Seven Grandfather Teachings

"The Plains Medicine Wheel teachings include the seven sacred ceremonies and the seven sacred teachings of White Buffalo Calf Woman. These...were subsequently adopted by the Ojibwa, Chippewa, Potowatami (Anishinaabe) people and called the "Seven Grandfather teachings"; they changed the emphasis from female to a male perspective as part of their cultural world view."

"The Creator gave seven Grandfathers, who were very powerful spirits, the responsibility to watch over the people. The Grandfathers saw that people were living a hard life. They sent their helper to spend time amongst the people and find a person who could be taught how to live in harmony with Creation. Their helper went to the four directions to find a person worthy enough to bring to the Grandfathers.

While the boy was traveling with Otter they were visited seven times by spirits who told them about the gifts. Here is what they said.

To cherish knowledge is to know wisdom;
To know love is to know peace;
To honour all of Creation is to have respect;
Bravery is to face the foe with integrity;
Honesty in facing a situation is to be brave;
Humility is to know your self as a sacred part of Creation;
Truth is to know all of these things.

Otter returned to his friend, who, because of all the time spent in the spirit world, was now an old man. The Old Man gathered all the people around and told them of his journey to the Seven Grandfathers' lodge. He explained how to use the gifts. He explained that the opposite of any of the gifts would lead to ruin. He gave them the understanding of opposites. It was now up to the people to follow the path laid out before them. The Old Man gave them all they needed for the development of the spiritual side of life."
From the "Mishomis Book: Voice of the Ojibway"

There are many pages devoted to the Seven Grandfather Teachers also known as Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers, Seven Teachings or Seven Grandfathers all teaching about how man should conduct himself toward others.

Seven Grandfathers Teachings - Character Development
This twenty-minute video is available to us through COAC ( If you haven't already created an account for yourself, you can do so with your school email address. McIntyre also sells a poster that shows the symbols of each of the seven teachings (virtues).


Seven Sacred Teachings
This picture book by David Bouchard and Dr. Joseph Martin with paintings by Kristy Cameron features White White Buffalo Calf Woman. The Seven Grandfather teachings are said to have been derived from the seven sacred teachings of White Buffalo Calf Woman of the Plains Cree.
This link is to a pdf version of the picture book. It is written in both English and Ojibwe.


Elder Elize Hartley talks about the 7 grandfather teachings of the Metis
"Aboriginal Students Health Services Elder in Residence (McMaster University) Elize Hartley talks about various Metis medicines and cultural practices. This episode looks at the 7 grandfather teachings of the Metis."

Seven Grandfather Teachings from Sudbury Catholic Schools
"We, at Sudbury Catholic Schools, strive to walk the path of the Seven Grandfather Teachings."
This is the vision statement from SCS in Ontario. I included this link because I love their mural:

7 2.jpg

The Gifts of the Seven Grandfathers - from Noongwa e-Anishinaabemjig
"Many Anishinaabeg view the Seven Grandfather Teachings as traditional knowledge that collectively represents what is needed for community survival. The origin of the teachings is unknown but elders confirm these are important verbs that have long been part of the language. These fundamentals became widely known as the "Seven Grandfathers" when the Anishinaabeg slowly began to control their own education during and after the American Indian Movement. As elders began to retell stories they heard as children they connected the present to a past when these values were both a part of ceremonies and everyday life. Regardless of how they came to be used together, when they now appear in a circle they symbolize much of what defines Minobimaadizi (Living Well)."

7 Grandfathers' Teachings from Anishinaabemdaa (the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians)
This page includes a sound file of the pronunciation of each of the seven teachings in Anishinaabemdaa.


Seven Grandfather Teachings from I am a Kind Man
"This website embraces the Seven Grandfather Teachings which show us how to live in harmony with Creation through wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility and truth.
We are Aboriginal men from across Ontario who are very concerned about the problem of men's violence and abuse against women in Aboriginal communities."