The Medicine Wheel Native American Teachings is of a circle, a symbol, which is filled with many of the teachings and wisdom past down from generation to generation in the First Nations culture. Teachings from the Medicine Wheel: Seasons and Generations The rising sun signals a new day, and this section is also seen as morning in some teachings. The plant associated with the yellow/eastern section of the medicine wheel is tobacco. Using Medicine Wheels as a tool for analysis in healing and learning demands the continuous and ongoing reflection of oneself in relation to others – thus balance must be maintained while embracing change. The alignment of the medicine wheel on the ground is placed in relation to the heavenly bodies and how they move through our lives. Laurier-Syracuse Exchange Program: Building Indigenous Curricula across Borders, Building a Legacy of Indigenous Leadership. In the north, one uses the gift of movement to do or actualize the vision. The spirit of the student was celebrated through daily ceremony such as a morning circle (similar to a sunrise ceremony), and the learning of traditional teachings and stories. This in-depth searching for knowledge is what leads to wisdom. The following Medicine Wheel diagram (Figure 1) reviews the gifts of each of the directions as informed by Cree Elder Michael Thrasher. The Seven Grandfather Teachings (or the Seven SacredTeachings) Courtesy of Native Women's Center. According to Absolon,5 in following the path of Medicine Wheels “the fourth direction involves creating a healing movement towards change – this is possible only when the other components have been acknowledged.”6, Moving into the “doing” phase of the north requires taking the knowledge gained from all the directions and enacting that knowledge. [5] K. Absolon, Building Health From the Medicine Wheel: Aboriginal program development. Practice with your students: Have someone call out directions at random, and everyone must move or point in that direction as quickly as possible. Therefore, there is no “right” or “wrong” way of representing or using Medicine Wheels: all forms hold particular meaning to the various Indigenous nations while all transmit a common understanding of the interconnectedness and interrelatedness of all things. Topics are Medicine Wheel Teachings, Cycle of Life (growing up as an Indigenous man), Four Directions of Growth, The Two Thought Systems, The Four Directions, and The Twelve Steps, Overview of The Twelve Steps, and Instructions on taking each of the Twelve Steps from a cultural approach. The school was registered as a private school with the Ontario Ministry of Education and the curriculum was organized on a Medicine Wheel framework, where cultural teachings and traditional practices were addressed in the corresponding season on the Medicine Wheel. LOGIN The circle, or wheel, is a common symbol in many cultures and represents several elements to the First Nations. For the latest education news and research. Can they name some of the first yellow flowers that appear in early spring? Veuillez indiquer les informations suivantes : Feminist Principles and Minority Concerns: Contributions, problems, and solutions. the Medicine Wheel. The teacher stands facing due north and holds out her arms. These gifts are the teachings of Honesty, Humility, Courage, Wisdom, Respect, Generosity and Love. Interrelationship requires that we establish a personal relationship with the “whole” – with all that surrounds us. Possible answers: The moon, the sun, the sacred hoop, the connections of all things, etc. Your contributions support the courageous work of educators to influence the changes that we want to see. Red represents earth, as it is from the earth we receive the food we eat and the medicine we need to live; it is our life blood. [10] S. Benhabib, Situating the Self: Gender, community, and post-modernism in contemporary ethics (New York, NY: Routledge, 1992). The Seven Grandfather Teachings are also located on this Medicine Wheel. The four colour quadrants on the medicine wheel can represent the four directions: north, south, east and west. Cedar is represented by the white/northern part of the medicine wheel, and it is a plant that can be used to purify an area such as a home or sweat lodge. These colours relate to teachings of the directions, seasons, elements, animals, plants, heavenly bodies and the stages of life. Indigenous knowledge then becomes personal and generational, as there is a process of generational transmission. I will share the teachings for this coming Moon. Indigenous people can envision how they can be active in the “creation of oppositional analytical and cultural space.”9 Visioning allows them to engage in the hopeful utopian thinking necessary for radical transformation.10 Once a guiding vision is received or created, strategies can then be planned to help actualize it. The teachings of the four directions start with the east, or yellow, quadrant and run clockwise around the circle. It is a time of innocence and purity. The four seasons (spring, summer, fall and winter) are also represented in the medicine wheel’s colours. (Cost $15.) However, there are a lot of common themes that can be taught and discussed that are very relevant to modern life and can be proudly taught as evidence of the high level of knowledge in cosmic things, in the changing of seasons, in timekeeping, in the use and respect for animals, in plants and in the elements. The colours can vary, but the symbolism remains similar amongst the first peoples. In the east the gift of vision is found, where one is able to “see.” In the south one spends time in which to relate to the vision. Join the EdCan Network now for unlimited access to thousands of online articles, to receive our print magazine and access special discount programs. Many cultures have attempted to track the movements of the sun, the moon and the stars and have used these celestial bodies to measure time, to follow specific geographic routes using cardinal directions and to relate to the physical and spiritual world they live in. One being the concept of the number four, as four is regarded as a sacred number for many First Nations. These rings of teachings have significant meaning independently but are all the more powerful when understood as a collective of interdependent knowledge teachings and practices. Mental capacities can be developed through ancestral languages and integrative learning. behind us or around a corner), Medicine Wheels can be used to help us see or understand things we can’t quite see or understand because they are ideas and not physical objects.”[3] Calliou reminds us that “Medicine Wheels can be pedagogical tools for teaching, learning, contemplating, and … They mirror what is below and represent those that have gone before. This 3-part series introduces the Indigenous teaching of the medicine wheel. The Medicine Wheel, sometimes known as the Sacred Hoop or Sacred Circle, has been used by generations of various Native American tribes and First Nations in Canada for health and healing and as a tool for learning and teaching. The Medicine Wheel teachings are among the oldest of First Nations people. The wolf at times can also represent distrust and fear of being threatened. Aug 24, 2018 | Education, Issue 91, Back 2 School 2018, Issue Covers. The FOUR CIRCLES are viewed in a clockwise direction. While Indigenous worldview articulates that Indigenous people need to develop themselves, including their children, in a holistic way that addresses their spiritual, physical, emotional, and mental capacities, they need to address how to transmit learning through all of those personal aspects. Medicine Wheel Wellness in Jackson, WY was created in 2015 to share this message and offer healing and healthcare services incorporating all four aspects to find balance and optimize human … The wolf or coyote is normally shown in the black quadrant. How to teach the four elements: [7] F. J. Graveline, Circle Works: Transforming Eurocentric consciousness (Halifax, NS: Fernwood Publishing, 1998), 182. In the west, one uses the gift of reason to figure it out. 10076 3416 RR0001. Moving from linear models to the interconnectedness of the circle can guide the development of pedagogy and vision for the future. Paper presented at the meeting of the Native Physician’s Association (Winnipeg, Manitoba, March 1994). Using this definition, there are a total of 46 medicine wheels in Alberta. A holistic educational experience was provided through a balanced emphasis on all personal aspects of the student. Superimposed on this circle are four equidistant points. Stories, healing journeys, and elimination of dis-ease through the teachings and guidance of the Medicine Wheel have inspired my profession as a Physical Therapist. Interconnections create an environment which is mutually sustaining; where there is a transcending of logic and linear thought to reveal synthesis and dynamic interdependence. Start with yellow and spring. These concepts are then illustrated with an example of Medicine Wheel pedagogy in practice through the Anishinaabe Bimaadiziwin Cultural Healing and Learning Program, an Anishinaabe culture-based school. Within Medicine Wheels there are many, many “rings” of teachings that exist. The physical can be transmitted through the land, while the emotional aspect can be developed through a balanced connection between the heart and the head. May 21, 2019 - Explore Brenda Delorme's board "Medicine Wheel", followed by 256 people on Pinterest. In addition, we must establish a relationship with our whole being; this includes our spiritual, physical, mental, and emotional aspects. For more information, please consult with a Traditional Elder, Healer or Medicine Person. For me this fire is also the self. The eagle is the bird that flies closest to the creator and is the messenger between people and the creator. In the teaching of the elements, the yellow quadrant represents fire, since from fire we receive warmth and light. There are numerous examples of ancient sites around the world where ancient cultures and ancestors laid out stones in patterns that relate very closely to the movements of the sun and can be used as calendars showing accurate sunrises and sunsets on the solstices and observed equinoxes. The Medicine Wheel can take … It is both a universal symbol and a personal mnemonic tool for various cultures. is Anishinaabe from the bear clan from Kitigan Zibi First Nation. Reflecting on Indigenous voices from across Canada, it proposes three unique ways that teachers and parents can use the medicine wheel to guide the young people in their life towards greater Heart-Mind well-being. The teacher then lowers her right arm and points with her left, showing where due west is when facing north. The plant associated with the southern section is sage. Why would the colour white represent winter, and so on. Each person then has the responsibility to do the work required to fulfill the vision.11, Indigenous people are fighting to actualize their visions for change in the education of their children. H. Giroux and P. McLaren (New York, NY: Routledge, 1994), 148. The wheel moves in a clockwise direction, with the teachings always beginning at the yellow, or eastern, quadrant. Cultural teachings, philosophies, and social dynamics differ greatly from one tribe to another. How to teach the four directions: Around the spirit world of the four directions is the Creator above and Mother Earth below, whereby “a three dimensional sphere is created which mysteriously contains, reflects, and possesses within itself the perimeters and powers of the entire universe, indeed of reality itself.”2, There are many different ways that Elders and traditional teachers have expressed the four directions: the four teachings, the four winds, the four cardinal directions, and many other relationships that can be expressed in sets of four. [2] J. Sanderson, The Cree Way: Traditional paths to learning (masters’ thesis, University of Saskatchewan, 1991), 51. The knowledge vested in elders should be honoured and respected. Building from these understandings, Indigenous knowledge embraced by Medicine Wheels can be defined as wholeness, interrelationships, interconnections, and balance/respect. Knowledge of the learning was illustrated by the students in the school when they applied the learning in any situation, such as when a child made a connection between the concept of greed and a traditional Nanaboozhoo story. Click on subscribe to check our latest bulletins. The moon is represented by the west or the blackness of night. A ring of teaching is created by considering a part of the teaching from each of the four directions. [11] G. Cajete, Look To The Mountain: An ecology of Indigenous education (Asheville, NC: Kivaki Press, 1994). The earth is the sacred home of the people and is the giver of the essentials of life. The Medicine Wheel is both a tool and a guide that was given to us by the Creator and used by Indian people for many things, including healing and wellness. The eastern section represents the beginning of life, birth and early childhood. It is a time of learning and represents the mental development of self. “Just like a mirror can be used to see things not normally visible (e.g. Indigenous knowledge is epistemological, in that each nation culturally determines for itself how it knows what it knows. Finally, the northern section of the wheel represents elders, grandparents and death. Be among the first to get digital access to new, authentic, Indigenous educational material to bring right into your home or classroom. The white symbolizes the hair of the elders and their years of learning. Except where otherwise noted, all content on dev.edcan.ca is licensed under a non-exclusive Creative Commons Attribution Non-Commercial No Derivatives License. The program involved a synthesis of Anishinaabe worldview, spirituality and traditional education philosophy, incorporating these components into an Anishinaabe culture-based school program for Junior Kindergarten to Grade 12. According to the Royal Alberta Museum, "a medicine wheel consists of at least two of the following three traits: (1) a central stone cairn, (2) one or more concentric stone circles, and/or (3) two or more stone lines radiating outward from a central point. This was an important part of nurturing the fire within as children we… Another important concept in regards to the Medicine Wheel is that First Nation knowledge is originated through family. The white, or northern, quadrant is frequently associated with the bear, a brother to people. These teachings vary by tribal custom and by the elders relating their own heritage and stories. The four elements, fire, earth, water and wind, can be taught through the medicine wheel. The wolf spirit animal is intelligent, has strong instincts and demonstrates freedom as an essential way of life. The sun rises in the east, and so it is represented in the yellow section, the beginning of the medicine wheel. Pointing first with her right arm, she tells the students that this is east. L’accent est mis sur ses applications en éducation par le biais de la pédagogie et de la transmission des enseignements des roues de médecine. An excellent resource on such traditions is “Four Directions Teachings” (www. It is a time of reflection, rest and increased understanding of the aspects of the spiritual world. White symbolizes the winter season when there is death and completion of the life cycle. The emotional aspect of the student was addressed by an emphasis on healing and connecting the heart with the head through weekly healing circles, individual counselling, and following the seven sacred teachings (core values often referred to as the seven grandfather teachings). You can too. These teachings, protocols, and wisdom vary from tribe to tribe, elder to elder, person to person. The books published all carry powerful, moral and cultural lessons easy for children to understand and learn from. Without Spirit, and personal commitment, it is unlikely that any teaching or any strategy, from whichever direction, will help people attain and maintain balance. Then, the teacher can indicate that south is behind her, directly opposite of north. The physical aspect of the student was actualized by interacting with the land through traditional practices such as maple syrup making, wild rice picking and fasting (a traditional ceremony of personal physical sacrifice to gain spiritual enlightenment). Cree Medicine Wheel Teachings. The medicinal plants associated with the medicine wheel are all plants that can be used to smudge. There are seven common teachings associated with the medicine wheel in many First Nations’ cultures. A stone circle built by North American Indians, believed to have religious, astronomical, territorial, or calendrical significance; Medicine wheels, or sacred hoops, were constructed by laying stones in a particular pattern on the ground. 92 pages. The final drawing resembles a compass for human understanding. The theme of sacred-ness is at the heart of all Medicine Wheel teachings used by Aboriginal peoples in North America. The four colour quadrants on the medicine wheel can represent the four … [1] The term “Medicine Wheel” was established when stone constructions in the shape of wheels were found on Medicine Mountain. Pitawanakwat recalls that as a child, her father would ask at the end of the day, “My daughter, how is your fire burning?” In recalling the events of the day, she would reflect on whether she had been offensive to anyone, or whether or not she had been offended. Birgitt was an avid student of medicine wheel teachings. Join The Network. The medicine wheel is an important metaphor We start the wheel with yellow the same way we start the seasons with spring when life is renewed; it is a time of planting and birth. Medicine Wheel Teachings “The traditions give the guidance and support that is necessary for on-going healing and change. Jones, Coggins, Mehl-Madrona and Nabigon all work from the stance of the Medicine Wheel as a sacred source of healing. Wholeness requires that we look in entireties; that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts, yet the parts cannot be fully seen until the shape of the whole can be seen. There are no firm rules about what animals are associated with the medicine wheel or in which quadrant they must be shown. The circle acknowledges the connectedness of everything in life, such as the four seasons, the four stages of life and the four winds, and it represents the continuous cycle and relationship of the seen and unseen, the physical and spiritual, birth and death, and the daily sunrise and sunset. The medicine wheel can be found in many native cultures around the world. 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