Manadjitoda kina kego! Let us esteem all things (in nature)
Willliam Commanda, Our Spiritual Guide
William Commanda was an Algonquin Elder from Kitigan Zibi Reserve, Quebec. The great, great grandson of Pakinawatik, the hereditary Anicinabe chief who led his people to settle in their traditional hunting and trapping grounds in the Ottawa River area in the mid eighteen hundreds, Elder Commanda is Keeper of three Wampum Belts of sacred and historic importance: the Seven Fires Prophecy Belt about choice, the 1700s Belt about sharing, and the 1793 Jay Treaty Border Crossing Belt about borderlessness. He was acclaimed chief of the Kitigan Zibi Reserve for over nineteen years; he was also a guide, trapper and woodsman; and he is a birch bark canoe maker and craftsman of international renown. He led the Sunbow Five Walk for Mother Earth, is a respected spokesperson and spiritual leader at national and international gatherings, participates regularly in United Nations peace and spiritual vigils, and is acknowledged globally for his work in promoting interracial and intercultural harmony, justice, and respect for Mother Earth. He is the recipient of a Justice Award, and A Wolf Project Award and a Harmony Award for his efforts to foster racial harmony through the creation of a “Circle of All Nations”; one well received example of this commitment is the annual international “Circle of All Nations” gathering he hosts at his home in Maniwaki every August. He had a vision to establish a healing and peace building center on Victoria Island, the traditional sacred spiritual meeting grounds of his ancestors, within the national capital region in Canada.
Elder William Commanda believed that it is of crucial importance at this time that all the children of Mother Earth learn to come together with one heart, one mind, one love and one determination, and create the fitting legacy for all our children and our children’s children:
A Circle of All Nations: A Culture of Peace
William Commanda passed away at age 97 in 2011 at his home at Kitigan Zibi.
birch bark canoe made by William Commanda on display at the Canadian Canoe Museum, Peterborough
The Four Sacred Directions
The Four Cardinal points on the Medicine Wheel are the Four Sacred Directions, represented by the colours yellow, red, black & white. Blue represents Father Sky in the upper realm, Green represents Mother Earth below, & purple represents the self, that spirit that journeys in this physical world, at the centre of the wheel.
The Seven Stages of Life are also found on this Medicine Wheel. They begin in the east & move across the Wheel to the West. The Seven Stages of Life are: The Good Life, The Fast Life, The Wandering Life, the stages of Truth, Planning, & Doing, & The Elder Life.
The Seven Grandfather Teachings are also located on this Medicine Wheel. They begin in the Northern direction & move down to the centre of the Wheel. These gifts are the teachings of Honesty, Humility, Courage, Wisdom, Respect, Generosity & Love.
The Teachings of the Medicine Wheel are vast. There are seven teachings within each direction on the wheel, & all these have sub-teachings to them, such as where all the medicines like sweetgrass came from, & what they mean.
The four directions of the Medicine Wheel remind us of many things, such as the need for balance in the world, & the balance we must strive for everyday within ourselves.
For more information visit http://www.the fourdirections.com. Elder Lillian Pitawanakwat will provide you with an idea of a few of those many teachings & connections that are in the circle.