Ojibway people were lured by the fur trade and moved north and west where some became known as the Plains Ojibwa or Oji-Cree. They believed that living beings were created with a spirit separate from the physical body. They had a clan system based on the seven grandfather teachings. These teachings are about wisdom, truth, honesty, respect, humility, courage, and love. The clan totem would be taken from a bird, animal, fish or reptile and children inherit their totem from their father. The bear totem is among one of the most important as it is the Bear Clan that is the protector of justice, guardian of traditions, keeps the history, is a decisions maker, and a healer. The bear symbolizes strength, confidence, and leadership.
In doing a little research, I learned that if a bear shows up in your life, it may mean that it is time to take care of your own needs. You may need healing spiritually, emotionally, or physically and the spirit of the bear will help direct your energy in a more focused way.
This is interesting to me as I have encountered a bear close up twice in my life. By close up, I mean right in front of me and yes that was a little worrisome. The first time I was working in the forest and had a bear charge me. We both stood our ground and in a way stared each other down. Then we just slowly backed away from each other. I have never experienced anything quite like that again but I will never forget it either. The second time was in the alley behind my home.
In reflecting as to what was happening in my life at these times I have realized both encounters happened around the time my grandmothers passed away. I am now curious if there is more meaning to this other than this is a time where I need strength and courage to carry on. In further reflection I can recall having dreams where a bear has chased me up a tree! I will have to investigate this further but for now I will assume that this meant I needed grounding and balance in my life at those times. It is also interesting to me at this time, that this course has inspired me to write about this at this time when I am still healing. I can see relationships and how everything in our lives is connected. Very cool and mind boggling at the same time.
The Seven Teachings are part of the First Nations Peoples lives, living on the Prairies here in Canada
Suicide on reserves
Alcoholism on reserves
Pike Lake Culture Daylocal artist: Solomon Colomb 2002
A look back to The Oka Crisis, 13 years ago.Part of my Winter Count
Pearl exclaims;"Can I help you with your homework"
The ulu knife, traditionally the handle is made from caribou antler or walrus ivory. The blade was made of slate, until metal was introduced during the Fur Trade.
Art from Baffin Island.