At the Nîsôhkamâtotân Centre our purpose is to strengthen NAIT by creating an inclusive community, honour the traditional ways of knowing and teaching and by drawing strength from our Aboriginal communities.
Seven Grandfather Teachings
The first elder was given these gifts of knowledge by the Seven Grandfathers. These gifts were to help the people live a good life and to respect the Creator, the earth and each other. We have learned how to take care of Mother Earth. In our care for Mother Earth, we have learned to apply these gifts to families, communities, ourselves, and to all things. The Seven Grandfathers told the First Elder that “Each of these teachings must be used with the rest; you cannot have wisdom without love, respect, bravery, honesty, humility, and truth...to leave one out is to embrace the opposite of what that teaching is.” If one of these gifts is not used with the others, we will not be in balance. We must remember these teachings, practice them, and teach them to our children.
WISDOM: to cherish knowledge is to know wisdom.
LOVE: to know love is to know peace.
RESPECT: to honour all of creation is to have respect.
BRAVERY: to face life with courage is to know bravery.
HONESTY: is to be honest in action and character, be faithful to fact and reality —to walk through life with integrity is to know honesty.
HUMILITY: to accept yourself as a sacred part of creation is to know humility.
TRUTH: to know of these things is to know the truth.
Elder and Cultural Advising Services
As a child, Verna spent her summers outside, camping and hunting with her parents. It was during those summers in Bigstone Cree Nation, Alberta—a place she still calls home—where she learned the traditional practice of tanning hides under the guidance of her grandmother.