We are taught that we all originated from the Earth, that the Earth is the Great Mother to all. She provides everything we need in order to survive in this life, the clothing, shelter, medicines, food and water.
For example, the Elders tell us to look at a tree. The tree is connected to the land, the tree only takes what it needs in order to survive and it gives back to the Earth. This is how we should conduct ourselves in every day life.
These teachings that are being shared are sacred teachings. From tribe to tribe across North America, the details may differ but the basic teachings are the same. They have been followed for many, many years. So we honour the ancestors, the ones that have walked before us, because they are the ones that sat in circles many times before, and prayed that their children and grandchildren would follow in their path. When we honour the ancestors, we honour ourselves on the land, we should only take what we need in order to sustain ourselves and always give back something in return. Respect the land, all its creatures and articles.
The First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples of North America were given seven sacred laws that were to act as a spiritual foundation.
The traditional concepts of respect and sharing that form the foundation of the Aboriginal way of life are built around the seven natural laws, or sacred teachings. Each teaching honours one of the basic virtues to a full and healthy life.
“All other feelings, thoughts and actions are a combination of anywhere from one to all seven teachings together. Living a good life and serving the people is not done dishonestly, disrespectfully, carelessly, haphazardly or cavalierly [arrogance].” George Martin.
In receiving these laws from the Creator, First Nations, Métis and Inuit peoples were told to always respect Mother Earth. To show real respect is to share and give of yourself for the benefit of all life. We too all belong in the great circle of life, thus we must show respect for one another in order to have a good life. Respect the Elders from all races of people who uphold the sacred teachings of the Great Spirit.
These laws offer direction for anyone wishing to have a balanced and peaceful life. Each law is represented by an animal. This representation is to help keep the Aboriginal way of life in balance with the natural laws. The animal world teaches us how to live close to the Earth and reminds us of our connection to nature. Indigenous peoples spent thousands of years evolving with these close connections.