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7 grandfather teachings

The Ojibway story of the seven grandfather teachings was passed down from parent to child for many generations. The teachings share some of the traditional values of First Nations people and encourage us to love and respect one another. The story goes…

The Creator gave the seven grandfathers, who were very powerful spirits, the responsibility to watch over the people. The grandfathers saw that the people were living a hard life. They sent their helper six different times to find a person who could be taught how to live in a good way with all of creation. Finally the seven grandfathers’ helper found a baby boy, who because he was just born was pure enough to receive the teachings and bring these teachings back to the people. The grandfathers were happy with the choice made by the helper. The baby boy is a symbol to people that it is important to start early when educating our young people and that they are already beginning to learn at a very young age. Babies are still very connected to the spirit world and understand this connection, which can be lost when people become adults.

While the boy was travelling with the helper they were visited seven times by spirits who told them about the gifts. Here is what they said:

To cherish knowledge is to know wisdom;
To know love is to know peace;
To honour all of creation is to have respect;
Bravery is to face the foe with integrity;
Honesty in facing a situation is to be brave;
Humility is to know yourself as a sacred part of creation;
Truth is to know all of these things.

The young boy was then put in the care of Otter who was to return the boy to his people to teach them what he had learned. The boy, because of all the time spent in the spirit world, was now an old man. The old man gathered all the people around and told them of his journey to the seven grandfather’s lodge. He explained how to use the gifts and that it was now up to the people to try to follow the path of a good and healthy life using the seven grandfather’s teachings.

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