Seven Grandfather Teachings

Truth and Reconciliation Trail | Marker 2

You’re now invited to explore the Seven Grandfather Teachings of the Anishinaabe. These teachings help us all to live in a good way. Carry these teachings with you on your journey of uncovering Truth throughout the trail.

About the teachings

“Ojibway tradition tells us that there were Seven Grandfathers who were given the responsibility by the Creator to watch over the Earth’s people. They were powerful spirits” (Benton-Banai, 64).

The Seven Grandfathers shared their seven gifts with all of creation represented by a boy and an otter.

The Seven Gifts from the Grandfathers are:

  1. To cherish knowledge is to know WISDOM.
  2. To know LOVE is to know peace.
  3. To honour all of Creation is to have RESPECT.
  4. To face the foe with integrity is to be BRAVE.
  5. When we are HONEST, we have integrity.
  6. HUMILITY is to know yourself as the sacred part of the creation.
  7. TRUTH is to know all of these things.

The Seven Grandfather Teachings can be taught through the observations of our relatives and teachers, the animals.

The teacher of Wisdom is the Beaver. The Beaver has the wisdom of foresight through careful planning and building that protects and sustains the family while honouring and preserving the natural environment.

The teacher of Love is the Eagle. The Eagle fly’s closest to Creator and brings the prayers of the People to him/her. The Eagle honours and protects life because of his/her faith in all of Creation.

The teacher of Respect is the Buffalo. The Buffalo sustains and provides through every piece of his/her being. Through the sacrifice of life to sustain life, the Buffalo reminds us that we are all part of Creation, with no being greater or less than.

The teacher of Bravery is the Bear. The Bear protects her young with ferocity and teaches her young through discipline and play. The Bear’s bravery is shown through honouring the needs of future generations over personal wants and needs.

The teacher(s) of Honesty are Sabe (Saw-beh) and Raven. Sabe walks and Raven flies throughout Creation seeking not the teachings or beauty of other beings but rather honouring the gifts and teachings they have been given.

The teacher of Humility is the Wolf. The wolf knows his/her place within the pack and therefore within Creation and honours their role without ego, prejudice or jealousy and as part of all of Creation.

The teacher of Truth is the Turtle. The turtle carries all of life’s teachings upon their back including those of Creation. The turtle honours life through his/her slow and meticulous movements showing those that watch that life is not about the destination, but rather about the journey.

The Truth and Reconciliation Trail: Trail Marker 2

Gathering truth


Reflecting on the Seven Grandfather Teachings, consider the gifts that each animal offers so that you can live in a good way.

Pay attention to the animals you encounter in nature. What messages do they have for you? How do the animals you encounter teach you how to live in a good way?


Benton-Banai, E. (1988). The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway. Indian Country Communications Inc.

Continue your journey through the trail markers

The Truth and Reconciliation Trail: Trail Marker 3

Trail marker 3 | Indigenous People of this land: Past, present and future

Since time immemorial, Indigenous Peoples have inhabited the land that is beneath your feet. What was once home to the Wendat Nation has become the traditional territory of the Anishinaabeg. The Anishinaabeg include the Odawa, Ojibwe, and Pottawatomi, collectively known as the Three Fires Confederacy. This region is now home to diverse groups of Indigenous Peoples, including First Nations, Métis and Inuit. 

To learn about Indigenous People of the Simcoe County Region of today, we’ll braid together the past, present, and future.  

What to learn more about Indigenization at Georgian?

An Indigenous drum, eagle feather and medicine wheel

Contact information

Sandi Pallister-Gougeon
Academic Program and Support Officer
Indigenous Studies/Services

Email Sandi