Nova Scotia·AKNUTE'N

'They're so interconnected': The significance of the 7 sacred teachings

In this week's instalment of Aknute'n, Trevor Sanipass shares why the seven sacred teachings are an integral part of the Mi'kmaq's philosophy of life.

Each lesson is associated with an animal, says Mi'kmaw educator Trevor Sanipass

Trevor Sanipass shares the meaning behind the word kitpu in the latest instalment of his column with CBC's Information Morning. 1:01

The seven sacred teachings have been a central part of Mi'kmaw educator Trevor Sanipass's life from the very beginning. 

The traditional laws, also known as the grandfather or grandmother teachings, are at the heart of many Indigenous cultures, including the Mi'kmaw culture. 

They are the basis for a worldview that's rooted in respect for one another and the natural world, Sanipass said.

That's why each lesson is associated with an animal.

Love is the eagle, respect is the buffalo, courage is the bear, truth is the turtle, humility is the wolf, wisdom is the beaver, and honesty is the sabe or Bigfoot.

Trevor Sanipass joins CBC's Information Morning twice a month for his column, Aknute'n. (Emma Smith/CBC)

"They're all so interconnected," Sanipass told CBC's Information Morning. 

Sanipass, who's from Eskasoni in Unama'ki,​​​​​​ has been learning about the importance of the seven sacred teachings since he was a boy. 

He remembers an elder asking if he'd ever seen an eagle fly so high that it seemed to disappear. When that happens, the eagle has left our world and joined the creator, Sanipass was told. 

"When we do our prayers, we use an eagle feather because the eagle has delivered the prayers and messages to the creator," he said. 

Listen to Trevor Sanipass's full interview about the seven sacred teachings with Information Morning below.

This week, Information Morning's Mi'kmaw culture columnist, Trevor Sanipass, looks at a fundamental part of Indigenous people's worldview: the Seven Sacred Teachings. 7:03

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With files from CBC's Information Morning

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