Understanding the Conundrum of Rebirth Experience of the Beaver, Gitxsan, and Witsuwit'en

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Abstract:

SUMMARY

The First Nations people of British Columbia experience reincarnation as a revitalization of their culture. This article documents the perseverance of reincarnation experiences among the Beaver, Witsuwit'en, and Gitxsan peoples of British Columbia, as well as my own growth in understanding such experiences. It recounts examples of rebirth cases. It explains what rebirth experiences mean to the First Nations people. It describes how these experiences are embedded in their perception of this world and embodied in their beliefs of spiritual realms, which include the interconnected and parallel worlds of fish and land animals, on this world and in spiritual dimensions. While the rebirth worldview contrasts with that of the Western scientific world, this is a worldview I have come to endorse.

Keywords: Indian Peoples of North America; Indigenous; Native; reincarnation; spirituality and the sacred

Document Type: Research Article

DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/j.1548-1409.2010.01065.x

Affiliations: First Nations Studies Program3333 University WayUniversity of Northern British ColumbiaPrince George, V2N 4Z9British ColumbiaCanada

Publication date: December 1, 2010

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