Home is Where the Heart is

Responses to my conversations about place yielded comments from friends about home being where you find your heart.

When I read Native scholars like Vine Deloria Jr. I am struck by his thoughts that culture—“behavior, beliefs, values and symbols” quite literally emerge from place.

Dig deeper and Deloria says that unique to indigenous knowledge systems is the notion that all things are related—and that those relationships arise from place.

This holistic approach—the interconnectedness of life forms—is rooted at the base of American Indian ontologies. And I think at a gut level each of us recognizes that interconnectedness, regardless of our belief systems.

Interesting how the studies about the science of health demonstrate that being connected arms us against poor health. Spending time with loving friends or walking in nature boosts our spirits.

Deloria might say such activities reaffirm that we are all connected.


About Cynthia Coleman Emery

Professor and researcher at Portland State University who studies science communication, particularly issues that impact American Indians. Dr. Coleman is an enrolled citizen of the Osage Nation.
This entry was posted in authenticity, health, Indian, science, science communication and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

3 Responses to Home is Where the Heart is

  1. David says:

    My favorite word is symbiosis. The whole earth is all involved in a symbiotic relationship that we are a part of. If we deny our part in the system we will destroy it. As far as I can tell, we are denying our place, and we are destroying the earth.


    • Your insights remind me of the struggles over siting waste repositories. No one wants a waste site in her or his community, and what would happen if we reframed community as the planet? Thanks for your thoughts.


  2. M Forner says:

    “…if we reframed community as the planet?” Please expand on this thought. I am not sure I understand.


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