Catholic Faith Interwoven with Indigenous Spirituality
Pope Francis' Laudato Si
One of the many marvellous things about Pope Francis' encyclical on the environment, "Laudato Si', on Care for Our Common Home," is that it is written to all of mankind. In his address, Pope Francis recognizes the relationship with the First Nations worldview that everything is connected. All creatures, including human beings are all linked together to make up systems. He states, “in this sense, it is essential to show special care for Indigenous communities and their cultural traditions. They are not merely one minority among others, but should be the principal dialogue partners, especially when large projects affecting their land are proposed. For them, land is not a commodity but rather a gift from God and from their ancestors who rest there, a sacred space with which they need to interact if they are to maintain their identity and values (146)." As we move forward in Truth and Reconciliation, Pope Francis encourages us to come together for our Mother Earth to build a better home for all our future generations.
(source: Red Deer Catholic Regional School)
Integrating the Fruits of the Spirit with the Seven Grandfather Teachings
Fruits of the Spirit
Habits or character traits found in a person who is trying to live like Jesus under the guidance of the Holy Spirit.
Fruits of the Spirit
Seven Grandfather Teachings
"The Seven Sacred Teachings are at the foundation of North American Indigenous belief. These teachings honor spiritual law and bring us back to our connection to the land—to nature. The Seven Sacred Teachings are represented by seven animals. Each animal offers a special gift and understanding of how we as people should live our lives on Mother Earth."
--Dave Courchene/ Neeghani Aki Innini (Leading Earth Man, source: Red Deer Catholic Regional School) )
<-- "Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers" - scroll down to the "Seven Teachings" (image shown) for an interactive page and hover over each animal to read more about the corresponding teaching.
Lessons From the Earth Online Teaching Resource
Check out the following resource kit to use in the classroom that directly links to the Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations, the Catholic Virtues and the 7 Sacred Grandfather Teachings of the Anishinaabek.
Lessons From the Earth: Storytelling, Art & Indigenous Knowledge Teacher Resource Kit funded by the Dufferin-Peel Catholic District School Board
“Lessons From the Earth is a resource guide for educators that provides a practical application of Indigenous Knowledge into the classroom. The focus of learning is grounded in a traditional Anishinaabe story, Jiig Nong Aadsookan, The Fisher Story. Included are sample lessons and video modules that support the traditional teachings embedded within the story. Lessons From the Earth is a provocation for student inquiry into topics such as the environment, First Peoples of Canada, Science, Social Studies, as well as important concepts such as love, respect and balance.” Jodie Williams
Website Links - - click on the following images (Primary, Junior, or Intermediate)
Led by Jodie Williams, Co-chair First Nations, Métis & Inuit Education Association of Ontario along with The Provincial Subject Association for teachers of First Nations, Métis & Inuit Studies and Native Languages, this resource contains direct links to the Ontario Catholic Graduate Expectations, the Catholic Virtues as well as the 7 Sacred Grandfather Teachings of the Anishinaabek.
Students will hear The Fisher Story narrated by Isaac Murdoch, Fish Clan, Serpent River First Nation and will deepen their understanding as they enjoy illustrations by Christi Belcourt, Métis Nation.
While there are numerous themes and big ideas throughout the story, the resources provided focus on the seven listed below. With each big idea, you will find an explanation, supporting video and sample lesson plans,
Zhawenjige: Walking With A Good Heart
Dodem: The Clan System
Maawanji’idiwag: Working Together in a Good Way
Omdendum: Hope For the Future
Each lesson provides teachers with an Overview, suggestions for Assessment, Minds On Activity, Action and Consolidation activities. These free Resource Kits are available online at Project H.O.M.E. (Helping Our Mother Earth) under the Education Resource Kit tab or you can download these free resources from iBooks directly onto your iPad, iPhone and MacBook. It is evident that this resource was a passion project and special recognition must be given to all those that contributed in the development and writing of these resources.
Jerry Otowadjiwan, 4th Degree Mide, Wikwemikong Unceded Indian Reserve
Lorraine Liberty, 1st Degree Mide, Nipissing First Nation
Isaac Murdoch, Traditional Teacher, Serpent River First Nation
Ray John Jr., Traditional Teacher, Oneida Nation
Mary Lou Smoke, Anishinaabe, Batchewana First Nation
MaryAnn Naokwegijig Corbiere, Assistant Professor, Department of Indigenous Studies
Christi Belcourt, Artist, Métis Nation
Nancy Rowe, Community Consultant, Mississaugas of New Credit First Nation
Wesli Day, Videographer, Serpent River First Nation
Dan Reidy, Academic Coordinator DPCDSB
Geordie Barnett, Academic Consultant DPCDSB
Jodie Williams, Department Head, St. Thomas Aquinas CSS
Kelly Crawford, FNMI Education Consultant, M’Chigeeng First Nation
The Medicine Wheel
Cecil Isaac's 2020 Presentation on the Medicine Wheel