4 – R’s Core Cultural Values

The Ambassadors Program is the only national leadership initiative in the United States encouraging participants to weave their respective traditional tribal values into a contemporary reality.   It provides a creative combination of curriculum and experiential learning activities, including mentorship, personal reflection, dialogue with national decision-makers, anti-racism/culture of oppression training, community organizing, communications skills-building, and a discovery process into traditional Indigenous values.

The American Indian Ambassadors Program is organized around four basic core cultural values:

Relationships

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Kinship – We are related to all things and our relationships dictate our roles in society.  All things are connected and we are related to all things, including humans, all living things, as well as rocks and Mother Earth.

Responsibility

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Community – We are responsible for our relatives. For instance, if I call you my niece, then I have a kinship responsibility to you.

Reciprocity

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Cyclical – Relationships and responsibilities are circular in nature and all things are connected. If you are my niece, than you have an obligation to me as well.  For instance, in the Comanche language the word for maternal grandmother and maternal granddaughter are the same word.

Redistribution

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Generosity – We have a responsibility to share resources and information for the good of the whole. Most tribes were not hierarchal but flat societies that were communal.  They owned and shared things in common. There were no poor people. There were no orphans. In today’s society, we include non material wealth in this perspective as well as information and resources.