Seven Philosophies for the Native American Man
The following was from the Gathering of Native American Men in June 1996 at Colorado. Approximately 2000 Native American Men, families, and friends gathered their from June 1 to 2 representing about 115 Tribes.
|What are the Seven Philosophies?|
|The Seven Philosophies for a Native American Man are guidelines for Indian men on their journey through life. The wisdom of Native Elders is contained in the Seven Philosophies and is offered to Native American men so that they may be better fathers, sons, husbands, uncles, relatives, friends, Tribal members and citizens of the countries in which they live. The Seven Philosophies point the way towards a return to the values of Native American culture for the healing of individuals, families and Native Communities.|
First Philosophy TO THE WOMEN:
| The cycle of life
for the woman is the baby, girl, woman, and grandmother. These are the four
directions of life. She has been given by natural laws, the ability to reproduce
life. The most sacred of all things is life. Therefore, all men should
treat her with dignity and respect. Never was it our way to harm her mentally or
physically. Indian men were never abusers. We always treated our women
with respect and understanding. So from now on:
I will treat women in a sacred manner. The Creator gave women the responsibility for bringing new life into the world. Life is sacred, so I will look upon the women in a sacred manner.
In our traditional ways, the woman is the foundation of the family. I will work with her to create a home atmosphere of respect, security and harmony.
I will refrain from any form of emotional or physical abuse. If I have these feelings, I will talk to the Creator for guidance.
I will treat all women as if they were my own female relatives.
This is my vow.
Second Philosophy TO THE CHILDREn
an eagle prepares its young to leave the nest will all the skills and knowledge it needs to
participate in life, in the same manner so will I guide my children. I will use the
culture to prepare them for life.
The most important thing I can give to my children is my time. I will spend time with them in order to learn from them and to listen to them.
I will teach my children to pray, as well as the importance of respect.
We are the caretakers of the children for the Creator. They are His children, not ours.
I am proud of our own Native language. I will learn it if I can and help my children to learn it.
In today's world it is easy for the children to go astray, so I will work to provide positive alternatives for them. I will teach them the culture. I will encourage education. I will encourage sports. I will encourage them to talk to the Elders for guidance; but mostly, I will seek to be a role model myself.
I make this commitment to my children so they will have courage and find guidance through traditional ways.
||Third Philosophy TO THE FAMILY:|
gave to us the family, which is the place where all teachings are handed down from the
grandparent, to the parent, and to the child. The children's behavior is a mirror of
the parents behavior. Knowing this, I realize the importance for each Indian man to
build a strong and balanced family. By doing this, I will break the cycle of hurt
and ensure the positive and mental health of the children, even the children yet to be
born. So from now on:
Fourth Philosophy TO THE COMMUNITY:
The Indian community
provides many things for the family. The most important is the sense of belonging;
that is, to belong to "the people", and to have a place to go. Our Indian
communities need to be restored to health so the future generation will be guaranteed a place to
go for culture, language and Indian socializing. In the community, the honor of one
is the honor of all and the pain of one is the pain of all. I will work to
strengthen recovery in all parts of my community. As an Indian man:
Fifth Philosophy TO THE EARTH:
Mother Earth is the source of all life, whether it be the plants, the two-legged, four-legged,
winged ones or human beings. The Mother Earth is the greatest teacher, if we listen,
observe and respect her. When we live in harmony with the Mother Earth, she will
recycle the things we consume and make them available to our children and to their
children. As an Indian man, I must teach my children how to care for the Earth
so it is there for the future generations. So from now on:
I realize the Earth is our mother. I will treat her with honor and respect.
I will honor the interconnectedness of all things and all forms of life.
I will realize the Earth does not belong to us, but we belong to the Earth.
The natural law is the ultimate authority upon the lands and water. I will learn the knowledge and wisdom of the natural laws. I will pass this knowledge in to my children.
The mother Earth is a living entity that maintains life. I will speak out in a good way whenever I see someone abusing the Earth. Just as I would protect my own mother, so will I protect the Earth. I will ensure that the land, water, and air will be intact for my children and mu children's children - unborn.
Sixth Philosophy TO THE CREATOR:
As an Indian man, I realize we make no gains without the Great Spirit being in our lives. Neither I nor anything I attempt to do, will work without the Creator. Being Indian and being spiritual has the same meaning. Spirituality is out gift from the Great One. This day, I vow to walk the Red Road.
As an Indian man, I will return to the traditional and spiritual values which have guided my ancestors for the past generations.
I will look with new eyes on the powers of our ceremonies and religious ways, for they are important to the very survival of our people.
We have survived and are going to grow and flourish spiritually. We will fulfil our teachings and the purpose that the Creator has given us with dignity.
Each day, I will pray and ask for guidance. I will commit to walk the Red Road, or whatever the spiritual way is called in my own culture.
If I am Christian, I will be a good one. If I am traditional, I will walk this road with dedication.
If each if us can do these things then others will follow. From this day forward, I will reserve time and energy for spirituality, seeking to know the Creators will.
Seventh Philosophy TO MYSELF:
I will think about what kind of person I want to be when I am an Elder. I will start developing myself now to be this person.
I will walk with the Great Spirit and the grandfathers at my side. I will develop myself to remain positive. I will develop a good mind.
I will examine myself daily to see what I did good and what I need to improve. I will examine my strength and weaknesses, then I will ask the Creator to guide me. I will develop a good mind.
Each day, I will listen to the Creators voice in the wind. I will watch nature and ask to be shown a lesson which will occur on my path.
I will seek out the guiding principles which guided my ancestors. I will walk in dignity, honor and humility, conducting myself as a warrior.
I will seek the guidance of the Elders so that I may maintain the knowledge of culture, ceremonies, and songs, and so that I may pass these on to the future generations.
I choose to do all these things myself, because no one else can do them for me.
I know I cannot give away what I don't have so I will need to walk the talk.
Village Home Page