7 Sacred Teachings for Kids
Enhancing literacy one kid at a time.
mâhti wîcihinân mîna kanawêyiminân
Êkwa kahkiyaw kotakak ayisiyiniwak
Let us pray/worship
Our father, Creator (compassionate spirit)
Please help us and take care of us
On this day
We, your children
And all other peoples
Here on earth
We thank you.
Welcome to our eBook which uses Culture and Activity to make learning fun and interesting.
Tansi, Anin, and Hello! Through this interactive eBook it is hoped to promote literacy and knowledge of our young First Nation, and non-First Nation, children. It hopes to bring families together daily to create family reading time.
How it works. The book is broken down into sections, for each of the 7 Teachings. In each section, the parents read the teaching to the child and the child reads the student written stories. After each of the readings there is an activity that is intended to engage the child, and in some way include the parents to share or participate.
Parents are our children’s first and biggest teachers. What better way can we teach, than by sharing the important teachings passed down through generations and actively engaging with our children. We hope that you learn from this book, and enjoy the teachings and activities within it.
What are the 7 Seven Sacred Teachings?
We all come from Mother Earth. The Seven Sacred Teachings remind us of the connections we hold with land, nature, and animals. These teachings differ from tribe to tribe, but the meanings remain the same. By following these teachings we are honoring our ancestors and we are honoring the land. The teachings help form our spiritual foundation. The traditional concepts of respect and sharing form the foundation of First Nations way of life, and are built into the Seven Sacred Teachings. Each teaching is represented by an animal, and it’s through this that we are reminded to respect the connection we have with Mother Earth and nature. By living life through these teachings you will live a balanced and peaceful life.
Table of Contents
Chapter 1 - Respect ~ The Buffalo
Chapter 2 - Courage ~ The Bear
Chapter 3 - Honesty ~ The Sasquatch
Chapter 4 - Love ~ The Eagle
Chapter 5 - Wisdom ~ The Beaver
Chapter 6 - Humility ~ The Wolf
Chapter 7 - Truth ~ The Turtle
Chapter 8 - Making Connections
The Buffalo, when its life was taken the First Nation people would use every part of its being, this showed the deep respect the buffalo had for the people and also the respect people had for the buffalo. No animal was more important to First Nations people than this animal. Its gift provided shelter, clothing and utensils for living. First Nations people believed to be true caretakers of the great herds, and developed a relationship with the Buffalo resulting in a relationship that was a true expression of respect.
Grab a paper and crayons to draw something you respect or what you think respect is. GO DRAW!
This is what one child feels respect is. How did yours turn out? Go show your mom or dad.
The buffalo represents respect in the 7 Sacred Teachings. They once roamed the lands in large numbers, but over time have become less and less. Respect this sacred creature and remember to always respect mother earth and water.
The Bear offers many teachings by the way it lives, but courage is the most important teaching it offers. Though gentle by nature, the ferociousness of a mother Bear when one of her cubs is approached is the true definition of courage. To overcome any fears that prevent us from living our true spirit, as human beings, the great challenge can be met with the same vigor and intensity as a mother Bear protecting her cub. Living of the heart and living of the spirit is difficult, but the Bear’s example shows us how to face any danger to achieve these goals.
Story Time: In what ways did you show courage today? Tell your mom or dad the story of being courageous.
Start your story like this...
Mom, today I feel I showed courage by ... (insert how you showed courage)
Grandpa, today I felt I was courageous by ... (insert how and why you felt courageous)
Bears are courageous animals and from a young age their mother instilled in them the ability to be courageous.
The Sasquatch walks among the people. It reminds them to be honest to the laws of the Creator and honest to each other. The highest honor that could be bestowed upon an individual was the saying “There walks an honest man. He can be trusted.” To be truly honest was to keep the promises one made to the Creator, to others and to oneself. The Elders would say, “Never try to be someone else; live true to your spirit, be honest to yourself and accept who you are the way the Creator made you.”
Sasquatch is on the Watch
Sasquatch is on the watch,
To catch me being honest.
By using my HEAD and my HEART and my HANDS,
I’ll show him my best.
Sasquatch is on the watch,
To see me use my HEAD.
By speaking kind words and telling the truth,
Shows him that I meant what I said.
Sasquatch is on the watch,
To see me use my HEART.
By sharing my feelings and loving the earth,
Shows him that I’m doing my part.
Sasquatch is on the watch,
To see me use my HANDS.
By taking what’s mine and sharing the rest,
Shows him that I do understand.
So Sasquatch, he can watch.
And catch me doing my best.
By using my HEAD and my HEART and my HANDS
To be honest so he can just rest!
Think and Share
What other words do you know Sasquatch by? How tall would you guess Sasquatch to be? Can you show mom or dad how you think Sasquatch would walk and act?
To feel true love is to know the Creator. Therefore, it is expected that one’s first love is to be the Great Spirit. He is considered the father of all children, and the giver of human life. Love given to the Great Spirit is expressed through love of oneself, and it is understood that if one cannot love oneself, it is impossible to love anyone else.
The Eagle was chosen by the Great Spirit to represent this teaching, as the Eagle can reach the highest out of all the creatures in bringing pure vision to the seeker. Love is the greatest and most powerful teaching, although it can be the most difficult to understand as it depends on acknowledging the importance of spirituality.
Think and Share
Love, it’s an emotion we all know.
What are some ways that you show love?
Who do you love?
Can we love the land, nature, and animals? How would you show love to these things?
Go grab your crayons and paper. Now draw out what love means to you. <3
The building of a community depends on gifts given to each member by the Creator and how these gifts are used. The Beaver’s example of using his sharp teeth for cutting trees and branches to build his dams and lodges expresses this teaching. If he did not use his teeth, the teeth would continue to grow until they became useless, and making it impossible for him to live. The same can be said for human beings. One’s spirit will grow weak if it is not fulfilling its use. When used properly however, these gifts contribute to the development of a peaceful and healthy community.
This activity needs your parents help...
TALK WITH ME! Parents take this time to share some of your wisdom, or knowledge to your child. It can be about anything you want. Help build your child’s wisdom.
Another great way of gaining wisdom is by our elders. Next time you see an elder and you have a couple minutes, ask them to tell you a story. They love telling stories.
It takes many people and experiences to make us wise. Don’t be scared to learn new things and ask about your culture, First Nation’s people have rich culture.
Recognizing and acknowledging that there is a higher power than man, the Creator, is to be truly humble. To express submission to the Creator through the acceptance that all beings are equal is understanding the spirit of humility. The expression of humility is understood through the consideration of others before ourselves. In this way, the Wolf became the teacher of this lesson. He bows his head in the presence of others out of respect and submission. When hunting the wolf will not take the food until it can be shared with the pack. His lack of arrogance and respect for his community is a hard lesson, but important to the First Nation way of life.
Wordle - Look over this wordle below and pick out the words that you can connect with the teaching of Humility. Write them down!
For added fun you can create your own wordle - YOU NEED YOUR PARENT’S HELP FOR THIS. Follow the link below and the instructions on the web page once there. Create a wordle about another Sacred Teaching or one of your own creation.
To know truth is to know and understand all of the Sacred Teachings given by the Creator- and to remain faithful to them. It is said that in the beginning, when the Creator made man and gave him the Seven Sacred Teachings, the Grandmother Turtle was present to ensure that the Teachings would never be lost or forgotten. On the back of a Turtle are the 13 moons, each representing the truth of one cycle of the Earth’s rotations around the sun. The 28 markings on her back represent the cycle of the moon and of a woman’s body. The shell of the Turtle represents the body as created by the Higher Power, and serves as a reminder of the Creator’s will and teachings.
Imagine you and your friend accidentally dropped your moms favorite glass fairy. Your friend just wants to throw the pieces away and act like it did not happen. Your parents come home and notice its gone, What do you do?
What if Stories?
What if you were feeding the horses and you accidentally let one out?
Would you tell your mom it was your fault? Or the horse’s fault?
Now your turn to create, just finish the story and question your parent on what the answer would be.
Then what would you do...
Now that we have learned, read, and interacted about the 7 Sacred Teachings how can we put them all to use?
Making further connections (you can visit these websites to gain more knowledge and information):
Rene Lerat, Sydney Lerat and Collette McArthur
Thank you to the organizations and supports that have made this book possible: University of Saskatchewan College of Nursing Regina Campus, Treaty 4 Education Alliance, and the Schools and children that assisted in story making. Special thanks to Rhonda Kayseas, Tony McNabb-Cote, and the White Bear School Powwow singers:
Drayden McArthur, Gage Joyea, Jeric Maxie, Jarrin Maxie, Tomas Lonethunder, Anthony Bellegarde, Leslie Lonethunder and Ayven Standingready.
We would like to thank and acknowledge the following people for their dedication and work in creating this eBook.
Dr. Lynn Jansen Undergraduate Student Research Assistantship Funding
Dr. Heather Exner-Pirot ~ University of Saskatchewan Community of Aboriginal Nursing (UCAN) Funding
Dr. Sandra Bassendowski ~ for her creativity and her knowledge on technology.
Heather Côte-Soop ~ for her guidance, input, and support.
Carleen Desautels ~ for her creativity and support
Joel Wiebe ~ Educational Technology and Project Developer
It is hoped that working together to make projects like this possible we will bridge the gap and unite all to create a future of endless possibilities.