THE NEW NATIVE
1. American Indians and other indigenous
people developed a wide variety of cultures that maintained
a sustainable relationship with the environment. They were
driven by certain common understandings in their
world-outlook, such as the sacredness of the natural
2. All civilizations come to an end, there is no reason to
believe that ours is an exception. In fact, Western
Civilization can be seen a relatively brief social
experiment that by all environmental evidence is already a
3. Even as we speak there is a large and growing movement of
people around the world who are turning (and re-turning) to
indigenous wisdom and mores as a far more workable model for
human culture. Sometimes the understanding is superficial,
sometimes deep, but it is all part of a major “paradigm
shift” away from our failing system, and toward
something simple, sustainable and sacred.
4. Therefore let us imagine what a fully realized
After-Western-civilization “indigenous” culture
would or could be like. Racially, such a culture would be as
mixed as we are, but it would represent the ultimate triumph
of the ancient wisdom of Traditional indigenous people. We
may call them THE NEW NATIVE AMERICANS because like the
Mohawk or the Pomo they would be profoundly native to the
5. To imagine a NEW NATIVE AMERICAN culture accurately, we
should be anthropologically realistic, not politically
correct. Native peoples themselves are very adept in
assimilating influences, regularly adopting ceremonies,
styles and technologies from other tribes as they see fit.
Likewise the new Native Americans would draw upon a wide
variety of sources of inspiration as they attempt to
re-establish a way of being. This would include American
Indian culture, traditional cultures from around the world,
and from whatever was worthy in Technological culture.
5. In fact, all this is exactly what is happening right now.
The exhibit is reporting as much as projecting.
6. Without vision the people perish: This exhibit is more
than an imaginative exercise. We live in desperate times
when clear and powerful visions of a workable,
earth-friendly future are needed to counteract the sci-fi
global-economy internet fantasy that is devouring the
world’s resources and spirit.