American indeed, though she is not.  So why this symbolism?  Many parts of Native American culture were appropriated by the United States as Americans attempted to create their own culture separate from that of Britain and Europe.  This does not mean that they were emulating Native Americans, far from it.  Rather the designers of the statue (and most Americans) saw themselves as having displaced the American Indian and bringing true civilization to a savage and uncultivated land. 




Framework of Dominance:

UN Preliminary Study on the Doctrine of Discovery

This preliminary study establishes that the Doctrine of Discovery has been institutionalized in law and policy, on national and international levels, and lies at the root of the violations of indigenous peoples’ human rights, both individual and collective. This has resulted in State claims to and the mass appropriation of the lands, territories and resources of indigenous peoples. Both the Doctrine of Discovery and a holistic structure that we term the Framework of Dominance have resulted in centuries of virtually unlimited resource extraction from the traditional territories of indigenous peoples. This, in turn, has resulted in the dispossession and impoverishment of indigenous peoples, and the host of problems that they face today on a daily basis.

 

  ******************************

Sovereignty of the Soul:

Confronting Sexual Violence in Native America

Sexual violence perpetrated most against Native Americans

The current national conversation about sexual assault is incomplete without discussing violence against Native American women. Often in Native communities, a mother will teach her child what to do when she is raped, not if she is raped. This reflects the harsh reality that is affecting Native American women in their fight against sexual assault.

The Policy Insights Brief of the National Congress of American Indians reveals the extraordinarily high rate of victimization of Native women:
  • American Indians and Alaskan Natives are at least two times more likely compared with all other races to experience rape or sexual assault.
  • Three out of five American Indian and Alaskan Native women have been sexually assaulted in their lifetimes.
  •  One in three Native American women have reported being raped in their lifetimes. 


A report found 94 per cent of Native American women living in Seattle say they have been raped or coerced into sex at least once in their lifetime.

The damning new report – from the Urban Indian Health Institute and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – is believed to be one of the first to examine the experience of native women living in an urban environment instead of on reservations.




Colonization and Sexual Violence Against Indigenous Women and Children 
A Crime in Progress


No Truth, No Power

"The systemic violence against women in the societies of the Americas, especially against Indigenous Women and children, is a direct, measurable, and inevitable result of a patriarchal culture of violence that has normalized and profiteered from the colonization of Mother Earth.

For 526 years the mothers and daughters, the sons and fathers of the Original Nations of Indigneous Peoples of the Great Turtle Island Abya Yala have suffered the most extreme pogrom of  genocide and cultural annihilation that has included systematic sexual violence against our communities as an essential weapon of conquest and domination.”



Colonization must not be affirmed, nor confirmed.

Colonization must not only be investigated, it must be brought to an end.


Thursday, May 10, 2018

Indigenous Philosophy and Education

    Indigenous Philosophy and Education
Phase Three
Presented to Dr. A. Keith Carreiro Northern Arizona University

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for
EDF 670-801, Philosophy of Education

Maria Cordero Enrique February 23, 1995





I.           Table of Contents
II.     Title of Topic Inquiry........................................... 1
ill. Rationale............................................................. 1
IV.   Literature Review................................................. 3
V.     Literature Response............................................. 4
VI.   Conclusion........................................................ 12
VII.   Reference-..;; ......................................................... 21

































.




II.   Indi£enous Philosophv and Education
The Xicano Paradi£m KNO\VLEDGE which can lead to
\VISDOI\1, which will develop STRENGTH, that we may achieve
HARMONY within and without.

The focus of my paper will be to examine  the implications  of  the above  paradigm  in  terms  of  contemporary educational  practices.                                                I will attempt to un earth the indigenous philosophical roots from which this paradigm emerged. examining the conflict and contrast with other educational  strategies.                                                    As  an expression  of  my  own individual  philosophy of education the paper will relate research and introspection as a  process whose goal is the  enhancement  of  my  personal  and  professional educational goa ls.

III.   Rationale

The theme of multi-cultural education invokes heated debate among advocates and dissenters.                                          On one hand, the loss of the cohesive and directing force of a culturally monolithic curriculum based on Western philosophical precepts is seen as a threat to the security and future of
society.   In anticipation of the population trend which will create a "white"
, ,
minority within a national majority of people of color, the thrc t of loss irt psychological position over the historical "colored" minorities looms



-<




before the heirs to man i fest desti ny.   In contrast, advocates of mul ti-cultural approaches  to  education  point  to  the  accelerating  globalization  processes in communications and economics as a sign of the end of the era of the culturally parochial  perspective.  Yet,  perhaps  both  approaches  are  not really in opposition.                 The technological revolution advancing the global economy presents itself as a man i fest destiny for the technological elite, except that this ti me frontier is not the new world continent , but the entire globe.         Much of what passes for multi-cultural education is only the preparation of the workforce with the  necessary  managerial  skills  to deal with the emerging global markets.  As  the  proponents  of  "traditional" western education are driven by the need to maintain the dominance of the Europea n-Ame rican model, multi-culturalism seems to be driven by maintaining competitive prominence in the global arena for the same European-American interest bloc.
When my son was in the first grade, he completed a school assignment of the type wherein three objects are illustrated, and the task is given to identify the one which does not belong. The three objects in this case were a trumpet, a drum, and a tree. My son identified the trumpet as being out of place and was marked  by his teacher as WRONG.                      What this
·            teacher was unaware of was that our family, being practitioners of an indigenous M:>":ican traditional form of discipline known as Danza Azteca, had been recently involved in the process of making a traditional drum.




The construction of the drum involves many hours of work preparing and carving a special tree  trunk.  Drum,  tree, and  family  represent a continuity of identity and community that was reflected in my son's mind.
It is the perspective of this continuity that  I  would  explore  in  this study.    Yet, at the same time,  part of  this perspective involves  a questioning of  the  educational  process  that  produced  my son's  first grade teacher.                                         The skill of recognizing relationships  is certainly  at  the core  of  building  a body of  personal  knowledge,  of becoming educated.        But what is the relationship within the established educational system between the colonizer and the colonized? \Vill  indigenous peoples 0      the only ones to see the value in asking this question?

IV.   Resources Being Studied
A. Literature Review
Several books selected for review, but not limited  to, include: God  is Red by Vine Deloria. Kccpers of the  Earth  by  Michael  J.  Caduto  and Joseph Bruchac, Aztec Thought and  Cultl/re  by  Miguel Leon-Portilla, Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice by Mark J. Plotkin, and Indian Givers by Jack Weatherford.   Tales of a Shaman's  Apprentice  is  an  excellent  source  on the destruction  of  the  rain  forest  and it's peoples.                                            Plotkin spent  several years researching the native  usage  of  rain  forest  plants  and  has  translated his works into a native language in order that this knowledge is not lost. In phase two I wi11 out!ine other aspects of his study and how this and other




knowledge  can  be  used  in our classrooms.   Other related literature to be examined include articles on ecological, environm ental, and multicultural education.   I am trying to locate more information on indigenous philosophies around the world specifically the Americas in  order  to enlighten  myself  to their  truth,  value and beauty .                       Several documentaries are also to be reviewed, specifically one on a tribe in South America who have sent a message to  the the outside  world,  or their " young er brothers " as they refer to us.

V.   Literature Response
In order to examine the Xicano par ad igm, the origin  needs  to  be expl ored. The Chicano student movement of the sixties expressed  the need for the formation of an " int ell ec tual defense" of the people. This need was expressed in terms of self-determination as opposed to
assimilation within the U.S. educational system. It was an era which for the first time descendants of the Mexican people in the Southwest had broken past the educational barriers to higher ed ucation. · This generation of Chicanos would organize and unite under the banner of MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil  Chicano de Aztlan).           Invoking the indigenous ancestral identity of Aztlan (homeland of the Azteca people), the l\1EChA movement throughout the Southwest emphasized the goal of community in contrast  to individual empowerment.       The concept was for the university educated graduates to return to the barrios and pueblos of Aztlan to put



.,._.




their sk i ll s and education  to,vard the advancement of   the decolonization of the Mexican people.                                  Simultaneously, the MEChA  movement  pushed  for and was successful in implementing courses in Chicano studies in various universities and colleges.        At Davis, California a Chicano-Indian university was established and accredited \vith a curriculum which was based on indigenous  ident i ty  and  values.
On the occasion of  the  California  Statewide  MEChA  conference  in 1994, the veterans of this  era  gathered  to reflect  on  the  history  of  the student movement they hrld helped to build. These movement veterans, and  other::i  i:'1ey  knew,  had  attained  higher education  becoming  lawyers, teachers,  administrators  and community  leaders.                 Yet along the way something  had  been  lost. something was missing.                                         What   was    expressed was not feelings or accomplishment but rather feelings of hurt and betrayal.
\Vhile some had returned to the barrios to sow  a new generation, the higher educational  process itself had overwhelmed a vast majority.           This vast majority had become assimilated into the competitive corporate culture wherein an educational degree was a ticket into an  upwardly mobile lifestyle. The assimilation process accelerated during the Nixon administration  when  the  term  Chicano  was  undermined  by  th e-gene ric "hispanic" identification  for all Spanish speaking minorities.                                                       As one Mechista joked, the Hispanics had gone for the BMW and gave up on the UFW (United Farmworkers Union struggle).      And by accepting the




hispanic definition, further ground was lost by abandoning the indigenous history of the Mexican  peoples  in  the Southwest.  Still  convinced  that higher education was the right  path,  the  veterans  now  questioned themselves  "But  to what end?"   One movement veteran having heard this discussion at different times and places questioned the following of an educational philosophy that they described as follows:
EDUCATION \vould open up
ECONOl\1IC OPPORTUNITIES, which would  lead to S UCCESS. v.1h ic h would then translate to
PO\VER.
From the perspective of the collective history of exploitation and disempowerment as a peop le, the goal of achieving economic and political power for the Chicano community was seen in terms of a common  priority. The priority  remained  evident  after  twenty  years.  There  was  a  sense among the group of a profound need for a re-evaluation of the context and process of the shared experiences within the dominant system.
In expressing the sentiments of the group, the movement veteran  stated "Would it not better to define our own educational paradigm? A paradigm which would reflect our ancestral wisdom, upholding the knowledge that guided  our  people  for  thousands of years.       Should we consider the formation  of our  own educational  paradigm?                          (Enrique,  1994)  He   offered the following to be explored in the creation  of  our  own  educational paradigm:




. KNOWLEDGE which can lead to
WISDOM, which will develop STRENGTH, that we may achieve
HARMONY within and without."
Harmony is defined as "  rhe  mechanism  of  give  and  take so necessary to any relationship" (Aceves, 1994). In addition, hannony is not free  of conflict, quite the opposite, conflict is a needed part of hannony in order to reach an understanding and consensus. Conflict, when seen as a  tool  to achieve harmony allows us to enter relationships that grow through
co nse nsus rather than se ek to clorninate.    As  I begin  to explore this
expression of educational philosophy I will express m,y own philosophical
,...    ... .
values and practices. \Vi thin the bounds of my  topic  I  will  make connections  to  the  axiological  concerns of philosopy. What we value on the surface and what in the end we choose to put a value on are often in · contradiction. \Vhat can be said of  an educational  system  at  this  juncture in time which fails to  put  value on  the preservation  of life on  this planet? The endangered species list is not limited to plants and animals but to indigenous peoples around the world who are . in the way  of the bulldozer.· The air upon which ,ve depend for  life  is dangerous  to  breathe  during various times during the year. These questions are a part of the axiological concerns of ethics. If we as teachers fail  to address  the problems  inherent in  the valuing of                                               technological progress to the exclusion of ecolgical and human values, we  are  not  neutral,  we  are "supporting  Lhe ethical  statu quo"  (Knight,  1989).              Practical classrooms applications will be outlined as




well as research and literature in this area.
Throughout the western hemispere, one  commonality  that  exists among  indigenous  people  is how  we  refer to  ourselves.                                               We call ourselves Mexica,"la raza''. the people. The Delaware called themselves Lenni .
Lenape or "true  men'';  the Mandan or Numakaki    means "people"; the Comanche or Nemene means "the people"; and our neighbors the Yavapai or Enyaeva deem  themselves  the "sun people"(Deloria, 1973).                                           Non­ Indians were not referred to by color or race but rather by behavior.
Europeans were re ferred to h y the  Lakota  as "washichu"  which  means "the greedy one \vho takes the fat", meaning that they  not only  took  what they thought they needed but rook everything else (Redhouse, 1979).
The indigenous method of self identification  relates  an  important precept of indigenous philosophy which  is the  belief  in  the  brotherhood  of all humankind, the two-legged. but not in a heirarchy  over  the other natural  life  forms.  The  Lakota  express  it  as   ,;Ometakuye  Oyasin",  which translates  as "all  my  relations''  and  the  Maya  say "In  lakech",  you  are my
- other me.   Both  are  expressions  of  an  underlying  understanding  rooted in
our common humanity and shared history which is interwoven with a-ll ,

other living beings. Thus identity is not isolation, but instead seen in terms of relationship.   And education must proceed accordingly.                                    Is this what Johanson with his "Lucy'' and the Leaky's at Olduvai Gorge are proving? (Johanson. 1981).     \Ve have arrived at the same conclusion but we have




come to this understanding and knowledge through different paths.
The relationship of the people  to  the earth  is another important  concep.t of indigenous  philosophy.                                      The earth is not regarded in  terms  of  a commodity  but as a living  being  with  a spirit.                           We may call her Tonantzin (Mother Earth) or by another name but the recognition of a relationship  of origin and destiny  e x ists.  Recently  the theory  of Gaia  has  been examined by scientists. This theory  relates  in scientific  research  that  the Earth is a living organism with the ability to maintain a balance, or in other words the Earth like all other living beings is capable of self-preservation. Western scientists are coming to believe what indigenous people have known for countless  generations.                   It is not the content but the process  that  has  made the difference  in  the sociological  and  personal  value  of this knowledge.             A practical implication of this problem in the classroom is  the challenge  to engage the student  in  viewing  the  universe  in  a  different  way.  For example. I teach \Vorld History and  Geography,  and  maps  are  an  integral tool  in  the  understanding  of diverse  peoples and cultures.                         One map that I use when teaching about Mexico is a map  which  shows  the  various  tribes that existed in the 1S00's. The map clearly shows Baja California and the interior  of Mexico.  but  what  is different  is the orientation.             Looking at the map on the wall, the tip of Baja points  to  the 1ight.  A conventional  map would show the tip of Baja ,pointing  down  (south), indicating  that  North is the top direction. This particular map, however, was made in the Nahuatl




traditional way \vith E,lst. the direction of the rising sun, at the top. This geographical convention, which  is common  to  most  indigenous  peoples,  is a reflection in turn of the  cultural  and  scientific  foundation  of  native peoples cultural  identity.      Indigenous rvrexican teachings  refer  to humankind as  each  individual  being  composed  ofa  flame  of  the the spirit of the sun captured  in  the earthen  form. The  map exercise  is an excavation of the living philosophical values of  indigenous  cosmology.  In  my experience I have found that stuc!ents have  a  hard  time  with  this exercise and with maps that !'lip north ancl so uth . Having been exposed to one viewpoint of the v,;orld. the students have been not educated to be open to other perspectives.
In an attempt to explore a pedagogical model based on indigenous philosphy,  the Phoenix Union  High  School  District  implemented  a program in the ESL and bilingual Social Studies classrooms called the Xinachtli  Project in 1991.     Xinachtli is a  Nahuatl  (Mexican)  word describing the momentous transformation of a seed  bursting  open  to  begin it's life as a plant (Simeon. 1984). The Xinachtli Project has as it's goal the· reintroduction of the Nahuatl culture into the community schools  of  the Xicano Mexicano community  (Enrique,  1991 ).  The  pedagogy  of  the project is based on the three traditional Mexica principles of:
Tezcmlipoca - the aspect of memGi)", history Quetzalcoatl - the aspect of intelligence, consciousness, and




Huitzilopochtli - will.
These are principles of human development  which are the foundation  of  the indigenous M xican (Azteca) spirituality and cosmology which  have been preserved intact through five centuries of European colonization through the discipline of the Danza Azteca.
Carlos Aceves. in his book .;The Xinachtli Project" refers to these principles in the following way: "learning is a process of creating and not acquiring, children clo not acquire but create knowledge" (Ac eves , 1994).
\\'hat is indicated. and what the Mecha veterans at the California state conference sensed hacl transpi reel. was that the content of the educationa.:' process  is secondary  to the process. If the process is constrained by the cultural  prejudices  of  500  years  of European  colonization,     where does the ulitmate  reality  Iie  for  Indian  people  unwi11 ing  to surrender  their  humanity in exchange  for  short  term.  individual  dividends?  Especiall  at  this historical juncture. ,vhcn global tribalism is a growing trend?





VI.   Conclusion
'

Although indigenous philosophy is not monolithic, there is a  basic pattern of expression which repeats and is echoed across the  indigenous cultures. The indigenous cul tu res are spatially orientated,  and  view  the world's history as part of  the  creation's  history  -  still  in  progress.  Part  of this understanding is an awareness of the cyclical  nature  of  natural phenomena. It is a philosophy that is rooted in a deep appreciation for the entire  human  evolutionary  exp erie nc e,  not  merely  the  relatively  recent periods  when  history  ha: been documented.               Based on a precept of appreciation  and  ethic  of  res pons ibilit  y as caretakers  of  the earth , life is   seen as a dynamic, not static. cxrrcssion. The inflection  of  the  teachings  of this philosophy attempt to achieve a sense of 01ientation  and  well-being  for the learner, the better to participate in the harmonious development  of  life itself. For want of a better word in the English  language,  indigenous educational philosophy is spiritually based.
In the Americas, this philosophy of the people who have a millenial spiritual and historical connection to this land has been a problem for the Euro-American  educational  system.  We as indigenous peoples walk across the land, realizing the earth below our feet is the dust of our
ancestors.   How shall our philosophy guide us when we are confronted by
. ... - 1
curriculum which only reinforces the supremacist doctrines of "European Discovery"  of the continent?                                                Although most professional teachers may be




fami Iiar  with  the  ck bz-tte among  European  cartographers  regarding  the naming of the New \Vorld. hmv many are familiar with even one indigenous naming of the continent?
Five hundred years of ignorance is a long time, but it has not been  long enough to exterminate the \Vi11 and determination of the indigenous nations to survive and nourish. The  future  is not what it used  to be.  And the present?                                                    Stripping mvay cultural rrejudices, the  indigenous philosophies are just as modern ancl scientific as those philosophies grounded  in \Vestern  reality  a11ci of the Christian persuasion.                      As both a teacher within the public school system and a  traditional  person,  this duality inn uences me in my profession al, personal and spiritual life.
The Indian dances to bring rain or sings  songs  to  make  the  com grow. That these acts me seen ,ls superstitious  goes  against  modern scientific research regarding the theory of the value  of  sound  vibrations. That Indian people can communicate ,vi th animals, trees or stones is also seen as supersition.                In his book P/1ysics and Philosophy, James Jeans relates the following:
"Space and time arc inhabited  by  distinct  individuals,  but  when  we pass beyond space :rnci time'. rrorn the world of phenomena towards reality,  individuality  is  replaced by community.    When we pass beyond space and time. they [separate individuals] may perhaps form ingredients of a single continuous stream of life (Deloria, 1972).
In this idea of nature. a continuous stream of-life, it is conceivable of learning  to hear  trees  talk  or  to communicate with animals.                                                 Scientific





research is now beginning to explore the idea of communication with dolphins and of understanding the songs of the whale.
In 1054, the appearance of  the Crab  Nebula  supernova  was recorded by Indians on the west coast in the form of  a  rock  paintings  and  inside a cave in California.        These petroglyphs show a bright star  next  to  the crescent  moon.  The Chinese and Japanese also recorded this event which lasting three weeks was visible to the entire world. The Western world yet failed to record this natural orcler of the universe because it contradicted
. their  idea  of  an  unchanging  un ive rse.     The  western  medieval  mind  wasn't ready for the Aristotelian idea of truth through observation.
Indigenous philosophy is based upon observation of nature in all dimensions. It is an intellectual exercise wherein science and spirituality have  never  been separated.   My values and practices are rooted in these ancient  philosophical  thoughts.       Just as modern western man l?oks to the thinking of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates as being timely today so do I in the readings and thoughts of the indigenous peoples  thoughout  time.  The Mexica (Aztec) poet Nczahualcoyotl related the following:
\Vhat does your mind seek?
\Vhere is your heart?
If you give your heart to each and everything, you lead it nowhere: you destroy your heart.
Can anything be found on earth? (Leon-Portilla, 1963)
The poet is asking the axiological question of whether the mind  a.rru heart can  discover  real  value  here on earth.                                                The poet also states that without a




destination humans lose  their  heart.  In  Nahuatl,  the  language  of  the Mexica, yol!orl (heart) is derived  from  the word ollin (movement),  thus heart is defined as the "dynamic quality inherent in the human  being"  (Leon­ Portilla. 1963). The last  li ne expresses  the thought  of  whether  it is possible to find anything on earth capable of satisfying the whole dynamic being  of man. The Mexica understood  the  problems  involved  in  establishing  values in a changing \vorlcl.
The Mexica also questioned  their  religious  teachings  of the hereafter as shown in the following poem:
Do flowers go to the region of the dead?
In the Beyond. arc we dead or do we still live?
\Vhere is the source of the light, since that which gives life hides itself? (Leon-Portilla. 1963)
.
 
This poem reveals the quest to clarify the real outcome of our lives and to
.

learn the importance of our li fe struggle. Nezahualcoyotl in the following poem expresses the f'v1cxica attempt to discover a foundation, a true basic principal for man and the universe.
Does man possess any truth?
If not. our song is no longer true. Is anything stable and lasting?
\Vhat reaches its aim?
The Mexica philosopher. whose existence is documented in Fray_ Bernardino de Sahagun ·s General History of New Spain, were the ones who composed the songs in black and red ink. The Nahautl language employs a linguistic method called "clifrasismo", in which two isolated





qualities of an idea are put together to achieve maximum  clarity  and precision.               Black  and  red  ink  is an example  of a difrasismo.           Black and red ink  signify  v.1  riti ng  or  wisdom.  In xochirl, ;n cuicatl:   flower and  song means  poetry.  the  only  truth on earth.       Another example is in topan, in mictlan:   what is above us, the  region  of  the dead.  This expresses  the idea of the metaphysical beyond or the unknown  (Leon-Portilla, 1963).  The Mexica philosophic thought is not attributed to isolated thinkers, with the exception of Nezahuacoyotl.  bur  rather  it  is  grounded  in  the  ancient schools directed by the \vise men .
Indigenous philosophy holds that all forms of life have their own purpose. There is strength  in  diversity.  Shooter,  a Sioux  Indian  explained this  idea as follows:     " Animals nnd  plants  are  taught  by Wakan  Tanka what they are to clo. \Vakan Tanka teaches the birds to make  nests......All birds, even those or the same srccies. arc not alike, and it is the same with animals.  or  human   beings" (Deloria. 1972).                         Existence in creation is the recognition that in difference there  is strength.  This  message  is very  timely in today's world in which our rainforest destruction rate rose  from  thirty million acres a year to forty million  in  the  ten  year  period  between  1980 and  1996  (Joyce,  1994).  Consider  the  following  statistics:  of all prescription drugs one-fourth contain a useful plant ingredient, 121
prescription drugs around the world ar-e mad e from higher plants--half of

the plants in these medicines are from the tropics and three-fourths of these




were discovered because they were already used by indigenous herbalists (Joyce, 1994).
Harvard faculty members were asked by Harvard  Magazine  to name the world's single most pressing problem. The response of Edward 0.
Wilson was as fol lows: "The  worst  thing  that can  happen--will  happen--is not energy depletion.  economic  collapse,  limited  nuclear  war,  or  conquest by  a totalitarian  government.     As terrible as these catastrophes would be for us, they  can  be  repaired  within  a few generations.       The process ongoing in the 1980's that will take millions  of  years  to conect  is  the  loss  of  genetic and species diversity by the destruction  of natural  habitats.  This is  the folly our descendants are least I ikely to forgive us" (Joyce, 1994). Wilson equates  the destruction  of  the  tropics  to "bLirning  a Renaissance  painting  to. cook dinner·· (Joyce. 1994 ).
Vine Deloria states in his book God is Red that our environmental crisis is due to the "rejection of creation as a living ecosystem and the concept of nature as depraved and an object for exploitation" (Deloria, 1972).   Indigenous philosophy sees man _and the land as one, with the land becoming the final resting place of man. We treat the land with respect because when we walk upon the earth we come in contact with those who came before us.   Indian people have a concept of the seven generations.
That means that we must preserve and take care of the earth for the next seven generations: we borrow the land from the unborn.





How does th is kn ow led ge of i ndi ge nous phi losoph y affect my classroom prac t ices ?    I bring m y va lu es into the classroom when I decide what to teach. what I will emphasize. the viewpoints I wil1 present. The Bering Strait  theory  is one example.   Though  widely  accepted,  the indigenous peoples have th ei r own distinct theory and documentation regarding the migration pa tt e rns that h a ve populated the hemisphere. The Indian v iew po i n t is a ll o \vecl expr ess ion in my classroom, not just through read i ngs , s peakers a n ci ass ig nm e n ts but I how I relate to m y stud ents , my demea nor.   m y e xp e r ie nces  :rncl my  pe rsona l reflec ti ons  of wh at I think is important.
The neglect of th e I nd ian v iewp oint is related in th e following story
by  the  Sioux  physician Charles Eastman.  A missionary was instructing a group of Indians about the truths of his holy relig ion. He recounted the creation story and the fall of mnn. The Indians listened attentively  and thanked  him  for his story.   One in turn started to relate the story about the origin of maize.                 The disgusted missionary offended by the story told the Indians that his story was the sacred truth and theirs  was  but fable.  The Indian replied that they had believed his stories so why would he not give credit to theirs?
Most of my prescribed \Vorld History curriculum is  related  to the history  of Eur ope .   N on-E ur opean countries are described and related to in terms of their relationship to Europe as if they achieved nothing until they





fonned a relationship with the west. Our textbooks fail to acknowledge the experience  of  mankind  as a whole.                                              \Vorld history is related in terms of "Western man's conquest of the remainder of the world and his
subsequent rise  to  technological  sophistication"  (Deloria,  1972):  My  goal is to relate to my students the achievements of  mankind  and to get them  to see a world viewpoint and not just the western viewpoint of the world.
Stonehenge is a  virtual  computer  with  its  usage  and  meaning  having eluded us: the Aztec cllcnclar stone is also an ancient computer with its knowledge  now  just  being rediscovered.      The debate rages on  regarding how the ancient Egyptians  construcreci  the  most  massive  structures  on earth. The world is filled with ancient  ruins  that  will  probably  still  stand long  after  the  buildings  downtown  are in rubble.                                                       We could not duplicate these structures if \Ve wished to do so. As I write, the newly drafted World History standards for the  21st  century  are  being  criticized  because  too much emphasis is placecl on multicultui·alism, and too little on the true important  events  according  to  Western  tradition.                                 Pat Buchanan in a recent editorial  questioned  the  importance  of  students  knowing   who  Mali's Mansa Musa was.
In 1980. when Edward 0. \Vi Ison made his analysis of the world's most pressing problem. the species of the Earth were disappearing at an alarming rate. Four hundred times hster than any time in the recent past. Species extinctions have been reported by biologists around the world.




Christopher  Joyce  in  his  book  Earthly  Goods states  it  very elo·quently
when he writes "We are abandoning  fellow  living  things  for  a manufactured dream ,vorld, as ir we could grasp immortality by replacing what is born, grows, and dies with that which never ages (Joyce, 1994).
In  this present  historical  context,  v,1 e prepare our  youth for the challenges to come.   Ecological crisises have come to be generally accepted as nuisances in the pell mell advance into the global market, which requires a global extraction  process for raw materials.      From where comes the raw materials and the labor to sustain the foundation of this emminently consumptive society?  Are we to superstitiously believe in the doctrine that technology will co1-rect itself?
In the indigenous traditional worldview, there exists a concept of justice.     In traditional i\1exica teachings, the Sixth Sun which is now dawning is called the Sun of Justice. Based on the harmonic principle of equilibrium in nature and the reciprocal nature of  relationships  which defines our lives, it is a sun ,,vhose time has come.




VI. References



Aceves, Carlos & J..A. ( 1994 ). The Xinachtli Project- -A Manifesto of Mvthic Peda 2:o y. ( an u np(1bl ished manuscript).

Caduto. Michael J . & Bruchac. Joseph. (1988). Keepers of the Earth- Native Ame1ican  Stories and  Environmental  Activities  for Children. Fulcrum, Inc. Golden. Colorado.
Deloria, Vine Jr. (1973). God is Red. Grosset & Dunlap, New York, NY Enrique. Tupac. ( 1994). The Xicano Paradi£m. (an unpublished
communique)

Enrique, 'Tupac. (1991 ). Xinachtli Project. Phoenix Union High School District publisher.

Johansen, Bruce & :f\1aestas, Roberto. (1979). Wasi 'chu- The Continuing Indian Wars . Monthly Review Press. New York, NY.
Johanson, Donald C. (1981). Lucv. The Beginning of Humankind . Simon &
Schuster New York. NY.

Joyce. Christopher.  ( 1994). Eanhlv  Goods.  Med icine-Hunting   in  the Rainforest. Little. Brown & Company. Boston, MA.

Knight, George R. ( 1989). Issues & Alternatives in Educational Philosophy (2nd edition). Berrien Springs, Michigan: Andrews University Press.

Leon-Port i Ila. Miguel. (1963). Aztec Thought and Culture- A Study of the Ancient  Nahuatl  ivlind .   University  of Oklahoma  Press:
Norman, Oklahoma.                                                                         
Plotkin o Mark J. ( 1993). Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice. Viking Publishers.
New York, NY.
Simeon, Remi. (1984). Diccionario de la Lengua Nahuatl o Mexicana.
Mexico.  OF: Siglo XXI:   America Nuestra.


22

\Veatherford. Jack. ( 1988). Indian Givers- How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the \r\/orld. Fawcett Columbine, New York, NY.


I.
I
Phase Three
Presented to Dr. A. Keith Carreiro Northern Arizona University

In Partial Fulfillment of the Requirements for
EDF 670-801, Philosophy of Education

Maria Cordero Enrique February 23, 1995


I.           Table of Contents
II.     Title of Topic Inquiry........................................... 1
ill. Rationale............................................................. 1
IV.   Literature Review................................................. 3
V.     Literature Response............................................. 4
VI.   Conclusion........................................................ 12
VII.   Reference-..;; ......................................................... 21

































.




II.   Indi£enous Philosophv and Education
The Xicano Paradi£m KNO\VLEDGE which can lead to
\VISDOI\1, which will develop STRENGTH, that we may achieve
HARMONY within and without.

The focus of my paper will be to examine  the implications  of  the above  paradigm  in  terms  of  contemporary educational  practices.                                                I will attempt to un earth the indigenous philosophical roots from which this paradigm emerged. examining the conflict and contrast with other educational  strategies.                                                    As  an expression  of  my  own individual  philosophy of education the paper will relate research and introspection as a  process whose goal is the  enhancement  of  my  personal  and  professional educational goa ls.

III.   Rationale

The theme of multi-cultural education invokes heated debate among advocates and dissenters.                                          On one hand, the loss of the cohesive and directing force of a culturally monolithic curriculum based on Western philosophical precepts is seen as a threat to the security and future of
society.   In anticipation of the population trend which will create a "white"
, ,
minority within a national majority of people of color, the thrc t of loss irt psychological position over the historical "colored" minorities looms



-<




before the heirs to man i fest desti ny.   In contrast, advocates of mul ti-cultural approaches  to  education  point  to  the  accelerating  globalization  processes in communications and economics as a sign of the end of the era of the culturally parochial  perspective.  Yet,  perhaps  both  approaches  are  not really in opposition.                 The technological revolution advancing the global economy presents itself as a man i fest destiny for the technological elite, except that this ti me frontier is not the new world continent , but the entire globe.         Much of what passes for multi-cultural education is only the preparation of the workforce with the  necessary  managerial  skills  to deal with the emerging global markets.  As  the  proponents  of  "traditional" western education are driven by the need to maintain the dominance of the Europea n-Ame rican model, multi-culturalism seems to be driven by maintaining competitive prominence in the global arena for the same European-American interest bloc.
When my son was in the first grade, he completed a school assignment of the type wherein three objects are illustrated, and the task is given to identify the one which does not belong. The three objects in this case were a trumpet, a drum, and a tree. My son identified the trumpet as being out of place and was marked  by his teacher as WRONG.                      What this
·            teacher was unaware of was that our family, being practitioners of an indigenous M:>":ican traditional form of discipline known as Danza Azteca, had been recently involved in the process of making a traditional drum.




The construction of the drum involves many hours of work preparing and carving a special tree  trunk.  Drum,  tree, and  family  represent a continuity of identity and community that was reflected in my son's mind.
It is the perspective of this continuity that  I  would  explore  in  this study.    Yet, at the same time,  part of  this perspective involves  a questioning of  the  educational  process  that  produced  my son's  first grade teacher.                                         The skill of recognizing relationships  is certainly  at  the core  of  building  a body of  personal  knowledge,  of becoming educated.        But what is the relationship within the established educational system between the colonizer and the colonized? \Vill  indigenous peoples 0      the only ones to see the value in asking this question?

IV.   Resources Being Studied
A. Literature Review
Several books selected for review, but not limited  to, include: God  is Red by Vine Deloria. Kccpers of the  Earth  by  Michael  J.  Caduto  and Joseph Bruchac, Aztec Thought and  Cultl/re  by  Miguel Leon-Portilla, Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice by Mark J. Plotkin, and Indian Givers by Jack Weatherford.   Tales of a Shaman's  Apprentice  is  an  excellent  source  on the destruction  of  the  rain  forest  and it's peoples.                                            Plotkin spent  several years researching the native  usage  of  rain  forest  plants  and  has  translated his works into a native language in order that this knowledge is not lost. In phase two I wi11 out!ine other aspects of his study and how this and other




knowledge  can  be  used  in our classrooms.   Other related literature to be examined include articles on ecological, environm ental, and multicultural education.   I am trying to locate more information on indigenous philosophies around the world specifically the Americas in  order  to enlighten  myself  to their  truth,  value and beauty .                       Several documentaries are also to be reviewed, specifically one on a tribe in South America who have sent a message to  the the outside  world,  or their " young er brothers " as they refer to us.

V.   Literature Response
In order to examine the Xicano par ad igm, the origin  needs  to  be expl ored. The Chicano student movement of the sixties expressed  the need for the formation of an " int ell ec tual defense" of the people. This need was expressed in terms of self-determination as opposed to
assimilation within the U.S. educational system. It was an era which for the first time descendants of the Mexican people in the Southwest had broken past the educational barriers to higher ed ucation. · This generation of Chicanos would organize and unite under the banner of MEChA (Movimiento Estudiantil  Chicano de Aztlan).           Invoking the indigenous ancestral identity of Aztlan (homeland of the Azteca people), the l\1EChA movement throughout the Southwest emphasized the goal of community in contrast  to individual empowerment.       The concept was for the university educated graduates to return to the barrios and pueblos of Aztlan to put



.,._.




their sk i ll s and education  to,vard the advancement of   the decolonization of the Mexican people.                                  Simultaneously, the MEChA  movement  pushed  for and was successful in implementing courses in Chicano studies in various universities and colleges.        At Davis, California a Chicano-Indian university was established and accredited \vith a curriculum which was based on indigenous  ident i ty  and  values.
On the occasion of  the  California  Statewide  MEChA  conference  in 1994, the veterans of this  era  gathered  to reflect  on  the  history  of  the student movement they hrld helped to build. These movement veterans, and  other::i  i:'1ey  knew,  had  attained  higher education  becoming  lawyers, teachers,  administrators  and community  leaders.                 Yet along the way something  had  been  lost. something was missing.                                         What   was    expressed was not feelings or accomplishment but rather feelings of hurt and betrayal.
\Vhile some had returned to the barrios to sow  a new generation, the higher educational  process itself had overwhelmed a vast majority.           This vast majority had become assimilated into the competitive corporate culture wherein an educational degree was a ticket into an  upwardly mobile lifestyle. The assimilation process accelerated during the Nixon administration  when  the  term  Chicano  was  undermined  by  th e-gene ric "hispanic" identification  for all Spanish speaking minorities.                                                       As one Mechista joked, the Hispanics had gone for the BMW and gave up on the UFW (United Farmworkers Union struggle).      And by accepting the




hispanic definition, further ground was lost by abandoning the indigenous history of the Mexican  peoples  in  the Southwest.  Still  convinced  that higher education was the right  path,  the  veterans  now  questioned themselves  "But  to what end?"   One movement veteran having heard this discussion at different times and places questioned the following of an educational philosophy that they described as follows:
EDUCATION \vould open up
ECONOl\1IC OPPORTUNITIES, which would  lead to S UCCESS. v.1h ic h would then translate to
PO\VER.
From the perspective of the collective history of exploitation and disempowerment as a peop le, the goal of achieving economic and political power for the Chicano community was seen in terms of a common  priority. The priority  remained  evident  after  twenty  years.  There  was  a  sense among the group of a profound need for a re-evaluation of the context and process of the shared experiences within the dominant system.
In expressing the sentiments of the group, the movement veteran  stated "Would it not better to define our own educational paradigm? A paradigm which would reflect our ancestral wisdom, upholding the knowledge that guided  our  people  for  thousands of years.       Should we consider the formation  of our  own educational  paradigm?                          (Enrique,  1994)  He   offered the following to be explored in the creation  of  our  own  educational paradigm:




. KNOWLEDGE which can lead to
WISDOM, which will develop STRENGTH, that we may achieve
HARMONY within and without."
Harmony is defined as "  rhe  mechanism  of  give  and  take so necessary to any relationship" (Aceves, 1994). In addition, hannony is not free  of conflict, quite the opposite, conflict is a needed part of hannony in order to reach an understanding and consensus. Conflict, when seen as a  tool  to achieve harmony allows us to enter relationships that grow through
co nse nsus rather than se ek to clorninate.    As  I begin  to explore this
expression of educational philosophy I will express m,y own philosophical
,...    ... .
values and practices. \Vi thin the bounds of my  topic  I  will  make connections  to  the  axiological  concerns of philosopy. What we value on the surface and what in the end we choose to put a value on are often in · contradiction. \Vhat can be said of  an educational  system  at  this  juncture in time which fails to  put  value on  the preservation  of life on  this planet? The endangered species list is not limited to plants and animals but to indigenous peoples around the world who are . in the way  of the bulldozer.· The air upon which ,ve depend for  life  is dangerous  to  breathe  during various times during the year. These questions are a part of the axiological concerns of ethics. If we as teachers fail  to address  the problems  inherent in  the valuing of                                               technological progress to the exclusion of ecolgical and human values, we  are  not  neutral,  we  are "supporting  Lhe ethical  statu quo"  (Knight,  1989).              Practical classrooms applications will be outlined as




well as research and literature in this area.
Throughout the western hemispere, one  commonality  that  exists among  indigenous  people  is how  we  refer to  ourselves.                                               We call ourselves Mexica,"la raza''. the people. The Delaware called themselves Lenni .
Lenape or "true  men'';  the Mandan or Numakaki    means "people"; the Comanche or Nemene means "the people"; and our neighbors the Yavapai or Enyaeva deem  themselves  the "sun people"(Deloria, 1973).                                           Non­ Indians were not referred to by color or race but rather by behavior.
Europeans were re ferred to h y the  Lakota  as "washichu"  which  means "the greedy one \vho takes the fat", meaning that they  not only  took  what they thought they needed but rook everything else (Redhouse, 1979).
The indigenous method of self identification  relates  an  important precept of indigenous philosophy which  is the  belief  in  the  brotherhood  of all humankind, the two-legged. but not in a heirarchy  over  the other natural  life  forms.  The  Lakota  express  it  as   ,;Ometakuye  Oyasin",  which translates  as "all  my  relations''  and  the  Maya  say "In  lakech",  you  are my
- other me.   Both  are  expressions  of  an  underlying  understanding  rooted in
our common humanity and shared history which is interwoven with a-ll ,

other living beings. Thus identity is not isolation, but instead seen in terms of relationship.   And education must proceed accordingly.                                    Is this what Johanson with his "Lucy'' and the Leaky's at Olduvai Gorge are proving? (Johanson. 1981).     \Ve have arrived at the same conclusion but we have




come to this understanding and knowledge through different paths.
The relationship of the people  to  the earth  is another important  concep.t of indigenous  philosophy.                                      The earth is not regarded in  terms  of  a commodity  but as a living  being  with  a spirit.                           We may call her Tonantzin (Mother Earth) or by another name but the recognition of a relationship  of origin and destiny  e x ists.  Recently  the theory  of Gaia  has  been examined by scientists. This theory  relates  in scientific  research  that  the Earth is a living organism with the ability to maintain a balance, or in other words the Earth like all other living beings is capable of self-preservation. Western scientists are coming to believe what indigenous people have known for countless  generations.                   It is not the content but the process  that  has  made the difference  in  the sociological  and  personal  value  of this knowledge.             A practical implication of this problem in the classroom is  the challenge  to engage the student  in  viewing  the  universe  in  a  different  way.  For example. I teach \Vorld History and  Geography,  and  maps  are  an  integral tool  in  the  understanding  of diverse  peoples and cultures.                         One map that I use when teaching about Mexico is a map  which  shows  the  various  tribes that existed in the 1S00's. The map clearly shows Baja California and the interior  of Mexico.  but  what  is different  is the orientation.             Looking at the map on the wall, the tip of Baja points  to  the 1ight.  A conventional  map would show the tip of Baja ,pointing  down  (south), indicating  that  North is the top direction. This particular map, however, was made in the Nahuatl




traditional way \vith E,lst. the direction of the rising sun, at the top. This geographical convention, which  is common  to  most  indigenous  peoples,  is a reflection in turn of the  cultural  and  scientific  foundation  of  native peoples cultural  identity.      Indigenous rvrexican teachings  refer  to humankind as  each  individual  being  composed  ofa  flame  of  the the spirit of the sun captured  in  the earthen  form. The  map exercise  is an excavation of the living philosophical values of  indigenous  cosmology.  In  my experience I have found that stuc!ents have  a  hard  time  with  this exercise and with maps that !'lip north ancl so uth . Having been exposed to one viewpoint of the v,;orld. the students have been not educated to be open to other perspectives.
In an attempt to explore a pedagogical model based on indigenous philosphy,  the Phoenix Union  High  School  District  implemented  a program in the ESL and bilingual Social Studies classrooms called the Xinachtli  Project in 1991.     Xinachtli is a  Nahuatl  (Mexican)  word describing the momentous transformation of a seed  bursting  open  to  begin it's life as a plant (Simeon. 1984). The Xinachtli Project has as it's goal the· reintroduction of the Nahuatl culture into the community schools  of  the Xicano Mexicano community  (Enrique,  1991 ).  The  pedagogy  of  the project is based on the three traditional Mexica principles of:
Tezcmlipoca - the aspect of memGi)", history Quetzalcoatl - the aspect of intelligence, consciousness, and




Huitzilopochtli - will.
These are principles of human development  which are the foundation  of  the indigenous M xican (Azteca) spirituality and cosmology which  have been preserved intact through five centuries of European colonization through the discipline of the Danza Azteca.
Carlos Aceves. in his book .;The Xinachtli Project" refers to these principles in the following way: "learning is a process of creating and not acquiring, children clo not acquire but create knowledge" (Ac eves , 1994).
\\'hat is indicated. and what the Mecha veterans at the California state conference sensed hacl transpi reel. was that the content of the educationa.:' process  is secondary  to the process. If the process is constrained by the cultural  prejudices  of  500  years  of European  colonization,     where does the ulitmate  reality  Iie  for  Indian  people  unwi11 ing  to surrender  their  humanity in exchange  for  short  term.  individual  dividends?  Especiall  at  this historical juncture. ,vhcn global tribalism is a growing trend?





VI.   Conclusion
'

Although indigenous philosophy is not monolithic, there is a  basic pattern of expression which repeats and is echoed across the  indigenous cultures. The indigenous cul tu res are spatially orientated,  and  view  the world's history as part of  the  creation's  history  -  still  in  progress.  Part  of this understanding is an awareness of the cyclical  nature  of  natural phenomena. It is a philosophy that is rooted in a deep appreciation for the entire  human  evolutionary  exp erie nc e,  not  merely  the  relatively  recent periods  when  history  ha: been documented.               Based on a precept of appreciation  and  ethic  of  res pons ibilit  y as caretakers  of  the earth , life is   seen as a dynamic, not static. cxrrcssion. The inflection  of  the  teachings  of this philosophy attempt to achieve a sense of 01ientation  and  well-being  for the learner, the better to participate in the harmonious development  of  life itself. For want of a better word in the English  language,  indigenous educational philosophy is spiritually based.
In the Americas, this philosophy of the people who have a millenial spiritual and historical connection to this land has been a problem for the Euro-American  educational  system.  We as indigenous peoples walk across the land, realizing the earth below our feet is the dust of our
ancestors.   How shall our philosophy guide us when we are confronted by
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curriculum which only reinforces the supremacist doctrines of "European Discovery"  of the continent?                                                Although most professional teachers may be




fami Iiar  with  the  ck bz-tte among  European  cartographers  regarding  the naming of the New \Vorld. hmv many are familiar with even one indigenous naming of the continent?
Five hundred years of ignorance is a long time, but it has not been  long enough to exterminate the \Vi11 and determination of the indigenous nations to survive and nourish. The  future  is not what it used  to be.  And the present?                                                    Stripping mvay cultural rrejudices, the  indigenous philosophies are just as modern ancl scientific as those philosophies grounded  in \Vestern  reality  a11ci of the Christian persuasion.                      As both a teacher within the public school system and a  traditional  person,  this duality inn uences me in my profession al, personal and spiritual life.
The Indian dances to bring rain or sings  songs  to  make  the  com grow. That these acts me seen ,ls superstitious  goes  against  modern scientific research regarding the theory of the value  of  sound  vibrations. That Indian people can communicate ,vi th animals, trees or stones is also seen as supersition.                In his book P/1ysics and Philosophy, James Jeans relates the following:
"Space and time arc inhabited  by  distinct  individuals,  but  when  we pass beyond space :rnci time'. rrorn the world of phenomena towards reality,  individuality  is  replaced by community.    When we pass beyond space and time. they [separate individuals] may perhaps form ingredients of a single continuous stream of life (Deloria, 1972).
In this idea of nature. a continuous stream of-life, it is conceivable of learning  to hear  trees  talk  or  to communicate with animals.                                                 Scientific





research is now beginning to explore the idea of communication with dolphins and of understanding the songs of the whale.
In 1054, the appearance of  the Crab  Nebula  supernova  was recorded by Indians on the west coast in the form of  a  rock  paintings  and  inside a cave in California.        These petroglyphs show a bright star  next  to  the crescent  moon.  The Chinese and Japanese also recorded this event which lasting three weeks was visible to the entire world. The Western world yet failed to record this natural orcler of the universe because it contradicted
. their  idea  of  an  unchanging  un ive rse.     The  western  medieval  mind  wasn't ready for the Aristotelian idea of truth through observation.
Indigenous philosophy is based upon observation of nature in all dimensions. It is an intellectual exercise wherein science and spirituality have  never  been separated.   My values and practices are rooted in these ancient  philosophical  thoughts.       Just as modern western man l?oks to the thinking of Plato, Aristotle, Socrates as being timely today so do I in the readings and thoughts of the indigenous peoples  thoughout  time.  The Mexica (Aztec) poet Nczahualcoyotl related the following:
\Vhat does your mind seek?
\Vhere is your heart?
If you give your heart to each and everything, you lead it nowhere: you destroy your heart.
Can anything be found on earth? (Leon-Portilla, 1963)
The poet is asking the axiological question of whether the mind  a.rru heart can  discover  real  value  here on earth.                                                The poet also states that without a




destination humans lose  their  heart.  In  Nahuatl,  the  language  of  the Mexica, yol!orl (heart) is derived  from  the word ollin (movement),  thus heart is defined as the "dynamic quality inherent in the human  being"  (Leon­ Portilla. 1963). The last  li ne expresses  the thought  of  whether  it is possible to find anything on earth capable of satisfying the whole dynamic being  of man. The Mexica understood  the  problems  involved  in  establishing  values in a changing \vorlcl.
The Mexica also questioned  their  religious  teachings  of the hereafter as shown in the following poem:
Do flowers go to the region of the dead?
In the Beyond. arc we dead or do we still live?
\Vhere is the source of the light, since that which gives life hides itself? (Leon-Portilla. 1963)
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This poem reveals the quest to clarify the real outcome of our lives and to
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learn the importance of our li fe struggle. Nezahualcoyotl in the following poem expresses the f'v1cxica attempt to discover a foundation, a true basic principal for man and the universe.
Does man possess any truth?
If not. our song is no longer true. Is anything stable and lasting?
\Vhat reaches its aim?
The Mexica philosopher. whose existence is documented in Fray_ Bernardino de Sahagun ·s General History of New Spain, were the ones who composed the songs in black and red ink. The Nahautl language employs a linguistic method called "clifrasismo", in which two isolated





qualities of an idea are put together to achieve maximum  clarity  and precision.               Black  and  red  ink  is an example  of a difrasismo.           Black and red ink  signify  v.1  riti ng  or  wisdom.  In xochirl, ;n cuicatl:   flower and  song means  poetry.  the  only  truth on earth.       Another example is in topan, in mictlan:   what is above us, the  region  of  the dead.  This expresses  the idea of the metaphysical beyond or the unknown  (Leon-Portilla, 1963).  The Mexica philosophic thought is not attributed to isolated thinkers, with the exception of Nezahuacoyotl.  bur  rather  it  is  grounded  in  the  ancient schools directed by the \vise men .
Indigenous philosophy holds that all forms of life have their own purpose. There is strength  in  diversity.  Shooter,  a Sioux  Indian  explained this  idea as follows:     " Animals nnd  plants  are  taught  by Wakan  Tanka what they are to clo. \Vakan Tanka teaches the birds to make  nests......All birds, even those or the same srccies. arc not alike, and it is the same with animals.  or  human   beings" (Deloria. 1972).                         Existence in creation is the recognition that in difference there  is strength.  This  message  is very  timely in today's world in which our rainforest destruction rate rose  from  thirty million acres a year to forty million  in  the  ten  year  period  between  1980 and  1996  (Joyce,  1994).  Consider  the  following  statistics:  of all prescription drugs one-fourth contain a useful plant ingredient, 121
prescription drugs around the world ar-e mad e from higher plants--half of

the plants in these medicines are from the tropics and three-fourths of these




were discovered because they were already used by indigenous herbalists (Joyce, 1994).
Harvard faculty members were asked by Harvard  Magazine  to name the world's single most pressing problem. The response of Edward 0.
Wilson was as fol lows: "The  worst  thing  that can  happen--will  happen--is not energy depletion.  economic  collapse,  limited  nuclear  war,  or  conquest by  a totalitarian  government.     As terrible as these catastrophes would be for us, they  can  be  repaired  within  a few generations.       The process ongoing in the 1980's that will take millions  of  years  to conect  is  the  loss  of  genetic and species diversity by the destruction  of natural  habitats.  This is  the folly our descendants are least I ikely to forgive us" (Joyce, 1994). Wilson equates  the destruction  of  the  tropics  to "bLirning  a Renaissance  painting  to. cook dinner·· (Joyce. 1994 ).
Vine Deloria states in his book God is Red that our environmental crisis is due to the "rejection of creation as a living ecosystem and the concept of nature as depraved and an object for exploitation" (Deloria, 1972).   Indigenous philosophy sees man _and the land as one, with the land becoming the final resting place of man. We treat the land with respect because when we walk upon the earth we come in contact with those who came before us.   Indian people have a concept of the seven generations.
That means that we must preserve and take care of the earth for the next seven generations: we borrow the land from the unborn.





How does th is kn ow led ge of i ndi ge nous phi losoph y affect my classroom prac t ices ?    I bring m y va lu es into the classroom when I decide what to teach. what I will emphasize. the viewpoints I wil1 present. The Bering Strait  theory  is one example.   Though  widely  accepted,  the indigenous peoples have th ei r own distinct theory and documentation regarding the migration pa tt e rns that h a ve populated the hemisphere. The Indian v iew po i n t is a ll o \vecl expr ess ion in my classroom, not just through read i ngs , s peakers a n ci ass ig nm e n ts but I how I relate to m y stud ents , my demea nor.   m y e xp e r ie nces  :rncl my  pe rsona l reflec ti ons  of wh at I think is important.
The neglect of th e I nd ian v iewp oint is related in th e following story
by  the  Sioux  physician Charles Eastman.  A missionary was instructing a group of Indians about the truths of his holy relig ion. He recounted the creation story and the fall of mnn. The Indians listened attentively  and thanked  him  for his story.   One in turn started to relate the story about the origin of maize.                 The disgusted missionary offended by the story told the Indians that his story was the sacred truth and theirs  was  but fable.  The Indian replied that they had believed his stories so why would he not give credit to theirs?
Most of my prescribed \Vorld History curriculum is  related  to the history  of Eur ope .   N on-E ur opean countries are described and related to in terms of their relationship to Europe as if they achieved nothing until they





fonned a relationship with the west. Our textbooks fail to acknowledge the experience  of  mankind  as a whole.                                              \Vorld history is related in terms of "Western man's conquest of the remainder of the world and his
subsequent rise  to  technological  sophistication"  (Deloria,  1972):  My  goal is to relate to my students the achievements of  mankind  and to get them  to see a world viewpoint and not just the western viewpoint of the world.
Stonehenge is a  virtual  computer  with  its  usage  and  meaning  having eluded us: the Aztec cllcnclar stone is also an ancient computer with its knowledge  now  just  being rediscovered.      The debate rages on  regarding how the ancient Egyptians  construcreci  the  most  massive  structures  on earth. The world is filled with ancient  ruins  that  will  probably  still  stand long  after  the  buildings  downtown  are in rubble.                                                       We could not duplicate these structures if \Ve wished to do so. As I write, the newly drafted World History standards for the  21st  century  are  being  criticized  because  too much emphasis is placecl on multicultui·alism, and too little on the true important  events  according  to  Western  tradition.                                 Pat Buchanan in a recent editorial  questioned  the  importance  of  students  knowing   who  Mali's Mansa Musa was.
In 1980. when Edward 0. \Vi Ison made his analysis of the world's most pressing problem. the species of the Earth were disappearing at an alarming rate. Four hundred times hster than any time in the recent past. Species extinctions have been reported by biologists around the world.




Christopher  Joyce  in  his  book  Earthly  Goods states  it  very elo·quently
when he writes "We are abandoning  fellow  living  things  for  a manufactured dream ,vorld, as ir we could grasp immortality by replacing what is born, grows, and dies with that which never ages (Joyce, 1994).
In  this present  historical  context,  v,1 e prepare our  youth for the challenges to come.   Ecological crisises have come to be generally accepted as nuisances in the pell mell advance into the global market, which requires a global extraction  process for raw materials.      From where comes the raw materials and the labor to sustain the foundation of this emminently consumptive society?  Are we to superstitiously believe in the doctrine that technology will co1-rect itself?
In the indigenous traditional worldview, there exists a concept of justice.     In traditional i\1exica teachings, the Sixth Sun which is now dawning is called the Sun of Justice. Based on the harmonic principle of equilibrium in nature and the reciprocal nature of  relationships  which defines our lives, it is a sun ,,vhose time has come.




VI. References



Aceves, Carlos & J..A. ( 1994 ). The Xinachtli Project- -A Manifesto of Mvthic Peda 2:o y. ( an u np(1bl ished manuscript).

Caduto. Michael J . & Bruchac. Joseph. (1988). Keepers of the Earth- Native Ame1ican  Stories and  Environmental  Activities  for Children. Fulcrum, Inc. Golden. Colorado.
Deloria, Vine Jr. (1973). God is Red. Grosset & Dunlap, New York, NY Enrique. Tupac. ( 1994). The Xicano Paradi£m. (an unpublished
communique)

Enrique, 'Tupac. (1991 ). Xinachtli Project. Phoenix Union High School District publisher.

Johansen, Bruce & :f\1aestas, Roberto. (1979). Wasi 'chu- The Continuing Indian Wars . Monthly Review Press. New York, NY.
Johanson, Donald C. (1981). Lucv. The Beginning of Humankind . Simon &
Schuster New York. NY.

Joyce. Christopher.  ( 1994). Eanhlv  Goods.  Med icine-Hunting   in  the Rainforest. Little. Brown & Company. Boston, MA.

Knight, George R. ( 1989). Issues & Alternatives in Educational Philosophy (2nd edition). Berrien Springs, Michigan: Andrews University Press.

Leon-Port i Ila. Miguel. (1963). Aztec Thought and Culture- A Study of the Ancient  Nahuatl  ivlind .   University  of Oklahoma  Press:
Norman, Oklahoma.                                                                         
Plotkin o Mark J. ( 1993). Tales of a Shaman's Apprentice. Viking Publishers.
New York, NY.
Simeon, Remi. (1984). Diccionario de la Lengua Nahuatl o Mexicana.
Mexico.  OF: Siglo XXI:   America Nuestra.


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\Veatherford. Jack. ( 1988). Indian Givers- How the Indians of the Americas Transformed the \r\/orld. Fawcett Columbine, New York, NY.


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