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Chief Lee Crowchild - Why do we believe what we believe?


The Circles on Indigenous Worldviews series is part of IofC Canada’s commitment to promote learning and understanding between Indigenous and non-Indigenous peoples.

Chief Lee Crowchild - Why do we believe what we believe? Circles on Indigenous Worldviews Why do we believe what we believe…..? This is a good question to ask ourselves. How many of us do that on a regular basis? In a way, we all ask this question when we leave the security of the home we grew up in and move out into the big wide world on our own! We then have to make our own choices — do we take the stories and values of what we have been told with us, or do we look for new stories that are our own? “I ask myself why I believe what I believe every day”, says Chief Lee Crowchild. “We need critical thinking”. Chief Crowchild was speaking in a Zoom session hosted by Circles on Indigenous Worldviews/IofC Canada, during the international Hub sessions of Initiatives of Change International on September 25th, 2022.

Chief Lee Crowchild is a traditional Knowledge Keeper of the Tsuut’ina Nation in Alberta and the former chief of the Nation. Among other things, he is a visionary advisor, bringing direction and understanding to individuals and corporations from a First Nations’ perspective. The online conversation covered questions from facilitator, Qhase Lokhandwala, such as What are the effects of the treaties and whether they were they followed; the Pope’s recent visit to Canada and his apology to Indigenous people; the Doctrine of Discovery; the younger generation; and what does hope look like now? On the theme, ‘Why do we believe what we believe? Thinking is thinking, believing is not thinking!’, one participant responded that in the past stories were handed down and we have no alternative story, so we believe. She then asked, “How do we intentionally refuse to pass on an old story? For me, it is the power of advocating for a new story, to keep telling the new story and it will eventually heal the wounds of the past.” Chief Crowchild agreed, but said it is a challenge.

“For me”, he said, “I believe in the goodness of humanity…” In answer to the question, “What are the next steps that you would like Britain to take?”, Chief Crowchild talked about ‘making wolf.’… “Now is not the time for reconciliation”, he said. In an interview with CBC he explained that ‘making wolf’ refers to a process that dates back to his ancestors, who would meet with leaders of tribes with whom they had battled – not to apologize for what had happened but to validate each other’s experience of truth. And then, hopefully to move forward. Joy Newman