Medicine Wheel Direction – Centre – Braiding Indigenous and Western Approaches for Collecting Indigenous Stories
The centre of the medicine wheel is the self, the spirit, the fire. This speaks to the responsibility towards oneself, to look after the spirit or to feed that inner fire. According to Petahtegoose (personal communication, 2018), “as we come to know ourselves and what our spiritual views are, you are challenging yourself and coming to better understand yourself as how to be spiritual, and what is it I can come to appreciate about myself.” Petahtegoose encourages people to sit with their elders, the teachers, so they can learn from them. In a traditional way of life, knowledge is passed from one generation to another through oral teachings.
This chapter is about braiding Indigenous and Western approaches and one’s responsibility to retell the story of colonial history. This brings the open textbook back full circle to the beginning of the text where we looked at the gathering of Indigenous stories and their historical significance within the Greater Sudbury area. Petahtegoose (2018) believes:
“… that it is right to come together on this journey and have a greater understanding about one another’s cultures, and are open to those different cultures, we will be able to learn and grow from one another and the teachings will carry on. We need to sit and let our minds open, let our spirit open and look within ourselves to see where we are and take a look at where we are living. The teachings tell us that we need to reach out to the people of the world, and open the doors to them so that they will come in and visit.”
Whether you are Indigenous or non-Indigenous, this part of the textbook allows you look to the future and tell another story about the relationship between Indigenous/non-Indigenous people of this territory. This provides the foundation for Indigenous/non-Indigenous people to understand the cultural teachings, healing practices and ways of knowing and being thereby creating space for reconciliation to occur.
When you have worked through the material in this chapter, you will be able to do the following:
- Identify locations to explore in person and electronically to further your learning.
- Reflect upon what you now know about Indigenous Peoples and how they shaped the history of your area.
- Describe the impact of treaties in Indigenous/non-Indigenous relationships.
- Explain the importance of allyship.
- Describe the concept of respect.