Selected speeches from Indigenous leaders around the world--necessary wisdom for our times, nourishment for our collective, and a path away from extinction toward a sustainable, interconnected future.
Indigenous worldviews, and the knowledge they confer, are critical for human survival and the wellbeing of future generations. Editors Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows) and Darcia Narvaez present 28 powerful excerpted passages from Indigenous leaders, including Mourning Dove, Robin Wall Kimmerer, Winona LaDuke, and Xiuhtezcatl Martinez. Accompanied by the editors’ own analyses, each chapter reflects the wisdom of Indigenous worldview precepts like:
• Egalitarian rule versus hierarchical governance
• A fearless trust in the universe, instead of a fear-based culture
• The life-sustaining role of ceremony
• Emphasizing generosity and the greater good instead of pursuing selfish goals and for personal gain
• The laws of nature as the highest rules for living
The editors emphasize our deep need to move away from the dominant Western paradigm--one that dictates we live without strong social purpose, fails to honor the earth as sacred, leads with the head while ignoring the heart, and places individual “rights” over collective responsibility. Restoring the Kinship Worldview is rooted in an Indigenous vision and strong social purpose that sees all life forms as sacred and sentient--that honors the wisdom of the heart, and grants equal standing to rights and responsibilities.
Inviting readers into a world-sense that expands beyond perceiving and conceiving to experiencing and being, Restoring the Kinship Worldview is a salve for our times, a nourishment for our collective, and a holistic orientation that will lead us away from extinction toward an integrated, sustainable future.
About the Author
WAHINKPE TOPA (FOUR ARROWS), aka Don Trent Jacobs, Ph.D., Ed.D., is internationally respected for his research and publications about Indigenous worldviews. Formerly Dean of Education at Oglala Lakota College and tenured Associate Professor of Education at Northern Arizona University, he is currently a professor with Fielding Graduate University. Selected as one of 27 "Visionaries in Education," he is author of 21 books, half of which are about Indigenous Worldview applications for education, sustainability, wellness and justice. DARCIA NARVAEZ, PhD, MDiv, is Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame. Her earlier careers include professional musician, business owner, classroom music teacher, classroom Spanish teacher and seminarian, among others. She is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and the American Educational Research Association and former editor of the Journal of Moral Education. Narvaez has written numerous publications, including more than 20 books. She has given presentations, lectures and workshops in 23 countries; was recently named a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science; and in a 2020 analysis, emerged in the top 2% of scientists worldwide.
“Humans have a particular ecological niche, a role as the custodial species of this earth. We must return our species to this niche within the next decade, or perish. This book is a perfect place to start—the foundation is good relations, making kin both human and nonhuman—and here we have story from a gathering of some of the finest Indigenous thinkers on the planet. Four Arrows and Darcia Narvaez have a particular way of bringing the right people together for such purposes.” —TYSON YUNKAPORTA, author of Sand Talk, senior research fellow at Deacon University, woodcarver, and poet
“Mahalo Four Arrows and Darcia Narvaez for this collection, this eloquence and grace through time so we can recognize and honor the common sense and purpose of continuity. All of it is needed now. We are all meant to wake up together.” —MANULANI ALULI MEYER, director of Indigenous education, University of Hawai‘i–West O‘ahu
“Darcia Narvaez and Four Arrows have gathered an inspiring pastiche of wise Native American voices woven together by their own insightful and heartfelt dialogues to gift us with an invaluable bundle of tenets and templates for the urgent project of decolonizing and rewilding our minds and communities.” —BILL PLOTKIN, PhD, author of Soulcraft, Wild Mind, and The Journey of Soul Initiation
“Four Arrows and Darcia Narvaez take each brief quote as the seed for a conversation regarding one or another element of the kincentric worldview—a vision of our earth not as a collection of objects and objective, mechanical processes, but as an interactive community of sensitive and sentient powers: a communion of subjects.” —DAVID ABRAM, author of Becoming Animal and The Spell of the Sensuous
“A glorious prism of voices calling out to us to imagine a more inclusive and sustainable way of being. I ache for the kind of world that is invoked within these pages.” —HILLARY S. WEBB, PhD, cultural anthropologist at Goddard College and author of Yanantin and Masintin in the Andean World
“This book is like brilliant sunlight from the past that reaches us now and illuminates our way forward. It’s Indigenous wisdom and more. For we also keep company with Four Arrows and Darcia Narvaez in conversation on how to change the world’s trajectory from one of domination over people and nature to relation, kinship, love, and bounty. To Life itself.” —PETER H. KAHN JR., PhD, professor of psychology at University of Washington and author of Technological Nature
“As it becomes starkly obvious that our future, and life on and of the earth, are in peril, ancestral Indigenous voices are speaking the only words that can save us. The Kogi Mamas teach that everything is a manifestation of thought and that to listen is to think. Understanding ancestral eloquence is our last and best chance, and these pages can only help.” —ALAN EREIRA, founder and chair at Tairona Heritage Trust and producer and director of From the Heart of the World
“Restoring the Kinship Worldview provides a much-needed and well-stocked medicine cabinet to begin healing how we think and talk about the suffering of our planet and its struggling inhabitants. Open your mind and heart to its multi-Indigenous balms that are administered through the psalms of elders and a dialogue that leaves us ready to begin anew.” —HILLARY KEENEY, PhD, and BRADFORD KEENEY, PhD, founders of Sacred Ecstatics