EAST -- The sun rises in this direction & we come into this world through the Eastern doorway. The gifts of awareness, vision, inter-relationship, physical component of self & LAND are given here.
THE LAND, our Mother Earth, gives us many gifts and it is thanks to our Indigenous people, that we have things like: maple syrup, tools, beans, corn, cotton, tobacco, squash, potatoes & medicines like aspirin & iodine, tea, especially the historical cedar tea, to name but a few. This is where we must acknowledge that we have an INTER- RELATIONSHIP with the land and that we need to care for it in a good way, so as to pass it along to the next generations.
VISION, perhaps taken for granted at times, it allows us to see the beauty of our surroundings, including ART. Indigenous artists like Norval Morrisseau, Zacharius Kunuk & Daphne Odjig give the beauty of cultural awareness life through their creations. Inspired by the pictographs left by our ancestors, we hope to continue our story in this way.
Too often we forget about ourselves, but the Eastern doorway reminds us that this is where our lives began, therefore gratefulness ensues and our PHYSICAL component requires us to care for our bodies in a respectful way. We are, after all, never promised another tomorrow!
SOUTH -- the gift of time, understanding, the spiritual component of self, wholeness, teachings, stories & CEREMONY.
STORIES: they are told by Elders, and others, but they are also portrayed in a more modern way, like films and books. Indigenous culture is honored by people like Nathanial Arcand, K.D. Beckett & Adam Beach to name a few.
TIME & UNDERSTANDING, come to us in many ways, but as Dr. Leroy Little Bear explains to us, we are, all things and beings, a whole and are connected. Science explains, culture explains it, and we understand it.
You do not have to be Indigenous to be aware of, and learn from both CEREMONIES & TEACHINGS. Two things happen when you participate in these events : growth and respect for the spirituality of these people, and also for yourself. The world views of Indigenous people are the foundation on which we all stand as a country, so why not learn and honor their ways to make yours better? Aho!
NORTH -- the gift of movement, wisdom, balance, language, the mental component of self, culture & RESPECT
MOVEMENT comes to us all in different ways, just as the gifts of walking and dancing do. Culture is represented through dance, in many forms, like pow wows, round dances & and jig dances.
The gift of WISDOM, need not only be held by our Elders, but by everyone. The wisdom of knowing that the Indigenous world views, practices, language and way of life, help shape the modern world. The modern world that is on Native Land must be RESPECTED. O' Canada!
All too often people succumb to weakness because their MENTAL health is not up to par. That does not mean that having a problem makes you weak, but rather ignoring it and not caring for ourselves does. The mind is a powerful tool, take care of it, be well!
WEST -- the gift of reason, knowledge, heart/head, inter-connectedness & the emotional component of self.
Elders are the keepers of KNOWLEDGE, they are an essential role to the community. They hold traditions, medicine teachings and stories. Even politicians carry knowledge, like Elijah Harper. His knowledge was used in a good way to bring attention to the people's grievances. These people help us to understand REASON and the ways of their people. KNOWLEDGE gives us kindness!
Music allows our hearts and minds to connected our emotional health. just as we are all connected to one another and our surroundings. We are blessed with the song of voice, drum and flute in our culture. Indigenous ways, help us to reason with ourselves and others in a good way.
The Western doorway, is the last one we get to go through as we cross over into the spiritual world. We learn that forgiveness, happiness and gratitude are the best life and for that we say Miigwech.