All people, regardless of their ancestry or heritage, come with unique histories and worldviews. These are integral to their personal identities – so much so that it is often difficult for them to state exactly what their histories and worldviews are and how they affect how they think and act on a daily basis. Very simply, the term “Worldview” refers to how people see and interpret the world and their place within it. This perspective is influenced by family, culture, personal experience and education.
What is sometimes referred to as Traditional Knowledge includes an immense body of cultural knowledge that can include: mythic stories of the days when animals could talk; detailed knowledge of the land and its resources; and practical information about hunting areas, trapping techniques, food preparation, etc. While this term is usually applied to aboriginal cultures, every society possesses a body of traditional knowledge that it transmits in various ways.
Code of Conduct
The terms “law” and “code” suggests a formal legal system. The reality is both simpler and more complex. Cultural practices based on reciprocity, kinship, and commonly- held values made it possible for people to live together on the land. Everyone was cared for wherever they went and everyone was expected to care for themselves and contribute to the greater good of the whole group.
Principles and Values
Most of our principles are based on respect and the give and take of social interaction. Our values reflect the way our community has developed through the millenia.
Traditionally the people who lived at the mouth of the Klondike River spoke a dialect of Hän, a language spoken in an area centred on the Yukon River drainage in the western Yukon and eastern Alaska. Today our First Nation includes people whose ancestors spoke Gwich’in, Northern Tutchone and other languages. Most of these are part of the Athapaskan family of languages that extends across the north and can even be found in parts of the USA in languages such as Navajo and Apache.
The View from Here
Our worldview centres on core beliefs and ideas that are still relevant to us today. Many of our citizens still live according to these core values and it can be difficult for them to engage in activities that run counter to these values. In our self-government we are finding ways to adapt this worldview to contemporary realities, realizing that these current beliefs may also have to be adapted.