Indigenous Spirituality 101

Tongva Elder Describes Native Spirituality

California Tribal Elder and popular lecturer Cindi Moar Alvitre is a Tongva descendant of the Moompetam Clan. She is also a mother, grandmother and cultural/environmental educator. Cindi opened our Native spirituality discussion with gratitude for The Guibord Center’s invitation to move beyond “the gestural obligatory blessing asked of Native people and into a genuine conversation.” And so the event began with humor and humility, with truth and great respect.

“We all come from tribes and are all of the same Spirit.” This powerful attitude of reverence and acceptance led into a study of the ways that Indigenous people see the world. Cindi described their view that every single thing in the world is alive and connected to every other. In addition, many-layered realities overlap in every physical location, containing the present, past and future all at once.

These remarks reminded many who attended our Sikhism 101 event of the magnificent slides Ravinder Singh Khalsa showed. The images showed the constellations and New Age physicists’ conceptions of parallel and interacting universes.

When Cindi spoke of Native stories sounding a lot like kindergarten stories, everyone laughed. She noted that they provide an entry point for important conversations about our spiritual nature and interactions with one another. It was a fascinating conversation.