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Storytelling for Survival

Published: October 10, 2010, Author: JayTaber

Storytelling in the Fourth World is a vital part of transmitting identity and creating community essential to maintaining resilient holistic cultures. Intercultural communications serve as diplomatic tools, while intracultural communications maintain group cohesion. Cooperation and adaptation depend on effective and pervasive communications responsive to new threats, challenges and opportunities.

In today’s world — in addition to reaching out to a global indigenous audience — indigenous communications are required to interact with the dominant mainstream media, as well as connect with alternative non-indigenous forms of media. As the forces of globalization attempt to homogenize the ideoscape, independent media – both indigenous and otherwise – must learn to perforate the spectacle of state propaganda and corporate marketing. Fourth World communications in this context must weave a new narrative for survival, while simultaneously protecting indigenous societies from attack. Indeed, this war of ideas is a perpetual contest between competing narratives in a zero sum game.

To compete effectively in modern communications, Fourth World researchers, analysts, journalists and activists need not only understand their cultures and identities, but must also manage to navigate the sacred dimensions common to all humanity with an appreciation for the science of coercion as practiced by their enemies, adversaries and allies. Protecting the world indigenous peoples’ movement using new technologies and protocols is all part of Fourth World communications; investigating how various indigenous communities have managed to surmount the barriers erected by states and markets informs future practitioners in the art of communicating social transformation. In this role, tribes as a primary form of social organization, find themselves key players in global networks devoted to conservation and reciprocity; how they go about that will determine the outcome of the most crucial initiatives that have faced humankind since time immemorial.

Communication takes many forms depending on the purpose and audience. It can be written, audio/visual, on or off line. The story told can be fictional or true, artistic, academic or journalistic, inspirational or motivational. Narratives can be in the form of a briefing, documentary, expose, occasional paper, white paper, concept paper, intelligence estimate, or investigative report. How these stories are told and disseminated determines their effectiveness.

Some key terms I’ve identified are Fourth World, Identity, Narrative, Netwar, Psychological Warfare, Solidarity, and Spectacle. Each term has sufficient depth in Wikipedia articles to initiate inquiries.

Chief George Manuel Memorial Indigenous Library

The library is dedicated to the memory of Secwepemc Chief George Manuel (1921-1989), to the nations of the Fourth World and to the elders and generations to come.

access here