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:
Kinship – In the most profound sense, we are all related. Humans are related both to each other and to all things. As Western scientist are now learning, we and all matter are “the very stuff of stars,” meaning we have a kinship with rocks, plants and the Earth. The concept of Relationships includes the need to value each person, group, element as an important part of the whole. Valuing others and Relationships leads to peaceful coexistence and consensus decision-making drawn from diverse perspectives.
Community – We have a duty to care for our relatives. Each human is accountable for the well-being of their kin. If we call the Earth our mother, then we have an obligation to take care of her. We respect and recognized the impact of our lives on the natural and social environments and that we have a responsibility to use our “medicine (inner strength) in strengthening our relationships. We have the Responsibility to empower our relationships and relatives, not diminish them.
Interconnectedness – Our relationships and responsibilities shape our roles in life and are reciprocal as is the nature of the Universe. Articulation and an understanding that all things are connected and cyclical are fundamental in knowing how we fit into the Universe. Reciprocity represents cause and effect as we strive for balance.
Generosity – Our reciprocal relationships and responsibilities guides us to share our resources and help us to maintain balance. The collective and communal traditions of our ancestors teach us that wealth must be shared for the greater good of the whole. In contemporary society that includes the sharing of information, knowledge and resources.