Aboriginal Cultural Centre

What are Indigenous cultures?


IslandsOur new Inner Transition Coordinator, Claire Milne, met Ilarion Merculieff whilst visiting what is commonly known as Alaska. They enjoyed potent conversations and connection and it quickly became clear to Claire that those of us working for social and ecological renewal could learn a lot from Ilarion and the ancient teachings of his Unangan ancestors. These conversations focused largely on the imperative for us as a species to re-learn how to come into embodied connection with our hearts – and how this differs from so much of what is being taught through modern approaches to social change, spirituality and psychotherapy.

Ilarion Merculieff was born and raised on St. Paul Island in the middle of the Bering Sea. St. Paul Island is part of a five-island group called the Pribilof Islands. He is an Unangan (Unungan), Aleut, raised in a traditional way.St. Paul Island is the largest of the Pribilof Islands at 43 square miles. At a young age Ilarion was initiated into his cultural role as Kuuyux, or traditional messenger for the Aleut people. Throughout his life Ilarion has acted as a bridge from the past to those alive today by focusing on traditional knowledge, wisdom and spirituality gained from culture bearers around the world. He lived on St. Paul Island for half his life and now lives in Anchorage, Alaska.

Birds“I miss community and the ocean. One day I will complete my work and live somewhere that has both, ” he says. In the meantime, Ilarion continues to take what he knows to the world, wherever he is invited. “I don’t go where I am not invited, ” is a refrain he frequently says.

Ilarion’s work has been broad and eclectic. His passions are community wellness, the fate of the planet and elder wisdom. It is reflected in his work on climate change, the Bering Sea and its people, and the work we humans must do to re-establish harmony with ourselves, our families, our communities, and Mother Earth. Claire asked Ilarion what the traditional teachings of his People – and other Culture Bearers, has to teach us about burn out...

Out of the Head; Into the Heart: The Way of the Human Being

Unangan culture

I had a fully traditional upbringing where the entire village raised me. I had to spend equal time with the men, the women, the Elders, and my peers. I know that this traditional upbringing is why I have never experienced “burnout” as it is known in western society. I used to work 17 hours a day, six days a week for some twenty years and what kept me centered and “in the flow” was what my people, the Unangan (Aleut) people gave to me.



Share this article





Related Posts


History of Aboriginal
History of Aboriginal

Latest Posts
Bringing Animals to Australia
Bringing Animals…
… and a lot of unhappy…
Special events in Australia
Special events…
We are now half way through…
History of Aboriginal
History of Aboriginal
The history of Aboriginal…
Etiquette in Australia
Etiquette in…
If you happen to be face…
Traditional Pendant lights Australia
Traditional Pendant…
Discount LED Downlight…
Australian family traditions
Australian family…
The head of the household…
Search
Featured posts
  • Aboriginal history of Australia
  • History of Aboriginal
  • Australian family traditions
  • Etiquette in Australia
  • Traditional Pendant lights Australia
  • Traditional Australian dress
  • Indigenous Religious beliefs
  • Bringing Animals to Australia
  • Special events in Australia
Copyright © 2017 l www.ugg-australia.org. All rights reserved.