Maternal Gift Economy: Breaking Through -
Ongoing Salons

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Special Event

Restoring the Kinship Worldview

A Conversation with Darcia Narvaez and Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows)

Saturday, May 28, 2022

Moderated by Letecia Layson

Restoring the Kinship Worldview addresses the potentially impending environmental apocalypse with the idea that Indigenous worldviews are essential to humanity’s continuation. That, in order to survive, we must shift toward a more connected relationship with each other and the Earth.

With years of research and experience in Indigenous scholarship and activism, authors Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows) and Darcia Narvaez recognize that the original Indigenous understanding of the world, one that guided us for 99% of human history, offers the most pivotal way to restore balance to life on Earth.

In this book, they have put together 28 powerful worldview precepts from various Indigenous leaders. Accompanied by the editors’ own analyses, each chapter reflects the wisdom of Indigenous worldviews such as:

  • Egalitarian rule versus hierarchical governance
  • A fearless trust in the universe, instead of a fear-based culture
  • Emphasizing generosity and the greater good instead of pursuing selfish goals and for personal gain
  • The laws of nature as the highest rules for living

Effectively tying each precept to the crises we face today, Restoring the Kinship Worldview is a salve for our times, a nourishment for our collective, and a holistic orientation that will lead us away from extinction toward an integrated, sustainable future.

Darcia Narvaez

Our very first relationship is with mother. Mother offers the physiological and communicative nurturing that initiates a child’s entry into the community (Vaughan 2015). Mother’s steadiness and tenderness build the necessary psychosocial neurobiological features that will allow the child to thrive within the community as a growing member. But mother’s devotion to her child depends on felt community support and, traditionally, the community participates in the raising of the child. The good enough community sets up the practices and policies that make good enough caregiving possible. They provide the evolved nest and grow a cooperative, prosocial, healthy member of the community.

Darcia Narvaez is Professor Emerita of Psychology at the University of Notre Dame, Fellow of the American Psychological Association and American Educational Research Association. She employs a lifespan, interdisciplinary approach to studying evolved morality, child development and flourishing. She blogs for Psychology Today (“Moral Landscapes”) and hosts the webpage EvolvedNest.org.


Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows)

Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows), aka Don Trent Jacobs, Ph.D., Ed.D., is internationally respected for his research and publications about Indigenous worldviews. Formerly Dean of Education at Oglala Lakota College and tenured Associate Professor of Education at Northern Arizona University, he is currently a professor with Fielding Graduate University. Selected as one of 27 "Visionaries in Education," he is the author of 21 books, half of which are about Indigenous worldview applications for education, sustainability, wellness, and justice.


Previous Salons

Restoring the Kinship Worldview

A Conversation with Darcia Narvaez and Wahinkpe Topa (Four Arrows)