Niizhoo-inan-odemawin (To think cautiously -Double Learning)

Authors: Susan Chiblow*,
Topics: Indigenous Peoples, Environment, Women
Keywords: Anishnabe knowledge, Nibi (water), spirituality, Anishinabe water governance
Session Type: Paper
Day: 4/5/2019
Start / End Time: 8:00 AM / 9:40 AM
Room: Chairman's Boardroom, Omni, East
Presentation File: No File Uploaded


Searching for giikendaaswin (knowledge) is not a new concept to Anishinaabe peoples. To reconnect to the waters is a starting place of learning and of understanding giikendaaswin. Elders have stated we are water, water is life and water has a spirit. Giikendaaswin is about the learning from the lands, the waters (Nibi), and the universe; these are our common ancestors. In personal journeys, individuals draw giikendaaswin in the form of interpretation based on their development in their journey. Elders have said that gifts are a form of giikendaaswin and come with responsibilities. Individuals have gifts to offer a community, but it is up to the individual to search for giikendaaswin to understand their gifts as they travel through the physical world. Giikendaaswin is important to acquire to live a healthy, responsible life. There are numerous ways to obtain giikendaaswin and I have chosen to explore as many ways as possible to discover giikendaaswin. Being Anishinaabe is about (re-)searching for giikdendaaswin which begins with ceremony. Indigenous epistemology (the ways of knowing our reality) honors the inner being as the space where the spirit lives, our dreams reside, and our heart beats (Absolon, 2011). It is our responsibility understand Indigenous epistemology by beginning the search for giikendaaswin through ceremony. The Elders remind us that ceremony comes first in everything that we do. We need to educate ourselves, and our children of the protocols and importance of ceremony.

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