The Stone Man and myself have one similarity (aside from a stone brain) we both sit, watch and think. We do not get involved all that often but we do see what is going on. And like Poirot we exercise our ‘little gray cells’ and sometimes we come up with an answer that makes sense.
Alas, I have another similarity to Poirot, we are both foreigners in our adopted lands. That does on occasion make for a problem or two.
So for all who read this I beg your understanding. I do not write this as a colonizer or as another damn foreigner who knows ‘the answer’ but as someone who has sat, watched and thought about a possible solution to a mystery.
The mystery is ‘how do the First Nations of the North West Coast of Canada maintain their uniqueness and vitality as a People in the 21st. Century?’
I believe part of the solution to this mystery is to be found within the ancient and honourable tradition that has come to be known as the Potlatch.
As I understand the tradition a Potlatch was where a Chief would gather people from the surrounding Nations to witness and celebrate a rite of passage.
It was the chief that issued the invitation but it was the Peoples ability to work together for a common cause that made the Potlatch a success. Unless the people planned together, worked together and were a truly unified People, nothing could be done.
Today the Potlatch could serve the same purposes. Rites of passage could be witnessed. Ritual and Tradition could be shared. The People could band together in common cause. Teachings could be shared. New bonds of friendship and obligation could be forged. These new bonds forged from old alliances could provide a new foundation for a strong and vibrant Native Culture in the 21st. Century.