Discuss the impact of Indian Cultural heritage on the youth today?
There are many diverse definitions of culture. The Assembly of First Nations defines culture as the customs, history, values, and languages that make up the heritage of a person or people, and contribute to that person’s or people’s identity. A concept of culture must include specific reference points in the historical experiences of a people. The social sciences provide the categories of investigation.
One area for consideration is the relationship between a society and its environment. The society’s economic lifestyles which are based upon resource development, whether it be hunting, trapping, fishing, mining or mineral development, is also a key consideration. Social structures and interactions affect education, family, and community roles of individual members of the society. These, shaped by the environment, often determine aspects of social life such as recreation, physical fitness, moral, and spiritual development. Respect for nature and the individual are requisites for a compassionate, tolerant, and healthy society.
When people interact with nature and each other, they use tools, higher level thinking skills and language. The Aboriginal people tend to perceive themselves in harmony with nature while Euro-Canadian people tend to see nature as a resource to be exploited for individual or collective gain. In modern times, the philosophies of Indigenous people have been applied to problems of waste and pollution, giving rise to environmental movements. The relationship between nature and humanity has become a matter of life or death.
Four main components of culture may be said to include people, technology and objects, relations, and institutions. A culturally sensitive curricula must respect these aspects of a society and present them accurately, avoiding the pitfalls of anthropological interpretation, bias, stereotyping, and racism.
A people’s concept of themselves is the most valid form of group identity. Self-determination is a struggle crucial to all societies. How the society meets this challenge defines its cultural identity. The retention or loss of traditions, customs, ceremonies, and languages will determine the identity and culture of future generations.
The retention of traditional aspects of culture allows individuals and students to be aware of their ancestry, and the value and accomplishments of their race, community, and society. This historical and cultural awareness enhances the concept of self and social worth.
Collective action, whether in a society, community, or classroom influences the development of an individual’s beliefs, actions, and social skills. Cultural and community interaction is therefore vital if students are to develop fully their potential. That potential strengthens and supplements all aspects of the culture of the student and the society in which the student interacts.
What the individual then creates (products), or changes (processes), alters the structure of society which may force evolutionary changes upon a culture. Technology is the product, and politics, law, philosophy, ethics, the arts, and religion are the processes of change. Cultures alter, depending upon how these products and processes impact upon the individual and society. Interaction with these processes and products may be positive or negative.
It is the function of education, whether it be natural, cultural, social, public or private, to ensure that interactions are positive and productive for the individual and society. Thus Indian culture had influenced Indian youth.
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