Hiawatha First Nation
The Hiawatha Reserve is located on the north shore of Rice Lake east of the Otonabee River. It is found in Otonabee Township approximately 30 kilometres south of Peterborough. The reserve consists of approximately 2145 acres of land of which 1523 are under certificates of possession.
Our values grow from the culture from which we are born into and live with and our beliefs and attitudes emerge from our values. As Miississaugii people from the Mississauga Nation, we try to live a healthy way of life “Mino Bimaadizin” through the teachings passed down from ancestors. These teachings include 7 Grandfathers given to us by the Creator. This story has been passed down many generations.
The teaching goes…
The Creator gave the seven grandfathers, who are very wise, the responsibility to watch over the people. The grandfathers saw that the people were living a hard life. There was all kinds of sicknesses and bad things around. The eagle “Migizi” was told, “Go down there, look around and find out what is happening. Bring back someone who we can tell about what life should be, with the Anishinaabe” He left immediately and went to all places in the North, South, East and West. He could not find anyone. On his seventh try, while he was looking, he saw a baby. The grandfathers were happy with the choice made by the helper.
He took the baby back to where the Grandfathers were sitting in a circle. He was still very small and still wrapped inside the cradleboard. One of the grandfathers looked at the baby very carefully. “This is the one. Migizi, pick up the baby. Take him all over; teach him carefully the way the Anishinaabe should lead their lives.” The Migizi took him; they went around the earth.
When they came back seven years later, the boy again saw the Grandfathers. He was already a young man. The Grandfathers noticed that this boy was very honest. He understood everything that was taught. One of the grandfathers took a drum and started singing. Each of the grandfathers gave the boy a teaching. “These are the ones you take with you,” he was told.
- Wisdom “Nbwaakaawin” Wisdom is given by the Creator to be used for the good of the people. In the Anishinaabemowin, this word expresses not only “wisdom,” but also means “prudence,” or “intelligence.”
- Love “Zaagidiwin” To know peace is to know Love. Love must be unconditional. When people are weak they need love the most.
- Respect “Mnaadendamowin” To honor all creation is to have Respect. All of creation should be treated with respect. You must give respect if you wish to be respected.
- Bravery “Aakdehewin” Bravery is to face the foe with integrity. In Anishinaabemowin, this word literally means “state of having a fearless heart.” To do what is right even when the consequences are unpleasant.
- Honesty “Gwekwaadziwin” Always be honest in word and action. Be honest first with yourself, and you will more easily be able to be honest with others. In Anishinaabemowin, this word can also mean “righteousness.”
- Humility “Dbadendizwin” Humility is to know yourself as a sacred part of Creation. In Anishinaabemowin, this word can also mean “compassion.” You are equal to others, but you are not better.
- Truth “Debwewin” Truth is to know all of these things. Speak the truth. Do not deceive yourself or others.