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The Seven Sacred Laws - As Shared by Elder Nii Gaani Aki Inini (Dr. Dave Courchene), Anishinaabe Nation, Eagle Clan
In the Anishinaabe world, and others, the Seven Sacred Laws have acted as the foundation of our way of life and connection to the Spirit and the land.
The Seven Sacred Laws are represented by seven animals that ensure our close relationship with Nature. Each animal offers a special gift and understanding of how we as people should live our lives on Mother Earth.
We are living in a time that we need a vision of hope based on values and teachings that can set the foundation for a change of heart. The Seven Sacred Laws are the foundation we are to live by. These Laws emanate from having the spirit of kindness.
It is the spirit of these seven animals that we call upon to teach and remind us of the Seven Sacred Laws, beginning with the law of Respect – Represented by the Buffalo.
Respect is to be a giving and sharing people, first and foremost, following the example of the buffalo who gave its whole being for the life of the people.
Love – Represented by the Eagle – is about loving the Great Spirit, loving the land, loving ourselves in the way we were created, and loving each other in the highest way, as the eagle brings vision that is always based on love. The essence of love is understanding, with empathy and compassion. Through the unconditional love of the Great Spirit, we have all been given the ability to have vision, and to make our visions come true.
Courage – Represented by the Bear – is living from the heart, and having the courage to be ourselves. It takes courage to do the right thing for the sake of the children, the way a mother bear would die before seeing harm come to her cub.
Honesty – Represented by the Sabé or Bigfoot – is being honest with ourselves, speaking and living our truth from the heart. Honesty is refusing to lie or engage in gossip about others. Honesty is being true to our words. Honesty is never judging or condemning others, but to speak well of others, honouring their uniqueness within the human family.
Wisdom – Represented by the Beaver – is about using the gift the Great Spirit gave each of us to serve, and to build a strong family, community and Nation. Our gifts do not belong to us as individuals, but belong to all the people, to serve the good of the Nation. If the beaver did not use his gift to build, his teeth would grow long, and he would die. Similarly, if we do not use our gifts in a good way for the benefit of the Earth and the brothers and sisters of our nations, we too would die spiritually.
Humility – Represented by the Wolf – is about showing gratitude for life received, never overstepping the natural laws of Mother Earth. Humility is to know that not one of us is ever above or below our fellow human beings. We are all equal in the eyes of the Great Spirit. There is so much we can learn from the wolf. The teaching of humility is especially important for the leaders of our Nations.
The teaching of Truth is represented by the Turtle. Our motherland is referred to as Turtle Island. To know and live truth is to walk and live all the Seven Sacred Laws. Living truth means living in the spirit of Respect, Love, Courage, Honesty, Wisdom, Humility and Truth. It is when we live truth that we will know peace and find the truth of our humanity. Our spiritual constitution is written on the turtle. The turtle lives in the water and on the land to remind the whole world of the truth we should be living by.
The animals that represent the seven sacred laws ensure that we have a close relationship with the land – an alliance with nature. The animal world are our brothers. They live with each other in harmony and bring us teachings.
When one is able to walk the spirit of these Seven Sacred Laws is when one becomes truly free, it is then that one receives the full support of the universe, and the forces of the Earth itself.
Yesterday, while hundreds gathered at the Turtle Lodge to honour Elder Dr Dave Courchene and his Vision of Turtle Lodge, Governor General Mary Simon hosted a simultaneous event in his honour at Rideau Hall. Listen to her remarks here.
Magnus Walker talks about his life journey of following his passion and going with his gut feeling which eventually led him to turning his dreams into his reality. TEDxUCLA
Howard Zinn at MIT 2005 - The Myth of American Exceptionalism
Howard Zinn (1922-2010) offers a talk at MIT titled “The Myth of American Exceptionalism,” on March 14, 2005. He is the inaugural lecturer in the series “Myths About America” organized by MIT’s Special Program for Urban and Regional Studies (SPURS), which is hosted at MIT’s Department of Urban Studies and Planning. He is introduced by Bish Sanyal, director of the SPURS/Hubert Humphrey Program.
Howard Zinn is renowned as the author of “A People’s History of the United States” (1980). Historian, playwright and self-described democratic socialist, Zinn was chair of the history and social sciences department at Superman College, and political science professor at Boston University.
Please visit the MIT Infinite History site here.
Trump Calls Howard Zinn's Work "Propaganda." Hear the Legendary Historian in His Own Words. Howard Zinn (1922-2010) was an American historian, playwright, and socialist thinker. He was chair of the history and social sciences department at Spelman College, and a political science professor at Boston University. Zinn wrote over 20 books, including his best-selling and influential A People's History of the United States.
We all have a common story. We are moving toward a related way of being.
The inaugural States of Change Learning Festival opens with award-winning author and thinker Tyson Yunkaporta. We're also joined by Angie Tangaere!
We’re accustomed to a certain way of thinking. We want the world to be simple, but we talk about it in complicated ways. Indigenous thinking is different. It knows the world is complex and finds deep ways to communicate this knowledge through pictures, carving, stories. What happens if we bring an Indigenous perspective to the big picture - to history, education, money, power? Can we, in fact, have proper concepts of sustainable life without Indigenous knowledge?
Tyson Yunkaporta is an academic, an arts critic, and a researcher who is a member of the Apalech Clan in far north Queensland. He carves traditional tools and weapons and also works as a senior lecturer in Indigenous Knowledges at Deakin University in Melbourne. He lives in Melbourne.
Filmmaker David MacDougal was interviewed by Ruth Ann Barrett of EarthSayers.tv at the What is Documentary? conference held at the University of Oregon in Portland, April 24-26, 2014. He talks about process, doing everything yourself, and the structure of documentary filmmaking ending with comments on What is Documentary?
David is an ethnographic filmmaker and writer on visual anthropology and documentary cinema. Born in the USA of American and Canadian parents, he has lived in Australia since 1975. He was educated at Harvard University and the University of California at Los Angeles. His first film His latest film, Gandhi's Children (2008), concerns a shelter for homeless children in New Delhi. MacDougall is the author of Transcultural Cinema (Princeton University Press, 1998) and The Corporeal Image: Film, Ethnography, and the Senses (Princeton, 2006). For a complete list of his work visit here inlcuding his films with Judith MacDougall and a number of films on indigenous communities in Australia, including Goodbye Old Man (1977), Takeover (1980), Stockman's Strategy (1984) and Link-Up Diary (1987). A second interview about his films on the children attending the Doon School in India is available here on EarthSayers.tv
Published on Apr 30, 2014
Luisah Teish will speak at The Natural Way about learning to love the Earth, our Mother, and will share her personal stories of growing up in the South and her relationship to the land. She will recount and examine cultural myths that have mis-educated us into alienation from Our Mother Earth.
Renee Lertzman, Ph.D. is a researcher, writer and communications consultant, focusing specifically on the psychological dimensions of sustainability. She gave a lecture to the Social Sustainability Colloquium at Portland State University (PSU), Portland, Oregon on February 4, 2010 on the topic, The Myth of Apathy or Why People Don't Seem to Care About Sustainability.
Renee has been involved in the sustainability sector for two decades. She has consulted and worked with numerous organizations, and her research has received recognition for its innovation and insight. She holds a master's degree in Communication Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a doctoral degree from the Cardiff School of Social Sciences at Cardiff University, UK, where she trained and developed psychosocial research methodologies applied to sustainability. Her work has been featured in the New York Times "Dot Earth," KBOO Radio, and The Ecologist. More about Renee on her Website.
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