Calgary Board of Education

The Seven Sacred Teachings

HUMILITY Represented by the WOLF

In the natural world, the wolf expresses this humbleness very clearly. The wolf lives within a pack of other wolves. The pack operates as a team. Each animal has a role within this pack to play. Several animals may be the hunters, some may be the protectors, some may be the nurturers and others may be the pups that follow, learn and grow. Each animal is not more important than the others as each animal must perform the role that it has for the survival and betterment of the pack. Each animal within the pack is very important thus none is better than the other.

When the wolf comes up to another larger creature, this animal will bow its head not out of fear, but out of humbleness. He humbles himself in your presence. A wolf that has hunted food will take this food back to the den to eat with the pack before he takes the first bite of food. The act of sharing from one animal to another is shown clearly with this example. The animal must share for the survival of the pack.

In this way, the Wolf became the teacher of this lesson. He bows his head in the presence of others out of deference. Once hunted, he will not take of the food until it can be shared with the pack. His lack of arrogance and respect for his community is a hard lesson, but integral in the Aboriginal way.

Story of Two Wolves

An old grandfather said to his young grandson, who came to him with anger at a school mate who had done him an injustice. “Let me tell you a story,” the Grandfather begins. “I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times.”

He continued, “It is as if there are two wolves inside me; one is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offence when no offence was intended. He will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way.

But the other wolf, ahhh. He is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great that it blurs my thoughts. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing.

Sometimes it is difficult to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit.”

The boy looked intently into his Grandfather’s eyes and asked, “Which one wins, Grandfather?”

The Grandfather smiled and said, “The one I feed, son, the one I feed.”

-Author Unknown

Excerpts from: Dave Courchene Jr., Cindy Crowe and Richard Carlson, PhD.