Kathleen and I watched a movie on the repatriation (the “journey”) of a native Indian totem pole (the G’psgolox Pole) from the Folk Ethnographic Museum in Stockholm, Sweden to its home in Kitamaat and the Haisla people, from where it went missing in 1929. (1)
Did it ever show me some of what we can expect after the Reval – difficulties in two cultural groups understanding and catering to each other. Oh my. And yet they got the job done.
The natives wanted the totem pole returned to B.C. The Swedes wanted to ensure that the totem pole was treated with the same care that it was in the museum to ensure its survival.
The natives wanted to restore it to its native location, outdoors. They regarded it as a gravestone marking the death of a whole village under a landslide.
Their custom was that, when a totem fell over, as it inevitably would, it would be allowed to return to Mother Nature.
Well, the museum wasn’t very happy to hear that. They insisted it be kept in a specially-built building. On and on the discussion went.
In the meantime, the natives offered and built the museum a replica of the totem pole. I hope this film accompanies both totem poles. It was a stunning example of cooperation and compromise.
Finally the totem pole was returned to BC and housed in the local mall, where everybody’s delighted it’s home and the museum accepts the compromise.
I have never seen a more vivid illustration of settling the differences between two cultures’ ways of thinking, feeling, and being.
We as financial wayshowers are going to have to be ready for this kind of disconnect.
It can’t be a coincidence that, at the same time, I’m watching William Ury on international conflict resolution. He’s discussing this very type of situation. And the role of lightworkers, by the way, though he calls them “the Third Side.” (Two sides to an argument? We’re the Third Side.)
We, as humanitarian philanthropists, will need to be sensitive to the requirements and feelings of various cultures. We can’t expect that they all watch Hollywood movies … OK, forget that … surf the Internet.
You cannot give a million dollars to a woman in some countries without having signed her death warrant thereby. It’ll take circumspection to work in a multicultural world without imposing our western mindset on them and causing untold havoc.
Here again, it’ll be our unprocessed vasanas that will prove our greatest hindrance. It all goes back to carrying the least amount of baggage possible. I saw a site yesterday called “handluggageonly.co.uk.” That’s the message.
Tomorrow let me go over what I think are some of the ways of doing that.
(Concluded in Part 2, tomorrow.)
(1) Gil Cardinal, Totem: The Return of the G’psgolox Pole. 2003: National Film Board at https://www.nfb.ca/film/totem_the_return_of_the_gpsgolox_pole/ and Gil Cardinal, Totem: Return and Renewal. National Film Board, at httpss://www.nfb.ca/film/totem_return_and_renewal/