Global Village/Global City: a story the longhouse could tell to the shopping mall


  • Paula Sampson


Contemporary scholarship recognizes the significance of place in urban contexts. Many argue that the modern emphasis on time relative to place requires recalibration if global life is to survive and flourish. One place to find a calibration tool is within many of the world's tribal communities which give primacy to landscape and location. In Aboriginal communities, kinship with place forms the basis for all social and economic transactions. Even in the twenty-first century, these ancient understandings survive and reveal themselves in the protocols and possibilities of Aboriginal narratives. It is narrative practice which links place and time and maintains the balance between them, avoiding the temporal and individualistic practices now giving rise to urban struggle, consumerism and environmental degradation. The global city is not a village, but a respectful exploration of how Aboriginal narratives of relationship could inspire more conscious and humane urban habitation is a promising enterprise. For those Aboriginal peoples who, either from necessity or choice, have traded village centrality for urban marginalization, the promise is not only one of consciousness but of justice.

Author Biography

Paula Sampson

Vancouver School of Theology


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