Role Of Nature In Native American Culture

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Nature's Role In The Lives of Native Americans Over the last century, American society has grown more and more dependent on technology. Computers, television, and cell phones are part of our everyday lives. Many American families are lucky enough to have comfortable air conditioned homes and workplaces to reside in. However, as our society becomes more reliant on technology, we appreciate our natural surroundings less. Much of the ground that was once adorned with trees and greenery is now covered by buildings and roadways. Thousands of years ago, before the colonization of America, many of these landscapes were inhabited by what are now called “Native Americans” or “Indigenous peoples.” Some Native American tribes still exist in America.…show more content…
Nature has a profound impact on the cultural and spiritual lives of Native Americans. From a tribal members early age on, the natural universe is apparent in the Native American culture. Many times, indigenous people are even named after elements of nature. Native American author Medicine Grizzlybear Lake and his son “Wind-Wolf” (Grizzlybear Lake 370) are both examples of this. The relationship between nature and culture is thus evident in the education of Native Americans, as well. “[Wind-Wolf] learned his basic numbers by helping is father count and sort the rocks to be used in the sweat lodge... and he was taught mathematics by counting the sticks we use in our traditional native hand game... he has been taught to watch and study the changes in nature” (Grizzlybear Lake 372-373). Most students in America receive their early…show more content…
In fact, many times the Native American higher power or deity can be defined as nature itself. “The spirit is everywhere. Sometimes it speaks from the Badlands, a stone, or even from the water”(Deer and Erdoes 77). Unlike Christianity and Judaism, the Native American God is derived primarily from nature. This “Spirit” is also mentioned in the writings of Native American author Grizzlybear Lake. “[Wind Wolf]'s father and the medicine elders conducted another ceremony to bond him with the essence of his genetic father, the Great Spirit, the Grandfather Sun, and the Grandmother Moon. This was all done in order to introduce him into the natural world, and to protect his soul. It is our peoples was of showing the newborn respect, and ensuring that he starts life on the path of spirituality” (Grizzlybear Lake 371). This passage illustrates the relationship between nature and the spirituality of Native Americans. The sun and moon are not merely elements of nature; they are looked upon as

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