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Aboriginal Spirituality


Aboriginal Spirituality HRT3M World Religions Unit 1 Aboriginal Populations - World Approximately 300 000 million Aboriginal Peoples inhabit the earth 1, 172,790 ... – PowerPoint PPT presentation

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Title: Aboriginal Spirituality

Aboriginal Spirituality
  • HRT3M
  • World Religions Unit 1

Aboriginal Populations - World
  • Approximately 300 000 million Aboriginal Peoples
    inhabit the earth
  • 1, 172,790 people identify themselves as
    Aboriginal in Canada (2006 census)

Aboriginal Populations - World
  • Aboriginal spirituality is most common in Asia.
    The lowest population of aboriginal people is in
  • The Inuit, located in Canadas north (Nunavut)
    share their culture and traditions with Alaska
    and Greenland.
  • There are 100 000 Inuit, but a lot of that
    population practices Christianity.
  • There is a resurgence of Aboriginal culture
    throughout the world.

Aboriginal People WorldCommon Beliefs
  • Animism my adherents of Aboriginal spirituality
    believe that everything in the world is alive.
    All things, human and non-human, have spirits or
    souls, and that the person or animal lives on
    after death through the presence of that spirit.
  • Some observers claim aboriginal spirituality is
    polytheistic many believe in a supreme Creator
    however, power in the universe is also given to
    other personified spirits who are less powerful.
    Examples Inuit Sea Woman Iroquois Sky
    Woman and the Algonquin Grandfather (sky)

Aboriginal People WorldCommon Beliefs and
  • Aboriginal people exercise their beliefs through
    storytelling, prayer, art and ritual. These may
    consist of drumming, chanting, carving, painting
    and dancing.
  • Aboriginal Spirituality has no founder, or
    creator of the religion. During a crisis, an
    elder or significant person will rise and renew
    the faith.
  • Canada declared June 21st to be National
    Aboriginal Day, in 1996

Aboriginal Peoples Americas Origins
  • Indigenous People believe they are the original
    inhabitants of an area they came from that
  • Archeological evidence suggests the aboriginal
    inhabitants of the Americas migrated from Asia to
    the Americas by crossing a land bridge over the
    Bering Strait between 35 000 and 10 000
    years ago.

Canadas Aboriginal People
  • Aboriginal Spirituality is logical a cultural
    extension of survival interaction with their
    physical environment.
  • The geographical environment in which they lived
    defined them
  • Canada has 6 distinct cultural groups

Canadas Aboriginal Cultural Groups
  • 6 cultural groups in Canada defined by how they
    developed in response to their distinct geography
  • Arctic
  • Subarctic
  • The Plateau
  • The Northwest Pacific Coast
  • Great Plains
  • Northeast Woodlands

  • Most tribes have their own unique creation story
  • Oral stories
  • Turtle Island
  • Raven and the Clamshell
  • Animals came from humans- strong link
  • Creator controls humans, but not other animals

  • The Potlatch Ceremony
  • - Give away things to gain status
  • The Sweat Lodge
  • - like a sauna--gt made of saplings
  • - led by an elder
  • - heals them spiritually and physically
  • The Shaking Tent
  • -used by many tribes
  • -goal is to communicate to spirits

  • Represent their animal/spirit guide
  • For a clan or individual
  • Same totem close relatives
  • Sometimes used to tell stories about supernatural
  • Carved for Potlatch Ceremony

  • The Sun Dance
  • - circle sun--gt centre of life
  • - cottonwood pole is called Tree of the
  • - Piercing Dance
  • Morning Dance
  • - dance to give thanks
  • - feast of fish and meat

Symbols/ Images
  • Traditional symbols and images are an essential
    part of the Aboriginal culture.
  • Dream Catcher If you hang a dream catcher over
    your bed, your bad dreams will go through the web
    and into the Universe and your good dreams will
    be caught in the web.
  • Eagle Alerts the Aboriginals of what is to come.
  • Fire Symbolizes the heart of The People and is
    used to cleanse the spirit.

Symbols/ Images Continued
  • Inuksuk Used for navigation, gives warnings for
    any danger in open water, and it marks sacred
  • Medicine Shield Made by warriors as a symbol of
    protection and strength when hunting and
  • Tree of Peace In some Aboriginal religions, the
    tree is believed to connect Earth to Heaven.

Number of Adherents in the World/ Influences in
the 21st Century
  • Just under 1.2 million Canadians reported having
    at least some Aboriginal ancestry in 2006,
    representing 4.4 of the total population in
  • Between 1996 and 2006, the Aboriginal population
    grew by 45.
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