Western philosophy has long held scientific rationalism in a place of honour. Reason, that particularly exalted human quality, has become steadily distanced from the metaphysical aspects of existence, such as spirit, faith, and intuition.
In Tsawalk, hereditary chief Umeek introduces us to an alternative indigenous worldview -- an ontology drawn from the Nuu-chah-nulth origin stories. Umeek develops a theory of "Tsawalk," meaning "one," that views the nature of existence as an integrated and orderly whole, and thereby recognizes the intrinsic relationship between the physical and spiritual. By retelling and analyzing the origin stories of Son of Raven and Son of Mucus, Umeek demonstrates how Tsawalk provides a viable theoretical alternative that both complements and expands the view of reality presented by Western science. Tsawalk, he argues, allows both Western and indigenous views to be combined in order to advance our understanding of the universe. In addition, he shows how various fundamental aspects of Nuu-chah-nulth society are based upon Tsawalk, and what implications it has today for both Native and non-Native peoples.
A valuable contribution to Native studies, anthropology, and philosophy, Tsawalk offers a revitalizing and thoughtful complement to Western scientific worldviews.
E. Richard Atleo, whose Nuu-chah-nulth name is Umeek, is a hereditary chief. He served as co-chair of the internationally recognized Scientific Panel for Sustainable Forest Practices in Clayoquot Sound and teaches in the First Nations Studies Department at Malaspina University College.
Prologue Acknowledgments Introduction: Development of an Indigenous Theory 1 Tsawalk * Origin Tales and the Nature of Reality: How Son of Raven Captured the Day 2 Utl-cla * He-xwa: The Struggle for Balance 3 Xaata-tsa * Thluch-ha: Getting Married 4 Muu * Quis-hai-cheelth: One Who Transforms 5 Suh-tcha * Thlawk-thlawk-qua: A Humble Petition 6 Nuu-Pooh * Tloo-utl-ish-sum: Remember Me 7 Utl-Pooh * Heshook-ish Tsawalk: Everything Is One Epilogue Notes Bibliography Index