Today, October 11, is being celebrated as Indigenous Peoples' Day, falling on the same day as Columbus Day in the US. It is meant to correct the lopsided narrative of the North American peoples' and their history, and to bring reconciliation. It is also an occasion to reflect on the ancient wisdom of the indigenous religious traditions of the Americas and their relevance for the modern world and its problems, in particular, its focus on ecological sustainability.
One of ICHRRF's main foci is indigenous religious traditions across the world, with contacts from the Mayans of Guatemala to the neo-pagan movement on Europe to Australian aborigines, the Shinto in Japan, Hindus in India, native aborigines of Taiwan, and so on. Surprisingly, there is a common thread of ecological awareness and commitment, as well as an openness to diversity of thought and race among all these traditions spread worldwide. Sometimes called a Dharma-centered worldview, the focus is not so much on rigid ideological purity and asserting dominance as on a pragmatic, collaborative and humble approach to solving real-world problems.
Moreover, several of these indigenous traditions from the ancient pagan Greek philosophers to the Hindus had developed a rigorous philosophical and intellectual basis for a diversity of sacred traditions within an overarching spiritual tradition. This provides a solid intellectual framework for diversity, which all-too-often is presented with emotional appeals of 'tolerance'. Understanding the intellectual framework of Polycentricity can throw a new slant on how the world sees the sacred and classical aspects of civilization and its religious fundamentals.
In this connection, ICHRRF is proud to host an event at the Parliament of the World's Religions, this coming Sunday, October 17, from 4:00 PM to 4:45 PM Eastern Time (US). The topic is "Indigenous Religious Traditions and a Polycentric Worldview". The panel of speakers include Dr. A. Adityanjee (President of ICHRRF), Dr. Yashwant Pathak, who has a lifetime of experience researching and helping indigenous traditions across the globe, Dr. Edward Butler, Director of the Center for Global Polytheist and Indigenous Traditions at the Indic Academy, Elder Elizabeth Aroujo of the Mayan religions tradition, and Inija Trinkuniene, priestess of the Romuva indigenous tradition of Lithuania (Europe). The discussion will be moderated by Carl Clemens, Executive Director of ICHRRF.