Tribal Elder Speaks

California Tribal Elder and popular lecturer, Cindi Moar Alvitre, Moompetam, mother, grandmother and cultural/environmental educator opened this workshop with an expression of gratitude to The Guibord Center for the historic invitation to move beyond “the gestural obligatory blessing asked of native people and into a genuine conversation”. And so the conversation began with humor and humility, with truth and with great respect.

“We all come from tribes and are all of the same Spirit.” This powerful attitude of reverence and acceptance led the way into an exploration of the fascinating ways that Native people see the world and everything in it. Cindi described the Native view that every single thing in the world is alive and connected to every other and that many-layered realities over-lap in every single physical location and contain the present-past-and-future all at once. These remarks immediately reminded many who attended our Sikhism 101 of the magnificent slides Ravinder Singh Khalsa showed of 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, and then she pointed out that they provide an entry point for the conversations that matter about our spiritual nature and interactions with one another. A fascinating conversation.