13 Moons 

Traditional Ecological Knowledge Systems, including those of the Anishinaabe, Haudenosaunee, and Cree, use the back of a turtle’s shell as a lunar calendar. There are 28 small plates around the edge of the turtle’s shell - one for each day in the lunar month. We can measure a lunar month in 28 days with the moon going around the earth in approximately 28 days. In one year (365 days), the moon goes around 13 times, giving us 13 lunar months with 28 days each. As well, there are 13 scutes or sections on the turtle’s back - one for each of the moons in the year. Names for the full moons are used to track the seasons. 

Learning IN & FROM all of Creation

Continuum of Learning IN and FROM the Outdoors

There is diversity among Nations in naming and describing each moon. Just as there is diversity all across Turtle Island. The following 13 Moons on each of the buttons below connect with the Anishinaabe Perspective. Click on each moon below for ideas for the classroom to connect with learning IN and FROM the environment and all of Creation. 

5th Moon: May

Flower Moon 

Other Names: Hatching Moon (Cree), Berries Ripen Moon (Haida), Birth Moon (Tlingit)  

7th Moon: 

Raspberry Moon 

8th Moon: 

Thimbleberry Moon 

Other Names: Harvest Moon, Autumn Moon (Cree), Yellow Leaf Moon (Assiniboine), Corn Harvest Moon (Dakota)

Other Names: Ice Moon (Haida), Migrating Moon (Cree), Drying Rice Moon (Dakota)

13th Moon: December

Big Spirit Moon

Other Names: Frost Exploding Trees Moon (Cree), Moon of the Popping Trees (Oglala), Snow Moon (Haida)  

The Moon by Isaac Murdoch

Emailing 13 Moons on Turtles Back Info Book.pdf