What is an Indigenous medicine wheel?

Bob Joseph

"The circle, being primary, influences how we as Aboriginal peoples view the world. In the process of how life evolves, how the natural world grows and works together, how all things are connected, and how all things move toward their destiny. Aboriginal peoples see and respond to the world in a circular fashion and are influenced by the examples of the circles of creation in our environment". [1]

Medicine Wheel

There isn’t a simple answer to the question as medicine wheels (sometimes called hoops) come in more than one form, and their significance and use is culture-specific. There is, however, one fundamental similarity besides the shape - medicine wheels represent the alignment and continuous interaction of the physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual realities. The circle shape represents the interconnectivity of all aspects of one’s being, including the connection with the natural world. Medicine wheels are frequently believed to be the circle of awareness of the individual self; the circle of knowledge that provides the power we each have over our own lives. 

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National Indigenous History Month - Why it’s important

June is National Indigenous History Month - a time for all Canadians - Indigenous, non-Indigenous and newcomers - to reflect upon and learn the history, sacrifices, cultures, contributions, and strength of First Nations, Inuit and Metis people. It’s important to keep in mind that First Nations, Inuit and Métis Peoples each have their own unique histories. And within each group, there are distinct histories.  

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The Role of Indigenous Games in Culture

Agility, strength, balance, reflexes, hand-eye coordination, accuracy, strategy, intuition, patience. These are skills Indigenous hunters and fishermen relied on to feed their communities. And those skills were learned at an early age through games and maintained throughout adulthood through play.

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Debunking Misconceptions About First Nation Totem Poles

There’s lots of lore and misconceptions about First Nation totem poles. In this article we address six of the more common misconceptions.

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The Importance of Indigenous Radio

by Olivia Marie Golosky

When we think of the radio landscape in Canada, especially in the mainstream context, the Canadian Broadcasting Company (CBC) is at the forefront of everyone's mind. While having new programming that is dedicated to Indigenous issues/content (Rosanna Deerchild’s Unreserved, Candy Palmater’s The Candy Show and Jarrett Martineau's Reclaimed), there is an obvious gap and lack of Indigenous representation within our nation’s largest radio broadcaster. Delving a bit deeper into radioland, we find the Campus & Community Radio stations. One would think these are more indie less mainstream therefore surely they have more diverse representation in their boards, staff and membership etc. Unfortunately that is not the case, especially when it comes to Indigenous content and Indigenous people being the content creators.

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Tips for purchasing Authentic Indigenous Art

In Why Buying Authentic Indigenous Art is Important I talked about the cultural and economic impact knock off art has on Indigenous artists and communities. In this article I share an example of a non-Indigenous retailer profiting from “inspired’ works of a small Indigenous community, and include some tips for buying authentic Indigenous art at the end of the article.

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Why Buying Authentic Indigenous Art is Important

A newsletter reader sent us a message asking if we would write something about appropriated art. The topic of cultural appropriation is increasingly making headlines, and 2017 so far has been rife with controversies. In one aspect, the fact that there is such a concentrated discussion in mainstream and social media is, I think, the silver lining to this particular cloud. The other view of the cloud is how troubling it is that this affront to Indigenous culture is ongoing despite the coverage in mainstream media.

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Swkachàys Lodge Aboriginal Boutique Hotel

The story of how a hotel, art gallery and social housing organization established a sustainable cycle of positive social impact

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Lheidli T'enneh are First Official First Nation Host of Canada Games

The 2015 Canada Games marks a series of firsts. It is the first time in the 48 year history of the Canada Games that a First Nation has been granted the designation of “Official Host First Nation.” The Lheidli T’enneh, on whose traditional territory the City of Prince George sits, bear that honour and as the Official Host First Nation, their flag flies on the roof of Canada Games House along with the Canadian and provincial flags, also a first ever occurrence. And, it is the first time the Canada Games have been held in BC.

"Being designated the official host First Nation is historic and we are proud to be the one to start this journey. In seven days we officially open our doors to the country and celebrate the rich and diverse cultures of aboriginal peoples across Canada," said Chief Dominic Frederick. "We want to welcome all cultures to our pavilion. Regardless of who you are, we want you to come in and to experience all the other cultures and the culture of Lheidli T'enneh." Prince George Citizen, February 7, 2015

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First Nation Talking Stick Symbolism

In a previous article we wrote about the Talking Stick and associated protocol. Here we are going to explore some of the symbolism represented in the wood, carvings, paints and adornments.

 

First Nation Talking Stick symbolism is ripe with spirituality and tradition. While each First Nation’s culture, traditions and history is unique there are some shared or common symbolism attached to animals, birds, trees and colours. For instance, the eagle is almost universally considered, by both Aboriginal People in Canada and Native Americans, to be the ruler of the sky with a connection to the Creator.

 

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