Map: Eric Leinberger for U’mista Cultural Society

The Potlach: Economy, Governance, Well-Being

August 15, 2019

The interconnectedness of place, language, values, ceremony, protocols, etc. interweaves governance with the well-being of families, communities and Nations. Ceremony like Potlaches are integral for ‘consciousness’ of many layers of our being that cannot be translated wholly with the English Language, but include such things as wealth or well-being (physical, emotional, spiritual, mental and status), responsibilities, decision making, kinship, honouring, connectedness to all living beings, the land through our languages.

Our economies were not just one thing, they were whole. Meaning, one thing was always interconnected with the other and the well-being of everyone was everyone’s responsibility. Each person, place or thing has a role to play in that well-being. This is a values-based system of being, and not linear or ending or in a silo. The balance between all people (all genders) was a foundational aspect of this knowing and women played in integral role in it.

This is another understanding of a cultural framework of a Nation. To ensure you become truly aware of the need for this understanding as we move into new economies in our Communities, based in this knowledge.  We don’t see wealth as only the accumulation of money.  Wealth is our well-being from our right to sing a song, live off the land, protect all beings, synchronicity with our spirituality, support one another, and to care for more than ourselves.

Without knowing someone’s culture, how would you truly achieve a successful relationship with them? Let alone create economic relationships, developments leading to wealth creation, management and distribution founded in that particular value system. We have something of value, us and our knowledge, and we are willing to share, teach and ground you in this knowing if you are willing to listen and learn wholly.


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