A group of older men dressed in First Nations regalia stand together outside a tipi.
Seven grandfather teachings

The Seven Grandfather teachings are about what’s most important in life, and how to treat our fellow human beings, particularly children.

Shannen Koostachin's father Andrew spoke about the Cree people’s history and culture since she was little. She knew that her people and other indigenous people were living in Canada thousands of years before the English and French seized the indigenous people’s land.
   “He taught me to look up to the Seven Grandfathers. Love, Respect, Truth, Honesty, Humility, Bravery and Wisdom,” explained Shannen. The Seven Grandfathers is about what’s most important in life, and how to treat our fellow human beings, particularly children. The different characters are often represented by a special animal. Here’s a shortened version:


To love others unconditionally and cope with difficult times, you have to love yourself, gain knowledge and talk to others.


Respect all living things and find a balance between what you want and what Mother Earth can give. Do what you can to make a difference.


Always speak the truth and be kind and compassionate towards others. Always be yourself, love and respect your true nature.


Always be honest with yourself and with others, and walk through life with integrity, valuing the efforts of yourself and those around you.


Know that you are a sacred part of creation. Live selflessly, not selfishly, carry pride in your people and praise the accomplishments of all.


Believe in yourself and your convictions. Find your inner strength so you can face your fears and be a better person, for a better family and community.


The teaching of wisdom will allow you to use your inherited gifts wisely and to recognize your differences and those of others in a kind and respectful way. Wisdom nurtures your ability to listen with clarity and a sound mind so this teaching will focus on how to listen.

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