Nibwaakaawin

Paiting: a tree grows on a turtle's back

Nibwaakaawin
Wisdom: Inherent Gifts
Language: Anishinaabe
Nation: Ojibway
(Room 404)

The Seven Grandfathers tell us that the Creator says

Each of these 7 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.

With this teaching we learn that with hard work and dedication comes Wisdom. We are taught to use the gifts that the Creator has given us wisely and to live our lives by those unique gifts. To be wise is to recognize your differences and those of others around you in a loving and respectful way. Respect your own boundaries and those of all your surroundings. Permit yourself to discover and live by your inherent wisdom.

Artist: Austin Elijah, age 25

I am from Southwold Ontario, Oneida Nation, and I am a film maker and musician. In the community I make short films about my language and culture. Making those films made me proud of what I was doing for my community, and who I am representing in my heritage to show to future generations. That is what these paintings mean to me; they are something to show to those who come after me. I want to preserve my culture, almost like I am a warrior saving my people. It’s a good feeling; that’s what these paintings are giving me. I am proud and honoured to be asked to use my talents from the Creator in this way. To Queen’s University, I am so thankful.