The focus for October is RESPECT.

Respect – Mnaadendimowin:

Respect is represented by the buffalo. The buffalo gives every part of his being to sustain the human way living, not because he is of less value, but because he respects the balance and needs of others. For as long as we have been here, we have sustained our lives through the Buffalo in terms of clothing, food, shelter, and expressing ourselves in art.

To honor all creation is to have respect.

Live honorably in teachings and in your actions towards all things. Do not waste and be mindful of the balance of all living things. Share and give away what you do not need. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Do not be hurtful to yourself or others.

Place others before yourself in your life don’t look down on anyone.

Respect your fellow living beings.

All of creation should be treated with respect. You must give respect if you wish to be respected.


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 respect, students could:

  • Write, draw, talk about what it means to respect themselves, each other, the school, the environment, etc.
  • Give feedback to their peers in ways that are respectful
  • Read “The Pencil” by Susan Avingaq or any of these books about respect
  • Have students decorate a Buffalo and write above or below the Buffalo what represents Respect for them.  On the next page, see the Buffalo 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.
  • Have discussions involving respecting those voices that are oppressed and are wanting to be uplifted
  • Discuss what it means to have respect for the world and all inhabitants
  • Focus on key words of “balance” and “needs of others”
  • Pay attention during discussions as to who is speaking, how many times have they spoken, has everyone had a chance to speak?


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