One of the fundamental life principles among indigenous societies is respect.
Respect towards elders, towards all living beings, towards nature and even towards the enemy. Respect is the basis for the functioning of the society.
The respect professed by indigenous peoples towards everyone and everything is explained by the belief that the cosmos is populated by a single society, where a series of human, animal, vegetable and spiritual societies are integrated and related. They co-exist in balance through mutual belonging and dependance
Indigenous cosmologies are the result of deep and complex knowledge and reasoning and they dictate the communities’ social, economic and ritualistic behaviors. These cosmologies go beyond a set of ideas and values, they actually clarify how community members should enact these cosmologies. They are a blueprint for daily life. Indigenous cosmologies have been classified as “ecocosmologies” for their sophisticated and systematic knowledge of the environment and its effective management; as well as “ecosophies” for the way that these practices are loaded with moral and emotional power.
Indigenous peoples consider that humans have been given the responsibility of safeguarding, preserving and keeping the balance of the whole universal system.