Starting today is Truth and Reconciliation Week here in Canada, when we pause to reflect on the history of residential schools and the impact they had on indigenous communities. The week culminates in Orange Shirt Day on Friday, where we specifically remember the children lost at residential schools.
Monday, September 26, 2022
The Seven Grandfather Teachings
But there's much more to truth and reconciliation than residential schools. We can learn a lot from indigenous communities and the orange-painted crosswalk in downtown Meaford reflects this, for it refers to the seven grandfather teachings. This photo shows the crosswalk when it was first painted orange.
They later returned and repainted things properly to show 7 feathers, representing the seven grandfather teachings.
The seven grandfather teachings are part of the Anishinaabe culture, that group of indigenous tribes who surrounded the Great Lakes, from Quebec to Minnesota and from Ohio almost to Hudson Bay. Importantly, they seem to me to reflect the beliefs of any modern church in our culture. The seven teachings are:
J would be happy to try and live by these principles myself, they seem usefully simpler than the theology that I have learned and continue to hear at church. So as I said, though Orange Shirt Day and the lost children will be the focus for many this week, there is much more to gain from reconciliation as we learn more of indigenous culture.