Jun 5th, 2020
Bringing Cultural Intelligence Home
Chair of the Association for Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad
I saw by my eyes, my future seven generations ahead and seven generations back and because of this I know which way to go.
This statement captures the essence of my conversation with Hindou Ibrahim, the Chair for the Association of Indigenous Women and Peoples of Chad. Speaking to Hindou is like speaking to nature herself, whose ability to adapt and to react to the changing environment and climate is as fluid, simple, direct, and natural as breathing.
Like many Indigenous Peoples, Hindou has been trained since childhood in the cultural intelligence of her people- she knows the land, she’s learned how to observe the animals. She is sensitized to the climate, and she views her home as not just the family house, but as the wider community and bioregion. It’s her nature. Its the cultural intelligence she was gifted by her family.
Hindou was fortunate to be born into a place and people who value above all else their cultural and ecological heritage, and who teach a way of directly sensing in the world “with my own eyes”—valuing every person and every living being as part of the natural ecosystem—making decisions about how to act—seven generations forward and seven generations back.
In our conversation, Hindou shares with us how each one of us-whether we live in a suburb or a city can also learn how awaken our cultural intelligence, to respect every member of our society—the gardener, the farmer, the grocer, the health worker—as home-keepers. We can evolve our cultural intelligence to value every person as an essential worker in supporting our livelihoods; and to value nature as essential to regenerating sustainable economies.