The knowledge of Native Elders is contained in the Philosophies and is offered to Native American men so that they might be better fathers, husbands, grandparents, uncles, relatives, friends, Tribal members and citizens of those countries in which they live.
The Philosophies point the way towards a return to the values of Native American civilization to the recovery of individuals, families and Native American Communities.
First Philosophy – TO THE WOMEN
The cycle of life for the girl is your baby, woman, girl, and grandmother. All these are the four directions of lifestyle. She’s been given by natural legislation the ability to reproduce life. The most sacred of everything in life. Therefore, all men should treat her with dignity and respect.
Never was it our way to hurt her emotionally or physically. Indian men were not abusers.
Thus, 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, therefore I’ll look upon women in a sacred manner.
In our traditional ways, the woman is the foundation of the household. I will use her to create a house atmosphere of respect, safety and harmony. I shall refrain from any form of emotional or physical abuse. When I have these feelings, then I will speak with the Creator for guidance. I’ll treat all women as if they were my own female relatives.
Second Philosophy – TO THE CHILDREN
As an eagle prepares its own young to leave the nest along with all the skills and knowledge it must take part in life, in the same manner so I will guide my kids. I’ll use the culture to prepare them for life. The most significant thing I could give to my kids is my time. I will spend some time with them in order to learn 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 these children for the Creator. They’re his kids, not ours. I am proud of our Native language. I’ll find out when I can and help my kids to understand it. In the modern world it’s easy for the kids to go awry, so that I will work to offer positive choices for them.
I shall teach them the culture. I will encourage instruction. I will encourage sports. I will encourage them to speak with the Elders for advice; but largely, I’ll seek for a role model myself. I make this commitment to my kids so they’ll have courage and find guidance through conventional ways.
Third Philosophy – TO THE FAMILY
The Creator gave to us the family, which is where all teachings are passed down from the grandparent, to your parent, and to the child. The children’s behavior is a mirror of their parent’s behavior. Knowing this, I realize the importance for each Indian man to be responsible to the family in order to satisfy the need to build a powerful and balanced household. By doing this, I’ll break the cycle of harm and make certain the positive mental health of our kids, even the children yet to be born.
I’ll devote my priorities to rebuilding my loved ones. I must not give up and leave my family simply to the mom. I’m accountable to restore the potency of my family. To do this, I will nurture our family’s spiritual, cultural and societal wellness. I will demonstrate trust, respect, honor and subject; but mostly I will be consistent in whatever I do with them.
I realize that the male and female are essential to our family life. I will listen to my partner’s council for our family’s benefit, in addition to for the advantage of my Indian Nation.
Fourth Philosophy – TO THE COMMUNITY
The Indian community offers many things for your household. The most significant is the feeling of belonging; that is, to belong to “the people”, and to get a place to go. Our Indian communities have to be restored to health so the future generation will be guaranteed a place to go for culture, language and Indian socializing. In he community, the honor of one is the honour of all and also the pain of one is the pain whatsoever. I will work to strengthen healing in all sections of my community.
I will give back to my community by donating my time and talents once I am able. I will cultivate friendships with other Indian men for mutual support and strength. I will consider the ramifications of our choices on behalf of the next seven generations; this way, our children and grandchildren will inherit healthy communities.
I will care for those in my community so that the mind changes, drugs and alcohol, will vanish, and our communities will forever be free of violence. If each of us can do all these things, then others, will follow ours will be a proud community.
Fifth Philosophy – THE EARTH
Our Mother Earth is the source of life, whether it be plants, the two-legged, four-legged, winged ones or human beings. The Mother Earth is the best teacher, if we listen, observe and respect her. When we live in harmony with the Mother Earth, she’ll recycle what we consume and make them accessible to our kids. As an Indian man, I must teach my children how to take care of the Earth so it’s there for its future generations.
Thus from now on,I will treat her with honor and respect.I’ll respect the interconnectedness of all things and all kinds of life. I’ll realize the Earth doesn’t belong to us, but that we belong to the Earth. The organic law is the best authority upon the water and lands. I will learn the knowledge and knowledge of the natural laws. I will pass this knowledge on to my children.
The Mother Earth is a living thing that keeps life. I will speak out in a fantastic way whenever I see someone abusing the Earth. Just as I would protect my mother, so I shall protect the Earth. I will make sure that the land, water, and air will be complete for my kids and for my kids ‘ children-the 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 operate without our Creator. Being Indian and being religious has the exact same meaning. Spirituality is our gift from the Great One. This say I vow to walk the Red Road.
As an Indian man, I will return to the traditional and religious values which have guided my ancestors for the past generations. I will look with fresh eyes on the forces of our ceremonies and spiritual manners, for they are important to the very survival of these people. We’ve survived and will grow and flourish spiritually. We’ll fulfill our teachings and the purpose which the Creator has given us with dignity.
Each day, I will pray and ask advice. I shall devote to walk the Red Road, or whatever the spiritual way is known as in my own culture. If I am a Christian, I’ll be a good one. If I tradition, I will walk this road with commitment. From this day forward, I’ll reserve time and energy for spirituality, wanting to know the Creator’s will.
Seventh Philosophy – TO MYSELF
I will think about the type 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 excellent Spirit and the grandfathers in my side. I’ll develop a good mind. I shall examine myself everyday to see what I did great and what I need to improve. I shall examine my strengths and weaknesses; then I shall ask the Creator to guide me. I will develop a fantastic mind.
Each day, I’ll listen to the Creator’s voice in the end. I will watch nature and ask to be shown a lesson that will happen on my path. I will find our the guiding principles that guided my ancestors. I will seek the advice of the Elders so that I may keep the knowledge of culture, ceremonies and songs, and so I may pass these on to future generations.
I decide to do these things myself, because no one else can do them. I know I Can’t GIVE AWAY WHAT I DON’T HAVE, so I will need to Learn How to walk the talk.