In the world of Indigenous People, respect meant to feel or show honor
or esteem for someone or something; to consider the well-being of, or
to treat someone or something with deference or courtesy, never interfering
with the right to walk their earth walk in the manner they so chose.
In the time of the Ancestors, every person, from the tiniest child to
the oldest Elder was treated with respect at all times, with special
honor given to Elders, Parents, Teachers and Community Elders.
No person was shamed or 'put down'. People never spoke of others in
a negative way for this interfered with their lives, and diminished
the tribe. The Anishinabe people believed that every thought and action
that went out into the world, affected the next seven generations of
· Do not touch anything that belongs to someone else (especially
sacred objects, drums, shakers, medicine bundles, regalia) without permission.
· Respect for Privacy; never intrude on a person's quiet moments
or personal space.
· Never interrupt or walk between or among people who are conversing.
· Speak in a soft voice, particularly when in the presence of
Elders or Traditional Teachers or to those whom special respect is due.
· Listen with courtesy to what others say, even if you feel impatient,
or what they are saying is not relevant to you; Quiet your inner chatter
and listen with your Heart.
· Be truthful at all times and under all conditions.
· Do not speak unless invited to do so at gatherings where Elders
are present (except to ask what is expected of you, should you be in
· Treat Mother Earth and all her living children as your Mother.
Show deep respect and love for your extended family, the mineral, plant,
animal, four elements and human worlds.
· Always receive your guests (including strangers) with a loving
heart and as members of the human family; Greet them with an honor song
and give them your best food, best blankets, best places to rest.
· The hurt of one is the hurt of all; the honor of one is the
honor of all.
· All four colors of human are like different colored flowers
of one meadow ; all are beautiful and must be respected.
· To serve others is the main purpose that Humans were created;
Do not be so self-absorbed that you fail to see and respond to the needs
· Moderation, harmony and balance in all things; know the difference
between those things that elevate your life and those that do not.
· Listen, Listen, Listen to your Heart.