First Nation traditional concepts of respect and sharing are the foundation for the way of life and are built around the seven natural laws, or sacred teachings. The teachings honour the basic qualities for a full and healthy life (St. Elizabeth website, Elder Care curriculum, 2013)
The Seven Sacred teachings are represented by animal’s that is meant to represent the embodiment of that particular teaching. The animal world teaches men how to live connected to the earth and the respect of all life. (thesharingcircle.com; website accessed, 2013)
The SEVEN SACRED TEACHINGS include:
The Eagle is able to reach the highest point of all creatures. This teaching recognizes that true love is connected to the Creator. Love that is given to the Creator is expressed through love of self as without the love of self it is impossible to love others.
The Buffalo is highly respected by First Nations as it gives its life and shares every part of its being to the people. It is a reciprocal relationship of respect. It provides the gifts of shelter, clothing and utensils. Native peoples developed a sustainable relationship with the Buffalo resulting in a relationship that was rooted in utmost respect.
Long ago there was a giant called Saabe who walked among the people to remind them of the importance of being honest to the laws of the Creator as well as one another. Honesty is when we are able to keep the promises made to the Creator, self and others.
The Beaver uses its gifts as a way to survive. If he did not use his teeth in the way he does to build his home they would grow until they were not useful to him. The Beaver teaches us that communities are built upon the gifts of each of its members. These gifts given by the Creator are important and necessary to use as a way to create communities of health and peace.
To recognize and acknowledge the higher power of the Creator is considered to be truly humble. To express deference and/or submission to the Creator through recognizing and accepting that all beings are equal captures the essence of the spirit of humility. The consideration of others before ourselves is also an expression of humility. The Wolf teaches this lesson. He bows his head in the presence of others out of deference and will not take food until it can be shared with the other members of his pack. The Wolf lacks arrogance and respect for his community which is the Aboriginal way.
To know the truth is to know and understand all of the original laws as given by the Creator and to be faithful to them. Grandmother Turtle was present when the Creator mad man and gave him the seven sacred laws. It was the Grandmother Turtle who was to ensure that the laws would not be lost or forgotten.
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