Seven Teachings

The Seven Teachings, also known as the Seven Grandfather Teachings, are a set of guiding principles originating from Indigenous North American cultures, particularly among the Anishinaabe people. These teachings are Wisdom, Love, Respect, Bravery, Honesty, Humility, and Truth. They serve as a moral framework for individual behavior and community well-being, emphasizing the importance of living a balanced and ethical life in harmony with others and the environment.


  • Character Development: Encourages the development of a strong moral character and ethical behavior.
  • Cultural Awareness: Provides insight into Indigenous philosophies and ways of life, promoting cultural respect and understanding.
  • Community Harmony: Promotes values that contribute to the well-being and harmony of the community.


  • Books: “The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway” by Edward Benton-Banai, which explains Ojibway history and the Seven Teachings (Amazon).
  • Websites: and offer resources on Anishinaabe culture and teachings.
  • Educational Programs: Many Indigenous communities and cultural centers offer workshops and presentations on the Seven Teachings.

Best Age to Start

While the teachings can be introduced at a young age, children around 6-8 years old may begin to grasp the deeper meanings and applications of these principles.

Equipment and Materials

  • No specific equipment is required. Learning about the Seven Teachings can be done through storytelling, discussion, and participation in cultural events.
  • Books and Educational Materials: Costs vary; many resources are available online for free or at local libraries.

Starting Tips

  • Learn from Indigenous Sources: Seek out resources and learning opportunities created by Indigenous educators and communities.
  • Incorporate into Daily Life: Discuss how each teaching can be applied in everyday situations and decisions.
  • Attend Cultural Events: Participating in events hosted by Indigenous communities can provide deeper insights into the teachings.

Frequency of Activity

  • Ongoing Learning: The application and reflection on the Seven Teachings is a continuous process, integrated into daily life and decision-making.

Requirements/Tasks for Mastery

  • Demonstrate an understanding of each of the Seven Teachings through personal reflection and actions.
  • Actively apply the teachings in interactions with others and in personal choices.
  • Share knowledge of the teachings with others, promoting the values within your community or circle.

Famous Figures

While the Seven Teachings are a collective cultural heritage rather than associated with individual fame, leaders and educators within Indigenous communities who embody these principles are highly respected. Figures such as Elder Dave Courchene have been instrumental in sharing and teaching these principles more broadly.

Mastery of the Seven Teachings involves a deep, personal commitment to living according to these principles, continuously striving for balance and harmony in one’s life and relationships, and respecting the interconnectedness of all beings.

Self Control