Well, it looks like I'm finally making some progress in breaking out of my isolation. The way I'm doing this kind of took me by surprise and is stirring up matters in need of healing that I thought I'd never have to face.
I attended a vigil last September at our local First Nations Friendship Centre in honour of and working towards a solution to what is called around here "Sisters in Spirit". (see: http://www.amnesty.ca/our-work/campaigns/no-more-stolen-sisters). The issue has a sexual dimension to it (it isn't happening to aboriginal boys and men at anywhere near the same level) and it has a cultural dimension to it (the missing aboriginal women number proportionally far more than missing women in general in Canada). I was very impressed with the healing circle that the local First Nations community (Okanagan people) created at the event. I asked about how I could be involved in more healing circles of this nature and was told that there is a men's group at the centre. It took me a while to attend (I was very sick over the winter), but started attending a couple of weeks ago. I am immensely impressed with their healing related skills in that group too.
As I've been trying to find a way to bridge the gap between the European origin (dominant) community into which I was born and the Okanagan people, I've done some research into their traditional culture. They have (had?) a far deeper appreciation for the value of all life and balanced and harmonious relations than we do. There isn't really a place for the "Power over others" and "Might makes right" mentality that is so deeply rooted in our dominant culture. They also have a very different and far healthier relationship to the natural world.
When it comes to relations between men and women, I don't know much. I do know that they trace their lineage through the female line. I've come across some videos (see links below) that would suggest that relations between men and women based on traditional First Nations' values are far more respectful and far more harmonious than our culture has demonstrated for a very long time. I'm curious to know about how they supported harmonious relations and if they used physically intimate relations to deepen and strengthen this bond. If anybody here has some insight into this matter I would appreciate hearing about it very much.