Principles to Guide us
We have put together this collection of principles and words that are at the core of our work. We have added footnotes and links to any material that we have referenced from other facilitators and scholars who have inspired us. Please take your time and let these words seep in, especially if it is language you are unfamiliar with. If you find yourself feeling overwhelmed, it is okay to take breaks and come back to it when you are ready.
Respect recognizes freedom of choice, inherent worth, and the essential equality of persons. In many Indigenous cultures, respect is extended to all relations, including self, land, water, spirit, and every living being, human and non-human. Cultivating respect helps us to approach the world with humility, kindness, and generosity.
Reciprocity honours that we all have gifts to give and receive generously. We participate in this ongoing cycle of reciprocity by observing carefully, giving thanks, helping each other recognize and meet our needs, and taking pride in sharing what we have. When we are aware of differential power dynamics, reciprocity can help us know how to give and receive according to our abilities and our responsibilities. It helps us live in a state of accountability, trust, and abundance as we move through the different stages and roles of life.
Relationality (relationship, interrelatedness) is the concept that we are all connected to each other, to the natural environment, and to the spiritual world, and these relationships bring about interdependencies. We can apply the concept of relationality through nurturing respectful, reciprocal relationships with our colleagues, families, members of the community, and the local lands. Relationality connects us to a specific location, experience, and group of people.
Responsibility speaks to the choices that an individual makes in order to live honourably and in right relationship. When we are living responsibly, our values align with our thoughts and words, our words align with our actions, and our actions benefit not just ourselves, but an expanded collective of relations and kin, which include future generations. Responsibility is related to trustworthiness, maturity, and leadership.