The Compassion Cultivation Training by BeCompassionateNL is conducted to better individuals and societies to link cultures together, especially Indigenous people.

At about 476 million, Indigenous people constitute about 5% of the world’s population. Yet, they are also one of the most oppressed and discriminated against—and while they are not confined to one single umbrella of culture and ethnicity, they are united by the fact that they face the same systemic and targeted issues: banishment from their ancestral holdings, censorship of expression, almost military-like occupation of their settlements and the unspoken regard as a second-class citizen. 15% of the world’s poorest are members of Indigenous groups.

Wherever Indigenous people find themselves, they are always kept at the fringes of society, marginalized and discriminated against heavily in the systems of government—whether it is in the legal and political scenes—or in the country’s institutions–whether it is in entertainment and the economy. Everywhere, Indigenous people are open and vulnerable to legal abuse and state violence. And the non-Indigenous people that speak with them are often targeted together, further diminishing their ability and influence to fight for broader rights. 

The United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People

Thankfully, strides have been made for the rights of Indigenous people. With the adoption of the Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous People by the United Nations, there is now a robust and comprehensive framework to lift these groups and place them in equal standing to the rest of the citizens of the world. The Declaration is wonderful in that it not only acknowledges the equality of Indigenous people with non-Indigenous groups, but it also advocates and protects their bio-cultural heritage, which includes traditional wisdom, territories, laws, and values.

How to Be An Indigenous Ally

Of course, change does not only come because the United Nations says it should. There are still a lot of things that need to be done. Hundreds of years of oppression do not vanish away overnight. There has to be a concentrated and deliberate effort on the part of non-Indigenous people to open up their arms and welcome their Indigenous brethren into the fold of wider society and be proactive in their reintegration and desegregation.

Attend Compassion Seminars and Empathize with the Mourning of Indigenous People

It is important to remember that compared to most people, the histories and struggles of Indigenous peoples are very much a part of their contemporary existence. It was only recently that most people have begun to see them for the people that they are, with cultures and beliefs, and struggles the same as them. 

So, as an ally, you should try to practice deliberate and proactive compassion. Learn to listen to and respect the communities that are near you and work with them as they process their grief. 

BeCompassionateNL offers a training course precisely for this kind of intentional action. Their wonderful Compassion Cultivation Training is an intuitive and comprehensive six-step program that helps participants develop their faculties for compassion, empathy, and kindness—not only for others but for themselves.

Whenever Possible, Choose Indigenous Artists, Services, and Leaders

The healing of a community and its integration into broader society needs a lot of effort and time. But no one individual can do everything. So, what can individuals do?

The best way to show your support is to provide it. While learning more about the plight of Indigenous folk and their rights, consider helping Indigenous activists and other members of their community.

If you ever find yourself in a position where you can give time, skill, and knowledge to Indigenous creators and businesses, perhaps it is best to exercise compassion and work with them more.

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