What are the Seven Grandfather Teachings?
Seven Grandfather Teachings The Seven Grandfather Teachings are the most commonly shared North American teachings. Many Aboriginal organizations and communities have adopted the Seven guiding principals, in one form or another, as a moral stepping stone and cultural foundation. The teachings vary from nation to nation, because of geographical placement However, the Ojibwe teaching commonly come from the same root and share a similar message. They all share the same concepts of abiding by a moral respect for all living things.
Many view the Seven Grandfather Teachings as traditional knowledge that collectively represents what is needed for community survival. These gifts are to help people live a good life, respect the Creator, the earth and each other.
Wisdom - Nbwaakaawin:
Wisdom is represented by the beaver because he uses his natural gift wisely for his survival. The beaver also alters his environment in an environmentally friendly and sustainable way for the benefit of his family.
To cherish knowledge is to know wisdom.
To have wisdom is to know the difference between positive and negative and know the result of your action.
Use your inherent gifts wisely and live your life by them. Recognize your differences and those of others in a kind and respectful way. Continuously observe the life of all things around you. Listen with clarity and a sound mind. Respect your own limitations and those of all of your surroundings. Allow yourself to learn and live by your wisdom.
The Creator gave the Beaver large teeth and the knowledge of how to build. This has enabled the Beaver to positively impact its environment and create a more sustainable world.
Love - Zaagidwin:
Love is represented by the eagle because he has the strength to carry all the teachings. The eagle has the ability to fly highest and closest to the creator and also has the sight to see all the ways of being from great distances. The Eagle's teaching of love can be found in the core of all teachings, therefore an eagle feather is considered the highest honor and a sacred gift.
Eagles are loving parents and teachers to their offspring, protecting and guiding them.
To know love is to know peace.
Love must be unconditional.
View your inner-self from the perspective of all teachings. This is to know love and to love yourself truly. Then you will be at peace with yourself, the balance of life, all things and also with the creator.
Respect - Mnaadendimowin:
Respect is represented by the buffalo. The buffalo gives every part of his being to sustain the human way living, not because he is of less value, but because he respects the balance and needs of others. For as long as we have been here, we have sustained our lives through the Buffalo in terms of clothing, food, shelter, and expressing ourselves in art.
To honor all creation is to have respect.
Live honorably in teachings and in your actions towards all things. Do not waste and be mindful of the balance of all living things. Share and give away what you do not need. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Do not be hurtful to yourself or others.
Place others before yourself in your life don’t look down on anyone.
Respect your fellow living beings.
All of creation should be treated with respect. You must give respect if you wish to be respected.