Section 3: Understanding Indigenous Worldview Values to Better Support Indigenous Students


The Indigenous goal of living ‘a good life’ is sometimes referred to … as striving ‘to always think the highest thought’… Thinking the highest thought means thinking of one’s self, one’s community, and one’s environment ‘richly’ – essentially, a spiritual mindset in which one thinks in the highest, most respectful, and most compassionate way, thus systemically influencing the actions of both individuals and the community.

– Gregory Cajete (2000, p. 276)

Purpose of this section

This section provides an overview of the values in an Indigenous worldview, including:

  • Land and traditional territory
  • Elders
  • Language
  • The learning spirit

This section also includes Indigenized integral competency self-assessment to help us acknowledge these values in services and supports for Indigenous students, Indigenous staff, and Indigenous community partnerships.

This section will take four hours to complete as you’ll be conducting a self-assessment

By understanding and acknowledging Indigenous principles of holism and inter-relatedness, we can:

  • Understand the importance of land to Indigenous self-identity
  • Recognize the roles of Elders in service delivery
  • See how revitalizing and using Indigenous languages creates transformative spaces


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Pulling Together: A Guide for Front-Line Staff, Student Services, and Advisors Copyright © 2018 by Ian Cull; Robert L. A. Hancock; Stephanie McKeown; Michelle Pidgeon; and Adrienne Vedan is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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