Candice Hall Howcroft started her session with a smudging and a gratitude prayer. Her very empowering workshop had the students answering questions and feverishly writing notes to remember everything she said.
She introduced the 7 Sacred Teachings which are common across many Indigenous Peoples:
- HUMILITY Think of others before yourself. Humility is to live your life free from arrogance, to not be boastful. Don’t assume you are ‘better than’.
- HONESTY Never lie, cheat, steal or gossip. Be honest with yourself and others. Speak from your heart. Be true to your word.
- RESPECT Respect is an attitude. To honour and listen to your Elders, parents and teachers is a sign of respect. The buffalo represents Respect because we have sustained our lives through the Buffalo in terms of clothing, food, shelter, medicine and art.
- COURAGE Listen to your heart. It takes courage to do what is right. Courage is being brave in the face of life’s problems. Daily challenges take courage to overcome. Fear can make us give up. Never give in, never give up.
- WISDOM Everyone has a special gift or talent. Show wisdom by using your gift. Wisdom is gained through experience and knowledge. To have wisdom is to know the difference between right and wrong and to apply these qualities to your daily life. Show your true colours, people will love you for them.
- LOVE To be at peace with yourself and able to express love to your family, friends and community through your actions and words. Be true to yourself. Love yourself.
- TRUTH Always seek and honour the truth. Living the truth is living the Seven Teachings.
She spoke about the qualities of great leaders- and the student realized that most of those qualities stem from having an enthusiastic positive attitude.
Candice then introduced the Circle of Courage: which features the qualities of Generosity, Belonging, Mastery, and Independence and she added the LEAD values in the circle.
Building on all these teachings- Candice showed the students a medicine wheel. From my own feverish notes, I made a pictographic representation of some of what she spoke of.
(I snuck the LEAD values in there too- they just fit so well!)
Lori left the students with the challenge of taking more photos with Candice’s teachings as their motivation. Which you can see below. I can not wait to hear what the images symbolize for them.