Examining Principles Underlying Indigenous Ethics - Paper Example

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  8
Wordcount:  2071 Words
Date:  2022-12-05


I came from a very low-income family my grandmother, who I view as my mother raised me as her child and I respect her for that. I wouldn't know where I'd be if I hadn't paid attention to her guidance and wise counsel. My grandmother was an herbalist who believed in traditional ways of healing through herbal medicine. She taught me how to pick herbs instead of turning to the western ways of medicine. I believe this why the youths turn to drugs & alcohol to cope to make medicines for diabetes, stomach medicine, ear medicine to help whoever is in need.

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This critique is based on me and the learnings that I have obtained from respected elders, my educators and other positive influencers in my life. The critique is also aimed at helping others know that the western ways have made us follow a system that has contributed to the failing ethical values in our societies; I not being biased. I come from a family of 7; I'm the youngest girl. However, my family now look at me as if I'm the oldest due to going back to the Blackfoot culture. The culture has a rich way of living. Whenever I come across a respected elder, I offer tobacco to hear their story's for guidance and enlightenment. This is because, in my culture as a Blackfoot woman, we are all expected to respect our elders and other members of the community.

By paying attention to mother's ways and Bryan's teachings they provide me with herbs and give the instructions on how to use the indigenous medicine effectively. I pay attention to ancestors and pray as I'm preparing for In-laws or family. My mother's father Art Healy was a strong medicine man and well informed on matters regarding herbal medicine. In my residential school, my mother would never talk about her experience she only wanted the best for me and my siblings. I remember when they were burying my father Thomas Jerry, she told my older brother in Blackfoot and I understood what she was telling him, she said don't let your brothers & sisters be in the system. I was 11years old, going on 12 years old I could remember crying to her and saying why are you talking like that, she knew she wasn't going to be with our family any longer. This was a particularly trying time for me as a young child.

Yes, I did have a bad time through my drinking till eight years ago, I realized and had to change, or I would be lost my ways or my life. Like I mentioned I was in a very bad place where I had taken into alcohol abuse. The respected elders from my community were very instrumental in helping me down the recovery path. Now having ceremonies and going to ceremony's have saved me and paying attention to our respected elders, and the ancestors.

Academic and Local Research Protocols

Through my study of ethics, I have turned out to be a reliable member of the community who is more indigenous when it comes to cultural orientation. Today some of the youths in my neighborhood are turning to me for guidance and support concerning taking up the indigenous way of living. I'm more involved in traditional ways. I'm taking part in a lot of ceremonies, such as sweats, night lodges, sun dances, to help me be humble, with compassion, integrity. I find a lot of family & friends are turning to me and asking what I'm doing to help myself. I listen to our elder's, spiritual leaders, and tobacco offering to help support me spiritually as I pray to my deceased grandmother that has instilled a lot of my learnings. As I've changed to the ceremonies and I listen to the elders that are teaching me. Give me the ethic & protocol. I use tobacco, for offering and sweetgrass, sage, cedar, for prayers and cleansing.

I am currently serving as the bridge between Indigenous ethics and protocols in my community. Many youths are turning to me for moral guidance, and also, I have come across some individuals who also wished to convert to the indigenous way of life. I have always taken it upon me to provide them with the much-required information such as the role that my grandmother, my special advisor, i.e. Bryan little chief and other spiritualists such as my teachers have played in my life. I plan to incorporate an all-inclusive kind of research design in which, the respondents will be provided with a similar basic set of ethical issues related questions upon whose answering, together with a specially selected team, we will address the most pressing problems as per the information gathered from the response by the study group.

Spirituality will be a major point of approach in the execution of the study design. My spiritual advisor Bryan little chief has made a huge impact on my life and has taught me the ethics of interpersonal interactions. While executing the study design, it is necessary to ensure that ethical protocols are observed and that the target group does not feel any infringement on their fundamental expression rights or personal space either. These are ethical regulations that will ensure that the study is fruitful and the set objectives are achieved. The first ethics protocol to follow include; respect for personal space and the proper documentation of the findings from the research study.

Indigenous Ways of Knowing

Ethics is an issue of paramount importance in society. Ethics is concerned with the dealings and activities via the consideration of what is morally right or wrong in the communities or organizations where we come from. Through the study of ethics, we can understand the rules and the regulations of human social behavior thereby helping in the alleviation of any misunderstandings that may occur as a result of disputes. Through ethics, basic interaction skills such as respect of personal space are instilled thus aiding in fruitful interactions.

Looking at my moral journey, I can say that I have significantly improved wholesomely, i.e. both as an individual and also as a member of the society where I come from. Eight years ago, I had walked down a treacherous path that could have led to my ruin had I not found the will to change for the better. I had indulged in the abuse of alcohol and drugs as I was in the dark place about 8 years ago until I found ceremonies that saved me with listening to the elders & my advisor Bryan Little chief to help me come to terms with all my losses in family, I lost my grandparents & parents in 1980 it was very hard one to come to terms with. My abuse of alcohol was not a good place made bad choices until I started my ceremony's, sweats, night lodges, fasts. Hearing the ancestors knowing that I'll be okay was a key motivation towards the accomplishment of the healing journey healing journey. A lot of my teachings were taught orally through listen to my respected elders and professor Miss Vickie Bouvier. My professor has also taught me through her classes we are human and make mistakes. She has great teaching tools that have grounded me as an Indigenous international student at the University of Calgary.

As a researcher in this field, I intend on trying to impact positive change not only in the community where I come from but also in outside communities as well. I am a living example that it is possible for an individual to transform from being an unreliable member of society to a respected member through the observance of ethical guidelines and listening to elders. I was able to quit my negative drinking habits and I plan to use this as testimony to any other youths out there who could be suffering from the same problem. I intend to ensure that ethics experts are able to reach out to any individuals who may be in need of their services and that the help needed is delivered.

Responsibility in Academic Research

That the decrease in child parental interaction had significantly contributed to the decadence of the ethical values among the youth. With no moral compass guidance from a mature individual, the youth are being left more vulnerable to negative moral influence from their peers. My grandmother was always keen to see that the children entitled to her under her care were sufficiently attended to in terms of guidance and counseling. These were values that went a long way in ensuring that the children grew up being firmly rooted in their moral and ethical values thus enabling them to cope and deal with the peer pressure that they came across in a prudent manner. The findings from the study were presented in tabular format from which it was easier to compare the various trends in the data sets. The results could also be used as secondary data in future similar studies where the patterns could be compared concerning variance in time.

My findings are more real to me as I've been guided by my late grandmother, and spiritual advisor, that helping me gain more of positive change. As I'm learning more through Professor Vickie, and also my major as International indigenous Major at the University of Calgary. Through the moral, ethical values instilled in me, and I have been able to positively impact the community that I come from by assisting the youths and also by serving as a positive role model in the community. This could be attributed to the values that my grandmother cultivated in me since a tender age. The study was aimed at studying the indulgence in unethical practices among the youth and in particular smoking. The respondent's feedback was collected through questionnaire feedback, and the response was critically analyzed by a team of experts.

From the findings, we came to identify that, the popularity of smoking among the youth was quite high and a worrying trend was the fact that besides tobacco, some teenagers had taken up marijuana smoking as well. From an ethical point of view, it is necessary not to jump into conclusion and rush to blame the youth on the harmful vices that they take up. By understanding the factors leading to this kind of unethical behavior, it will be possible to solve the problem at hand by following the root course of the problem.

Community, And Responsibility in Academic Research

The study was a good indication of the community guidelines and its influence in the research. Community involvement is of paramount importance when it comes to ensuring that ethical practices are observed. According to the results obtained from the study, it was possible to infer that, the community's involvement in the instilling of ethical and moral virtues among the youth was quite lacking. This could be attributed to factors such as the changes in the social setting. Initially, before the monetary economy took over, the parents were often involved in their children's activities and took the time to know who their friends were and such similar activities that displayed concern. However, with the current changes being observed in our societies, i.e. the need to remain both economically and financially viable, parents are becoming less and less involved in the lives and activities that their children are involved in.

This has largely influenced the ethical setting in our community given that the young generation has been left to discover most of the things that they are required to know on their own. My grandmother was keen to inform me that the upbringing of a child was a key phase in the determination of the kind of individual that they will turn out to be in the future. Among the key points that she often invested in were the guidance and counseling. She was a firm believer of the fact that through guidance it would be possible to instill ethical morals in the youth. The community also has a role in ensuring that they shape the young in society to grow up into the individuals that they desire them to be in the future.


From the study above, it is important to acknowledge the indigenous ways of knowing and the role of ethics in the community. By embracing spirituality and the indigenous ways of knowing, it is possible for an individual to...

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Examining Principles Underlying Indigenous Ethics - Paper Example. (2022, Dec 05). Retrieved from https://proessays.net/essays/examining-principles-underlying-indigenous-ethics-paper-example

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