Using the 7 Grandfather Teachings as Tools for Mediation
By Ashleigh Barry
Recently at Dixie Bloor we hosted David Noganosh, a mediator who specializes in mediation within Indigenous communities. He has the only First Nations owned and operated mediation firm in Ontario and his mission is “to support Indigenous communities in nation building by establishing culturally relevant, fair, and independent mechanisms for dispute resolution, in the spirit of peace and friendship.”
He talked about how Gitchie Manitou (the creator) allowed us to have conflict because conflict is a teaching tool. Conflict forces us to ask what is the person or situation trying to teach us. When faced with a conflict we must be open to possibilities because otherwise pride is our downfall.
He uses the seven grandfather teachings as a guide during mediations in order to guide the mediations, these teachings are also the same value system that peace circles follow. These teachings are wisdom, love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility, and truth.
Wisdom is to know the difference between positive and negative as well as the result of your actions. Use sound judgement; listen to the wisdom of elders, healers and spiritual leaders. Wisdom binds the other teachings together.
Love is the feeling of absolute kindness it cannot be demanded it must be earned. Love is based upon respect, kindness, affection, unselfish loyalty, concern, and devotion.
Respect is to honor all creation. By showing respect you are showing honor for the value of the person or things by consideration and appreciation. Similarly to love respect cannot be demanded it must be given freely from the goodness in your heart.
Bravery is to face life with courage. Stand up for your convictions, even in the most difficult times. Show courage in decision making and communicating.
Honesty is to be truthful and trustworthy, be honest with yourself and recognize who and what you are. When you are faithful to fact and reality you act with integrity, and honesty keeps life simple.
Humility provides balance in life, knowing that you are equal to everyone else. You are part of creation, you can take pride in what you do but the pride that you take is to share the accomplishment with others.
Truth is to apply these teachings and to trust in the creator. To show honor is to be truthful and trustworthy. Understand your place in life and apply that understanding in everything you do.
Using these teachings people involved in mediations can become the best versions of themselves because these teachings allow mediators to show participants the path but it is up to the parties to walk down that path themselves in order to resolve their conflicts.
Red Wolf Mediation http://www.redwolfmediation.com/
An Ojibwe Peoples Resource http://ojibweresources.weebly.com/ojibwe-teachings–the-7-grandfathers.html