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Crest of the Anishinaabe people.

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It is essential to know who the Anishinaabe are in order to understand their worldview and philosophical priorities. It’s a special way of seeing the world.

According to the Anishinaabe worldview, humans did not weave the web of life, we are merely a strand in it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. Therefore, kinship among all of creation, not the mastery of our relatives (other humans, animals, plants, etc.) is vital to harmonious living. To adhere to this philosophy is to be guided by the following values: Dabasendizowin (humility), Debwewin (truth) Zoongide’iwin (courage), Gwayakwaadiziwin (honesty), Manaaji’idiwin (respect), Zaagi’idiwin (love) and Nibwaakaawin (wisdom). Lastly, “seek guidance from Elders and qualified advisors” — Leech Lake Tribal College,

The fundamental essence of Anishinaabe life is unity, the oneness of all things.

Anishinaabe people believe that the wellness of the mind, body, spirit, and natural environment is an expression of the proper balance and harmony in the relationship of all things. Although Native American spiritual beliefs and practices can take the form of elaborate ceremonies, the basis for these ceremonies is expressed mainly in the interaction of everyday life. In Native American tradition, the Circle is a symbol of power, relation, peace, and unity. Each person stands at the centre of the circle and is identified by their heart. The circle serves as a reminder of the sacred relationship we share with all living beings in this world, and of our responsibility as a helper and contributor to the flow of the Circle of Life by living in harmony and balance with all our relations. In Native American culture, the term “Medicine” refers to “the essence of life or a inner power. (Portman and Garrett, 2006, p. 458)


Portman, T. A., & Garrett, M. T. (2006). Native american healing traditions. International Journal of Disability, Development & Education, 53(4), 453-469. Retrieved from EBSCOhost.

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