Over winter break last year, I had the good fortune to listen to a woman by the name of Minu speak about the year 2020 and the held knowledge about time collapse. Minu was an Indian from India and she was very well versed with her work with the prime minister.

In her talk she kept referring to the changes we would see in 2020 and what I call space-time when she spoke of a time collapse. I have reflected on her discussion several times, and what I know from an Indigenous perspective is that the people see no change throughout time regarding the use and purpose of prayer, the original teachings and Indigenous knowledge. Perhaps, some teachings are older than others, regardless, they still fill the need for today’s concerns.

As a result of all of this, I began to question the importance we give to linear time that in truth has no significance on sacred knowledge. It is the intention, or the mindset that is of significance, because your mind is the creator of your reality. When I applied this thinking to her words, I began to see that some events reoccur over and over in different time periods and that these events are shown to the people to teach them something.

In my culture, we believe that whenever a ceremonial or special event is reenacted that it is just as sacred as it was the first time it occurred. In my opinion this is part of the time collapse message, that some people may understand because it is a way of bringing the past into the present.

Another thought that occurred to me is that in order for Indigenous people to move forward among all of the social, sociocultural and environmental changes that are currently taking place, we need to go back and return to our original teachings. I have always believed that a lot of our solutions are already there and can be found in our original teachings and our traditional forms of governments. If you genuinely return to that knowledge there is no time involved, just the presence of something that has never really left us.

From generation to generation most Indigenous people are taught that it is our spirituality and connection to the land that gives us our identity. Spirituality is forever present and the land in its natural form and in its own way does not change with time. The changes we see today are man-made, many of the man-made changes come from a linear construct for the purpose of capital gain and control.

Due to our sociopolitical climate in this country many Indigenous people are seen as adversarial. I do not believe that most Indigenous people are adversarial, but they are deliberately expressing and understanding that the western system does not rely on the spirit, rather it is the work of the corporate mind.

What we have learned about climate change and COVID-19 (I believe they go hand in hand) is that society will require a change in values. The only thing we know for certain is that nature will be the deciding factor of our survival. Pandemically speaking, hundreds of thousands of COVID-19 victims are sick because all around the globe the mother earth is sick. We are mirrors of our environments.

I leave you with a quote from Dr. David Courchene, Jr. Anishnaabe: “There is nothing more important in today’s reality, than what is happening to the environment. Climate change is the symptom of the human condition in how we lack basic kindness in how we treat each other and how we treat the land.”

Vivian Delgado is a professor of Native American studies at Bemidji State University.