There's some principles that have been talked about in some writing on indigenous world views that come to mind, and one of them is written up by Clare Brant, who is a psychologist and looked at a lot of different indigenous people's thinking, and he said this was a principle that kind of applied to many indigenous peoples across North America. The principle of non interference. So this is an idea and an ethic that, pervaded many indigenous cultures, that you don't interfere with one's, autonomy. So, in a sense, like, you don't directly instruct someone, about how to be, how to do things,[COUGH] what they, what they ought to do, how they should behave, and so forth. It has a, it has really carried on into today despite some of the other efforts at assimilation, and so a lot of people still kind of carry this, this autonomy, as a very strong part of their identity. And, and, and you can certainly see it in some of the communities, Rupert Roth has written about it, he's a, a Crown attorney in northwestern Ontario. And he, he observed in a lot of the interactions that he saw in courtrooms, that this principle is, was still operating, and was frustrating western approaches to carrying out justice. Because some people wouldn't testify against others, or, they, they, they would kind of claim that they didn't know about something, 'because they hadn't directly experienced it. So they felt that they couldn't really say in a court of law that they, that they knew something, because to know something is to directly experience it. And there, there's also senses of kind of harmony in the, you know, principles of retaining that harmony among people who are in a small community, and have to work together to continue to survive. So to cause discord, and disruption which, kind of the Western justice system encourages by setting up a plaintiff and a defendant, in some of these, cases. Is, is kind of against the whole principle of the harmonious, community, restorative justice. So the principle of non-interference, when it comes to learning things, when it comes to education, was operating in the sense that people couldn't, you, you kind of had to let people learn for themselves. And an example that I think was repeated in Rupert Ross's book Dancing With a Ghost, is there was an elder in a boat, and a younger person was operating the boat, and they ran a river and they were heading towards this area at some speed where there were a lot of rocks, that the elder knew was in river. And principle of noninterference, according, you know, according to Ross and his telling of this, dictated that even though they were heading toward certain harm, he would not say anything, because that would cause the younger person to lose faith, that they had to learn how to notice this, and respond. So even though they were hurtling towards certain danger, he remained quite to see what the other would do. And th, so this kind of principle of noninterference, as it was an important part of pre-contact learning, and certainly carrying on into today, that people have to experience things for themselves, in order to claim that knowing that relationship to knowledge as their own. And I almost fell into this problem that we have with the language, where, where I was going to say till they can have that knowledge. But that's another things that's, that's different about approaching knowing and knowledge, is that it's not a thing to be had, it's not a thing to own, it's not an, it's not a, like an entity. 'Because once we thing knowledge, then we can either talk about who owns it, who has rights to it. And so a lot of indigenous people are struggling with this notion, because from the west, knowledge is talked about in those ways, someone does own knowledge, someone can have it, someone can possess it. In these, old ways of knowing it's a relationship. So you are developing a relationship with something, some, that can be known. And so knowing isn't really possessed by anyone. But that relationship one has is, is one that is very personal, and it's, it's an intimate one, and it's one that others wouldn't want to speak for someone's knowledge or knowing, because that's their own relationship. But there's a way's certainly of, of people understanding, having a greater understanding of what that kind of relationship is like. And so, they would encourage the youth like through things like the fasting rituals or through certain challenges or ordeals that were put before them, to enter into a relationship with knowing, so, that they then could have that, that relationship for themselves. So, it's possible for communities to develop a knowledge that continues and is transferred over time but, it's not thought of in a sense that people own or possess it. That being said, there were certain understandings of who could enter into relationships knowing on certain topics, or in certain places, and at certain times, and these restrictions were respected among the community. A good example is say along the northwest coast, people used to build the, their villages with the, the physical structures, actually in the same order that their rights to fish in certain parts of the ocean worked out. So, if the villages, the village had like a, buildings like this, the family that was in this house,[NOISE], could access the resources here, and the family in this house, access resources there. And, so there was a sense of how to divide up access to resources, but it wasn't spoken of as, as an ownership. In the same kind of way, certain families had songs, or relationship to certain ceremonial items, which was their responsibility to carry for the community. Is not talked about like a right or an ownership thing, but there is a sense of respecting that that's their responsibility to carry that knowledge of that song, or to carry knowledge of that drum, or to, or to carry the, the knowledge of that shaker or that talking stick, or what, whatever important ceremonial object it was. There was a sense, that's that family's, and it's spoken of it's their responsibility. So we're just, It's not talked about as ownership and stuff, but we see that kind of come up with, say, museum repatriation, and someone says this mask belonged to this clan or that family. That's the kind of notion. So we're seeing that, as we enter into this period where world views are kind of differing on approaches to knowledge, approaches to ownership of knowledge, and what can be owned and not owned and so forth, changes come about in how these things are talked about. So I guess the thing that I'm not addressing with all of this, is the language and how the language makes it so hard to convey this, these differences and ideas of role view. But I need to at least touch on that. So, kind of obvious to state, but in this period, all that learning is taking place in the indigenous language, of each of each culture, and, and, and each communities own dialect. So what does that mean? It means we, we, we all know this notion of the intimate connection between the languages we speak, and the way we think about things. And one of the things that's important to know when we think about language in world view, is for many indigenous languages the verbs come first. So, when we're talking about the level of, say the sentence. It's usually starting from a verb, that is built with suffixes and prefixes that modify the verb, but it's the doing that is central. The process is central the action is central. Whereas, many European languages are noun based, so the things are central, the subject is central, and what it does to an object is what a lot of the sentences are about. So we, we place our focus on the things. So for an indigenous language, some of the implications of it being verb based, is that there is a sense that change and motion and dynamism, is a natural state of order. Whereas, when we're thing-a-fying things, we talk about things, there's, there's a stability or permanence that resides in the object itself. And so there's a sense that, there's a permanence to the object so we can talk about it. But if we talk about things as being, moving and in motion they're constantly changing. And we can see that in a lot of the stories too, where there are transformer beings, or there's transformation that's at the center of, of many of the important stories indigenous people tell. Because that is a part of understanding the nature of reality, is that its always changing always transforming. So I just mentioned stories, and I can't believe I got this far, talking about pre-contact learning, without mentioning the centrality of, narrative and story. This is a way that one could respect that principle of noninterference, is instead of saying, don't do that, you tell a story where someone makes that mistake. And so, it's up to the learner to get what you're saying, and they'll get what they're ready for. So that notion I mentioned earlier about the time being right, and the fact that one's own relationship to knowing, is their own, that's one that they develop on their own and, and directly experience. Stories embody that so well, because the story can be shared, and very skilled orators and elders knew which story was right to tell, at the right time for the right person. Again, all part of that highly con, contextual learning, is that the story would be told at the right time and the right place for that person to pick up the right meaning. And sa, some really skilled el, elders knew from the, the vast oral tradition of stories that were available to pull from, to use these stories, which is part of a story, or which story to retell in a certain way, to make the point evident to that person about what they should be taking away, or what they should understand. But again, that learner, that, the person listening and hearing the story, did have to be able to take that in, and, and, and act that understanding. So this is, this is part of the skill of those knowledge keepers, too, is knowing which story to tell when, and to whom. So, again, very highly context dependent. So I, I think that's, that's a lot of what characterizes the ways of teaching and learning in the pre-contact mode. I guess another thing to, to emphasize, I went, at the beginning I said that community and the environment were the classroom, and then I went into the ways that the community was the classroom. I just want to come back to this idea, the environment in this classroom. I touched on it a little bit with the way that the bear clan would pick up medicine knowledge, by being out there and learning from things. But the, but it's important to stress too, that like animals were teachers, trees were teachers. Anything that was in the natural environment, although that nature culture distinction wasn't made in indigenous, communities at the time. But anything that, that was around could be a potential teacher. And, one example that's, that's given and I, you know I can't say the specifics of it, but I, basically came from observation, so it's empirical knowledge too. But I, I heard the story told of, of how a certain medicinal use of a plant came to be known among a particular people, and they had seen how a deer had, had, I don't know, scratched itself on something sharp, and was bleeding. And it went into this bush, and it chewed some of the leaves and then licked its wounds and by, just by watching that happen, the people realized there's something in that leaf that's activated, and can help with clotting a wound. And so, it's this kind of observation which lead to some, some of the knowledge that was developed. And, so when we say like animals are teachers, this is a way that they could teach. So learning by observation, very important as well. And there are many others, there are many others. But I, I think I should be moving on to early contact period.