Indigenous American philosophy

Indigenous American philosophy is the philosophy of the Indigenous people of the Americas.

An indigenous philosopher is an indigenous person or associate who practices philosophy and has a vast knowledge of various indigenous history, culture, language, and traditions. There are very few contemporary indigenous philosophers alive today.

Larry Aitkin

Tribal Historian for the Leech Lake band of Ojibwe. He was the oshkabewis (‘translator,’ ‘messenger’) for the highly respected Jimmy Jackson.

Nicole Buckanaga

Formally known as Nicole Beaulieu until her marriage to Curtis Buckanaga August 3, 2013; she is a teacher, a mother, a sister and a mentor. She is the Ojibwe language coordinator for the Leech Lake Tribal College. She was born April 13, 1980 and was raised in Bemidji MN, by her mother and stepfather. She gives great credit to her grandmother (Darlene Enno) for a lot of her values and morals with which she tries to live her everyday life with. She is a fluent Ojibwe speaker although she was not raised thick and rich in the language as people seem to think. She thinks to be considered an indigenous philosopher she says “You must think with an Indian heart; to know that all things are connected in one sacred circle”.

Vine Deloria, Jr.

Born on March 26, 1933 and died November 13, 2005 at the age of 72. He is an activist, writer, and a philosopher. He thought from 1970 to 2000 at various places. He focused on ethical studies and political science. His writing contained mostly Native American subjects. Such as, Custer Died for Your Sins: An Indian Manifesto, which contains a challenge for Caucasians to take a new look at the history of the US.

Elaine Fleming

Elaine was mayor of Cass Lake, Minnesota, a position to which she was elected in 2003. She is a professor at LLTC and the first Native American mayor of Cass Lake. Elaine is a Leech Lake band member, part of the loon clan. She grew up in the Cass Lake area. She is the Chair of the Arts and Humanities Department at the Leech Lake Tribal College. She also teaches Anishinaabe studies and History courses. She is both a student and a teacher at the college and is very grateful for what she has learned.

Jimmy Jackson

Jimmy Jackson is a spiritual man, a philosopher of the Ojibway culture, traditions, and spiritual beliefs. He believes that when we are happy and joyful we are feeling the presence of god.

Winona Laduke

Winona Laduke was born in 1959. She is an American Indian activist, environmentalist, economist, and writer of Anishinaabe descent. In 1996 and 2000, she ran for Vice President as the nominee of the Green Party of the U.S. on a ticket headed by Ralph Nader. She is currently the executive director of both Honor the Earth and White Earth Land Recovery Project, which she founded at White Earth Reservation in 1989.

Richard Morrison

Open Member of the Midewin Society. Has allow outsiders to experience and film certain aspects of the Mediwiwin for educational purposes. A video of this can be found here.

John Trudell

John Trudell was born February 15, 1946 in Omaha Nebraska, U.S. He is an actor, poet, musician, and former political activist. during most of the 1970s he was the chairman of the American Indian Movement. After a serious tragedy in 1979 he turned to his writing, music, and his acting.

Audrey Thayer

Audrey was born in 1951. Her family originates from the White Earth reservation. She grew up in Wisconsin, surrounded by nearly 30 first cousins and sharing a home on and off with aunts and uncles throughout her childhood.

Audrey is an Activist, who first got involved with Civil rights movement in 1968 at the all-black school she attended in Milwaukee. Thayer lives in Bemidji, which is the heart of Indian country, surrounded by three reservations.

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