Tradition does not have to be separate from technology. In fact, First Nations people have been inventing their own technology and using the resources at hand to get jobs done for eons.
Whether it was inventing fishing, hunting, gathering tools, or creating new ways to build structures for shelter, First Nations have always been innovative. Finding a balance between using the traditional ways and adding new methods and technology helps improve daily life.
Tradition Will Always Be an Important Part of Culture
Making things better does not mean abandoning tradition and culture.
Keeping traditions alive, passing them on, and making them vibrant and relevant for today’s times is important. For any culture to maintain a solid foundation while moving forward, it should rely on the wisdom of elders as well as culture and tradition.
But times change, and new tools and technologies become available. Using them, however, does not mean that tradition is abandoned. Instead, traditions become malleable and relevant for the times.
Examples of First Nations Innovation
The practice of gillnet fishing is a prime example of using tradition and new methods. It is no more, or no less, traditional than spearfishing by hand, or using a standard fishing rod. Efficiency does not have to be separate from tradition. The act of fishing for sustenance is a tradition; the tools used will change over time, but the wisdom is passed down. In other words, tradition can sometimes include change — as long as the bedrock foundation holds, so does tradition.
First Nations have always used the tools and technology that made sense at the time. In today’s era, traditional hunting is often done using modern rifles. This doesn’t make the hunt any less traditional, or the wisdom passed down from elders any less relevant. A tradition does not have to be frozen in time, or antiquated, to remain so. Rather, they can be vibrant and relevant for today’s age.
Not All Traditions Change Over Time
There are some traditions that are less adaptable to change — for example, smudging ceremonies. There is no new or fancy digital sage brush substitute, nor would it make sense to make one. That tradition will remain as it has been for millennia, a valued cultural practice passed down from generation to generation.
Internet Memes Get it Wrong
Memes may occasionally be posted about cultural ‘purity’, but First Nations people are busy upholding culture and traditions while keeping them vibrant in today’s world.
First Nations communities have always been innovators, and tradition will always be a great part of the Nation’s practices, no matter what tools or technology are used now or in the future.
Do you have any examples of how GFN maintains tradition in current times? Post them in the comments.