Create a Medicine Wheel

Build a medicine wheel to create a sacred spot for gratitude and positivity.

Photo of Erin Quinn
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A medicine wheel is a circle of rocks, quite simply, with a cairn at the centre, traditionally made by the Blackfoot people (who live in Alberta, Saskatchewan, Montana, and Wyoming). Most medicine wheels have four spokes (four is an extremely important number to the Blackfoot: four seasons, four directions, four aspects of a person [physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional], four elements [earth, air, fire, water], four kingdoms [animal, mineral, plant, human], four stages of life [childhood, youth, adulthood, old age], etc.) that radiate outwards from the central cairn. Medicine wheels remind us of the connectedness of all things. 

When you visit a medicine wheel, you should bring an offering for the Creator. Traditional offerings are one of the four sacred plants: sage, tobacco, cedar, and sweetgrass. You might also bring something else that you wish to give away: a song, prayer, or poem, or a ribbon, piece of cloth, or other physical object. When you approach the medicine wheel, you walk around it in a clockwise fashion. This is the way the sun moves. As you walk the circle, it is a time for you to reflect with gratitude and positivity.

My idea is to build a medicine wheel on the school grounds. Living in Alberta, this would be a great opportunity to include a Blackfoot elder to help us do this. Our medicine wheel would be a place where we could reflect with gratitude and positivity. It would be a place to centre ourselves and find connectedness. There are also obvious linkages with the Circle of Courage teachings, which are based on traditional First Nations ways of knowing and teachings.



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Photo of Kim Miner

This idea has powerful potential Erin.  It would fit in well with teaching mindfulness and respect. 

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