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Global Contributions by Native American Culture
~ Meucci Watchman Ilunga 2017 WINDS Scholar
Native culture is built foundationally on the notions of
community, balance, and perspective. As Native peoples,
we have much to offer the global community. However,
more than anything else, I feel we have the capacity to
offer guidance—guidance with respect to managing the
delicate balance between our needs and desires as
humans and societies and the world in which we live in.
Native Americans have prided themselves on their commitment to the construction and maintenance of harmony. We have consistently built societies on the idea that we are merely a part of the world and not the center of it. It is this ability, this inherent desire to reframe our perspective, that allows us to embrace altruism—not just for other humans, but for creation as a whole. Furthermore, our willingness to embrace various perspectives is critical in not only our endeavor for technological and cultural progress, but also in our endeavor to find peace with each other.
Our enhanced sense of community is another big thing I believe Native culture can offer the rest of the global community. Our continued willingness to disband artificial classifications in favor of a more inclusive and cordial appreciation of each other as people I think is something that would certainly do the global community well. We have a looser, more open approach to how we view each other. We call ourselves all brothers and sisters because we recognize we are all built of the same earth—and that is something clearly absent from the global community’s approach to international relations.
By offering forward our view of the relationship we should have with each other, perhaps we can show the world the direction in which a brighter future may be found. By leading by example, by using our past to lead the future, we can gift the global community something it is certainly in dire need of: a better way to live on this Earth.
Our values and customs our built upon sustainability and happiness. We seek rich lives not through the material, but through the abstract and emotional. The greatest gift the Native community could put forth to the globe is just that: our values. Native Americans are a proud set of peoples. We find value in all creation because we are able to realize that we too are just that: a creation. No better than any other creation, no worse than any other creation.
We have much to offer the global community, both in terms of the abstract and the material. But our greatest possible gift would be the very same gift our ancestors gave us: perspective, guidance, and a willingness to work together to attain a real sense of happiness—not just for the few, but for everyone. We have much to contribute.