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Community: Stewardship

Relationship with the Land (Mother Earth- Shkagamik-kwe) The Anishinaabek understand the importance of caring for Mother Earth. As they look after her in a good and proper way, she looks after them. When they take from her only what they need and live in harmony with her, they are provided for. The way they live ensures that their children and their children’s children, for the next seven generations, will understand their relationship with Mother Earth and have all that they need. They share Mother Earth with others, plants and animals. Together they strive for balance and harmony in these relationships. They acknowledge the reciprocal nature between humans, animals, and plants and that each is dependent on the other for survival. The Anishinaabek focus on teaching behaviours to their children that are beneficial to all. The Anishinaabe people have a special connection to Mother Earth. They believe that life comes from the Earth and all knowledge comes from Mother Earth. This connection is exemplified in their language. In Anishinaabemowin, the word for knowledge (a-ki-kendaaso-win) demonstrates the mind-heart-spirit connection: a - in the realm of living things a + ki - the Earth, living things inclusive kendaaso – knowing win – understanding with your mind

Cultural Concepts and Teachings


Community: Stewardship

The word for wisdom (a-nibawaakaa-win) means: a - in the realm of living things nibawaakaa - being honourable and modeling what is right win - understanding with your mind The term for “where a person lives” (ode-nang) means “Where the heart is”: ode - means heart nang - refers to their settlement or community The Anishinaabe people are connected to the land where all of the ancestors are buried. This is a big part of identity. An important Anishinaabe parenting practice involves returning the placenta, umbilical cord and belly button to the Earth in the child’s community. This grounds the child to their home and ensures that they are connected to their traditional lands and community. From infancy, the child experiences Mother Nature from his/her infant swing hung from the branches of a tree that gently sways in the wind. The child may be propped up in the cradle board near family members or carried on their back while out on the land. This instils the practice of observation and being “in the moment” in a relaxed state; of looking to the natural world for examples of how to live in harmony with everything around and to respect Mother Earth and the natural elements (earth, wind, fire and water), and flora and fauna. Respect for Resources (Food, Animals, Water, Minerals) The concept that the environment provides everything people need for survival and that everything is used and nothing is wasted Cultural Concepts and Teachings


Community: Stewardship

is important. Animals demonstrate the special relationship with nature and can teach human beings about observation and conversation skills and. Before any animal life is taken, the gift of their life is acknowledged with tobacco. For example, every part of the buffalo (or other animal) is used. Historically, Aboriginal people made tools from the bones and hide. Today, to ensure all parts of the animal are utilized, Aboriginal people will often create works of art. Birch bark baskets, clay pots, etc. are made from the resources of the land. They may be decorated and painted using paint made from the dye of berries. Clothing can be made from furs and hides and food can be gathered, prepared, preserved and stored for winter. The skills needed to do this have been passed down from generation to generation (From Inside the Circle – Environmental Interaction, Subtask 4).

Cultural Concepts and Teachings


RelationshipwiththeLand  
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