Calgary Board of Education

The Seven Sacred Teachings

WISDOM represented by the BEAVER

Wisdom as per a dictionary definition:

  1. Accumulated philosophic or scientific learning – KNOWLEDGE
  2. Ability to discern inner qualities and relationships – INSIGHT
  3. Good sense – JUDGMENT
  4. Generally accepted belief
  5. A wise attitude, belief, or course of action
  6. Understanding
  7. The teachings of the ancient wise men

To live in Wisdom is to know and understand that the Great Spirit gave everyone special gifts. When we know and use our gifts, we become an instrument of the Great Spirit, helping to bring peace to the world. Showing Wisdom is using your gifts to build a peaceful and healthy family and community.


The Wisdom of the people in council is also respected. Once you give an idea to a council or a meeting, it no longer belongs to you. The idea now belongs to the people. Wisdom demands that you listen intently to the ideas of others in council and that you do not insist that your idea is the best or that it prevails.

Indeed you should freely support the ideas of others. Even if those ideas that are quite different from the ones that you have contributed, if they are true and good they will prevail and be respected. The clash of different ideas brings forth the spark of truth.

Once a council has decided something in unity [consensus], Wisdom demands that no one speaks secretly against what has been decided. If the council has made an error, that error will become apparent to everyone in its own time.

The Beaver

The building of a community is entirely dependant on gifts given to each member of the community by the Great Spirit. These gifts must be utilized for the betterment of the community. The beaver represents that building. The beaver’s example of using his special gifts he has received, his sharp teeth for cutting trees and branches which he uses to building dams and lodges expresses this teaching. If the beaver did not use his gift to build, his teeth would grow and grow ultimately making it impossible for him to sustain himself and ultimately will lead to his demise. The beaver knows his gifts and uses them to the best of his abilities.


It is said to be the same for human beings. If we do not use our gifts – our Spirits will become weak because we are not fulfilling their use. This denial eventually leads to sickness because each human being’s special gifts help impart self worth and identity. Therefore, when we use our special gifts properly and how the Great Spirit intended, these gifts contribute to the development of a peaceful and healthy community. Our Spirits will grow strong and good, just as our community will.

The challenge for us today is to find out what our gifts are and to use them for the betterment of the community. We must learn, know and utilize the special gifts given to us for the betterment of all creatures of Mother Earth. This is WISDOM.

Excerpts from: Dave Courchene Jr., and Cindy Crowe

A Butterfly’s Lesson

One day, a small opening appeared in a cocoon; a man sat and watched the butterfly for several hours as it struggled to force its body through that little hole. Then, it seems to stop making any progress. It appeared as if it had gotten as far as it could and it could not go any further. So the man decided to help the butterfly: he took a pair of scissors and opened the cocoon.

The butterfly then emerged easily. But it had a withered body, it was tiny and shriveled wings. The man continued to watch because he expected that, at any moment, the wings would open, enlarge and expand, to be able to support the butterfly’s body, and to become firm.

Neither happened! In fact, the butterfly spent the rest of its life crawling around with a withered body and shriveled wings. It never was able to fly.

What the man, in his kindness and his goodwill did not understand was that the restricting cocoon and the struggle required for the butterfly to get through the tiny opening, were nature’s way of forcing fluid from the body of the butterfly into its wings, so that it would be ready for flight once it achieved its freedom from the cocoon.

Sometimes, struggles are exactly what we need in our life. If we were allowed to go through our life without any obstacles, it would cripple us. We would not be as strong as we could have been; never been able to fly.

I asked for strength… and I was given difficulties to make me strong.
I asked for Wisdom… and I was given problems to solve.
I asked for prosperity… and I was given a brain and brawn to work.
I asked for courage… and I was given obstacles to overcome.
I asked for love… and I was given troubled people to help.
I asked for favours… and I was given opportunities.
I received nothing I wanted… but, I received everything I needed.

Live life without fear, confront all obstacles and know that you can overcome them.

Author: unknown