Shed the Cold, Dehumanizing Blue, Build & Flex the Tribal Red

Microsoft PowerPoint - Tribal Teachings vs. Colonist Teachings [

You can learn more about the Anishinaabe 7 Grandfathers’ Teachings here.  Below are short & beautiful descriptions of each (pg.16):

Share courage, not aggression. Share your thoughts and feelings with people who support living good lives. Believe in your love and kind feelings for others. Believe that the work you put into being kind and loving, helps you live a good life.

Share kind thoughts or feelings to help you live a good life. Be kind and honest so others might choose to be kind and honest in return. Kind honesty encourages others to consider your words and friendship.


Be good to all living things, because each has a unique spirit within. Each of us carry special gifts that will help us
live good lives. Know that each of us can make mistakes, and that each of us can learn from mistakes. Each of us can laugh to feel good about life, without hurting others.
Share kindness. Living a good life helps us to care for others, and helps us to feel cared for by others. It is normal to disagree with people who we love, who we care for, or who we are kind to. It is not normal to feel fear, or pain from people who we love, who we care for, or who we are kind to.
Value others for the goodness they share.  Accept that each of us experience, and understand life differently. Remember that each of us is special. We should never ask or force people to be different for us.


Practice the Seven Grandfather Teachings for a good life. Remember the teachings were given for people to share with each other. Working to live a good life makes you a strong individual.


Share patience. Hold your words and listen before you speak. You might remember better words if you wait. If you are patient with your words you might learn something new before you share. Patience can help you to be safe.
Generosity (by Shea Sandy)
Generosity is vital for us and the web of life in which we live.  There will be times when others need your help and there will be times when you need help from others.  When everyone is as generous as they are able to be, it ensures the well-being and survival of all.  Some ways to show our generosity are by helping those in need, by always giving back to Earth when taking something or some Being, or generally sharing what ever you have with those around you – you could chop wood for elders, teach a skill you know, volunteering, etc.

The Seven Grandfathers are traditional teachings given by the Creator to the Ojibwe to teach them what is important so that they know how to live.  The Seven Grandfathers are traditional teachings on Love, Humility, Honesty, Courage, Wisdom, Generosity and Respect.  Each of the Grandfathers is a lesson that is viewed as a gift of knowledge for the learning of values and for living by these values.  Although each teaching represents a wealth of wisdom on its own, collectively they represent what was needed for community survival.  The Ojibwe were taught that the Seven Grandfathers could not be used in isolation.  To practice one without the other would amount to practicing the opposite of that teaching.  Therefore, to not love is to be fearful; to not be humble is to be egotistical; to not be honest is to be dishonest; to not be courageous is to be cowardly

Central to this philosophy, or worldview, is the emphasis on the larger perspective, the effects on others, the family, the community, the region and the universe, as the Ojibwe (and other Aboriginal peoples) believe that all beings are connected, like links in a chain.  A belief in the interdependence of all living things frames Aboriginal value systems.  Animals are no less important than humans, and plants are no less important than animals.  Water and wind, sun and moon and the changing of the seasons are all related to each other and to humans.  We are all part of one great whole.  As this awareness dictates a vision of the world as a whole, traditional Aboriginal thinking concludes that life forms maintain their health and balance through the focus on harmony as opposed to individual wants or needs.  The Seven Grandfathers were designed to achieve harmony.  Source


Details and descriptions may differ from tribe to tribe and Nation to Nation but the basic core values are the same.

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6 thoughts on “Shed the Cold, Dehumanizing Blue, Build & Flex the Tribal Red

  1. river says:

    I always thought it was the Seven Grandmothers teachings. I will continue to refer to them that way, but thank you for posting.

    • Feminist Rag says:

      Hello, thanks for reading. The Seven Grandfathers’ Teachings are from the Anishinaabe/Ojibwe Nation, there are many unique cultures within Turtle Island that all have their unique traditions/teachings; these can even vary within a single Nation from community to community.

  2. Zoongitigozi Noodin Kwe says:

    Chi Miigwech for your wonderful writing and posts!

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