Cultural Perspectives

Message from the Elders

Elder Ken Goodwill, First Nations University of Canada

The Elders say that when we are born of this earth, the creator gives us a task to do. Part of our job is to seek what that task is, what is it that the creator wants us to do. We owe it to ourselves to be the best that we are able to be.

The traditional ways of doing things, you can do on a vision quest or a Sundance. You can also do it through places like the university or SIAST, where you are founded with a great deal of knowledge and certainly at the beginning, there is the novelty of knowledge. But at some point, something will trigger your interest and you begin to see the application of that knowledge. That becomes the sort of thing where you would say, where this is what I want to do. I like the effects of this or the possible effects of my applying this particular kind of knowledge.

Elder Betty McKenna, Regina Public Schools

There is going to be many things in your life that are going to make you wonder, that are going to make you have self doubt but when we walk that medicine wheel to find that balance, we are picking from that medicine wheel the physical, the mental, the emotional and spiritual. We need to have a strong balance within your life that’s placed there by family and community.

It all starts with letting children find that balance for themselves. You have to allow people to find that balance within themselves so that they know that it feels right for me. This is my balance. It may not be yours and it may not be somebody else’s, it is their sense of balance. We can only find that by going out there and finding it, getting that energy; that we are then able to go into ourselves and say what is right her for me.