An Offering Of Native Wisdom with Anne Wilson Schaef

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This "recovering psychotherapist" discovered her own Native American heritage when she was well into adulthood. Her journeys into many indigenous cultures revealed how her "white mind" could begin to learn the truths that they have practiced for millennia. Anne Wilson Schaef offers essential principles for nurturing a more profound and sustainable connection to nature and life--principles that are challenging and perhaps upsetting to the Western mind. "There's a lot of emotionalism around really looking at another way of living," says Schaef, "but that's what we're going to have to do." (hosted by Michael Toms)


Anne Wilson Shaef (1934-2020) was a world-renowned lecturer and organizational consultant.

She is the author of numerous books including:

  • When Society Becomes an Addict (Harper & Row 1987)
  • Native Wisdom for White Minds: Daily Reflections Inspired by the Native Peoples of the World (Ballantine 1995)

Topics Explored in This Dialogue

  • What white people need to learn from indigenous traditions
  • The value of Native American culture to white people
  • How Schaef re-discovered her Native American background
  • Her personal calling to explore and express native wisdom
  • The difference between being a tourist and a pilgrim
  • The difference between an attitude of worship and one of gratefulness
  • Understanding the inherent pain of colonized cultures
  • The trouble with the "quick-fix" approach to learning native culture
  • The built-in dysfunctionality of nuclear families
  • How aboriginal elders teach their secret wisdom
  • Teaching babies to trust nature
Host: Michael Toms       Interview Date: 9/8/1995        Program Number: 2542