What’s In a Name


“Skywoman Descending Great Turtle Island” painting by Arnold Jacobs, Onondaga artist, reflects the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) creation story. http://www.twoturtle.ca.

Turtle Island” is a name used by North American Indians to describe the continent on which we live, i.e., Turtle Island is the name for North America used by its original or first peoples, indigenous people who have tribal names in their own languages.

Learning” is an on-going process for everyone, a social activity encompassing all of life’s experiences as we follow our path on Mother Earth. It is not limited to a construct called “education” or a place called “school.”

Circle” is the dominant structure utilized in Native culture for recognizing and respecting all life and the natural laws of interdependence. Life’s journey is ever-evolving, circular, cyclical, never stagnant, and not linear.

TILC Purpose

Worldview – or cultural perspective — of the original people of the Americas and those representing the dominant governmental style imported from Europe are distinctly different and often contradictory. In simple terms they are described as linear with a clear cause and effect outcome (Western-“American”) and circular, cyclical, and relationship-driven processes (America’s “Indians”). These systems pose serious challenges to those trying “to live in both worlds.”

Turtle Island Learning Circle seeks to bridge those gaps in North America through cooperative learning, facilitated by access to respected and authentic resources and methods such as workshops, talking circles, and shared mutual interest projects and activities.