Woodland Women Wishers Clue #3
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- ROCK PAINTING ROCK ON: A perfect stone The Woodland Women Wishers were seeking,
the sun was shining, and a replica teepee was visible, as they were strolling
Along the banks of the meandering Saugeen River
Which winds through Maxine’s farm, a team member,
An Indigenous theme was selected by team members,
And each chose their animal from the Teachings of the Seven Fathers.
Large and small rocks were turned over until perfect smooth stones were selected.
The paint party began after lunch but laughing and chatting continued to be enjoyed.
This venture reminded us that centuries ago, this land the Indigenous respected.
Now we can be caretakers of this prosperous land and we feel honoured.
We acknowledge this river is on “the traditional territories of the Petun, Odawa,
Anishinaabe and other Indigenous peoples who preceded them and came after.”1 (covenants of Saugeen Treaty 45 ½ 1836)
The origin of the Seven Grandfather’s Teachings, also called the Seven Sacred Teachings, dates back in Indigenous history. “According to the story, long ago, a messenger sent to see how the Neshnabék were living, discovered that the Neshnabék were living their life in a negative way, which impacted their thoughts, decisions, and actions.” 2 The members were living selfish, uncaring, and disrespectful lives. The messenger taught the seven Grandfathers Teachings to a child. The seven Grandfather Teachings were Love, Respect, Bravery, Truth, Honesty, Humility, and Wisdom.
The members chose to paint four out of the Seven Grandfather Teachings. Each animal represented a lesson which taught us how the animals impacted our surroundings, along with providing guidance towards our actions towards one another. The teachings must all be used together in a person’s daily living for a person, community, nation, to be caring and harmonious.
The photo, from left to right displays each member’s painted stone. Maxine Innes Holbrough painted the wolf representing Humility, Patsy Kelly painted the turtle representing Truth, Myrna Penney painted the bison representing Respect and Marg Mitchell painted the beaver representing Wisdom. The bear representing Courage, the bald eagle representing Love and the sabe representing Honesty were left unpainted.
A contact was made with our local elementary grade three schoolteacher, who welcomed the opportunity to engage with our Women Institute, whose project would enhance the students’ insight into the Seven Grandfather Teachings. On Indigenous Day, June 21st, our team was invited to speak to the class, in the outside teaching area, while the four painted rocks and three unpainted rocks were being hidden. The Grandfather Teachings were presented through the tactile exercise of putting The Medicine Wheel together. The Medicine Wheel places the Grandfather Teachings into four seasons. The four seasons each contain a sacred medicine which are tobacco, cedar, sage and sweet grass. The main and helper animal or bird and an age group complete each quarter of the Medicine Wheel.
The students eagerly participated in placing the Seven Grandfather Teachings, the main animal or bird and their helper, the sacred medicine, and designated age group into the correct seasons. Excited students then went on the hunt for the Seven Grandfather Teaching Rocks. The three unpainted rocks will be painted at school. Photos were made of the smiling faces of special rocks locators. The student’s individual thank you notes, to the Woodland Women Wishers, were received by email. Alyssa, a grade three student wrote, “I learned about the Grandfathers Teachings. and I like that you thought of us and did the rock hunt and let Mrs. Moore have the rocks.”
- Submission part of the WISH challenge for WI's 125 anniversary
- Date of Publication
- Jun 2022
- Geographic Coverage
Latitude: 44.50009 Longitude: -81.24974
- Maxine Innes
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- Copyright Holder Contact Information
- Federated Women's Institutes of Ontariofwio@fwio.on.ca
552 Ridge Road
Stoney Creek, ON L8J 2Y6