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Passing on Ojibway Lifeways in a Contemporary Environment

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Type: Conference Paper
Author: Chapeskie, Andrew; Davidson-Hunt, Iain J.; Fobister, Roger
Conference: Crossing Boundaries, the Seventh Biennial Conference of the International Association for the Study of Common Property
Location: Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada
Conf. Date: June 10-14
Date: 1998
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10535/563
Sector: Information & Knowledge
Social Organization
Region: North America
Subject(s): IASC
intellectual property rights
indigenous knowledge
traditional resource management
Abstract: "The language, knowledge and culture of the Grassy Narrows people has emerged out of an intimate link between the people and their land-based way of life. This way of life has been continually redefined and renewed over the course of historical memory for the Grassy Narrows people. However, a major cultural shift for Grassy Narrows people within the past couple of generations has been their move towards a much more settled way of life on their reserve. This has resulted from a complex process of government policy and personal choice. "This situation has reached a critical point as the majority of todays children and youth at Grassy Narrows are not retaining the language, ancestral knowledge or culture of their people. This brings us back to our opening point. Linking common-property traditions and native language education in a formal school setting may seem a large leap but it is a necessary leap. Without the language, cultureand knowledge of a land-based way of life, opportunities to pursue that way of life will be greatly diminished. Valuable knowledge may be lost. Retention of the Ojibway language, and retention of the Ojibway knowledge, to the degree that this is possible in a school setting, stands to provide a greater range of options for the future from which Grassy Narrows people can choose. Future generations of Grassy Narrows people will have a broader range of tools, created as a results of their having been taught in school the knowledge that was given by their Elders living today, to pursue an autonomous way of life within a contemporary context."

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