Aanii, Duncan Stewart ndi-zhnikaaz. Ojibwe-Anishinaabe ndaaw. Waawaaskinagaa ndoo-njibaa. Hello, my name is Duncan Stewart, I am an Ojibwe from Whitefish River First Nation, Ontario. In 2019, I graduated with distinction from Carleton University with a Bachelor of Arts Honours degree in Human Rights with a double minor in Law and Indigenous Studies. I now look forward to entering my second year of studies at the Queen’s University Faculty of Law Juris Doctor program. I aspire to continue to pursue my passions and ambition of utilizing my law school education to mobilize community driven and culturally rooted project initiatives. Miigwetch!
Project Description: Aanii, Duncan ndi-zhnikaaz. Whitefish River First Nation ndoo-njbaa. My nokomis (grandmother), Leona Nahwegahbow (Whitefish River First Nation Elder) has passed on to me the teachings of Mnaabmaadziwin (to live a good life) which is one of the many gifts given to us by Creator. Leona explains that, “Grandfathers are those who have collected a lifetime of experiences and have learned by trial and error and are seen to have the wisdom of being able to provide compassion, care, and guidance to those who seek it from them.” It then becomes clear why mishomis (grandfather) is the reference made to the Seven Grandfather Teachings. Leona continues to explain that, “the Anishinaabe tell of time when our traditional values were brought from the Seven Grandfathers, which are Love, Truth, Respect, Wisdom, Humility, Honesty and Bravery.”
Mnaabmaadziwin To Live is A Good Life “As we all go about our daily lives, we are encouraged to live our life where we carry these values to help others and ourselves to have a good life call mnaabmaadziwin.” - Leona Nahwegahbow
Teachings of Love Anishinaabemowin Translated by Laurie Nahwegahbow, Member of Whitefish River First Nation Migizi - “Eagle” Zaagaa - “To love” Zaagding - “From the heart/Coming from a place of love” Zaagidiwin - “Love” (7 Grandfathers Teaching) “Love with no conditions.” - Leona Nahwegahbow
“In Anishinaabe ceremonies, the eagle is powerfully known to be the bird that can fly the highest and the closest to the Creator than any other bird. The eagle is the one that is sent with the prayers from the Anishinaabe to the Creator and therefore, the eagle is our messenger and seen as the one to bring us love.At times they can be seen as bringing us a sign of awareness and spirituality.” - Leona Nahwegahbow “The Eagle Clan is responsible for the spirituality that was bestowed to the eagle from the Creator. All of these qualities are carried by the eagle. When an individual role models these valued qualities an individual would be considered to be deserving of an Eagle Feather presentation. Therefore, an eagle feather is a gift of high award to an individual who has been one show these qualities in their lifetime.” - Leona Nahwegahbow
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