The focus for December (and March since both are short months in schools) is TRUTH.  This teaching is a little different from honesty which was the Sabe in November (but it never hurts to revisit this idea too). The teaching of Truth is more about integrity and sincerity.  Truth means being willing to speak your truth and stand up for who you are and what you believe in.

Truth – Debwewin:

Truth is represented by the turtle as he was here during creation of Earth and carries the teachings of life on his back. One of the oldest animals on our planet. The turtle lives life in a slow and meticulous manner, because he understands the importance of both the journey and the destination.

Truth is to know of these things.

Apply faith and trust in your teachings. Show honor and sincerity in all that you say and do. Understand your place in this life and apply that understanding in the way that you walk. Be true to yourself and all other things.

You have to look at yourself before you judge another’s way of walking.

Speak the truth. Do not deceive yourself or others.

The laws of time and life are recorded on the back of the Turtle. There are 28 markings representing the 28 full moons and the 28 days between a woman’s cycle for creating and bearing life. There are also 13 moons that represent the 13 times the Earth circles the Sun.

Our goal is that teachers will learn together with their students about these teachings and bring them into their regular classroom activities.

With a focus of truth, students could:

  • Write, draw, talk about truth for others and for yourself – what do you do to express truthfulness?  How do you show respect for others? What is authenticity? How can you be your true self?
  • Learn about each other by playing “Two truths and a lie.” Could you apply this game to local plants and animals?
  • Brainstorm “What is truth” and discuss why it is important.
  • Discuss the connections between truth, authenticity and respect.
  • Have students decorate a Turtle and write above or below the Turtle what represents Truth for them.  On the next page, see the Turtle art by Michelle Stoney, a Gitxsan artist who has graciously given permission for anyone to print off and colour this design – she just asks that it not be used for sale or profit.
  • Take a look at this list of books about truth, honesty and truth and this list of books about integrity.
  • Engage in self-reflection and self-assessment techniques, being honest and kind with where they are in their learning journeys.
  • At the secondary level, the Leadership classes would likely be an ideal place to generate ideas and activities for schools to engage in.

Explore the 13 Moons of the WSANEC


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