Aseniwuche Winewak Nation

7 Cree Principles

Seven Cree principles were identified by the Aseniwuche Elders Council and leadership as fundamental to the Aseniwuche Winewak Nation. Wahkohtown Law and Governance Lodge Research Assistant and long-time colleague of AWN, Johanne Johnson, explored each of these principles and how they apply to the Nation historically and today as part of her Master’s in Native Studies.

With the help of Cree-fluent community member, Carol Wanyandie, Johanne conducted interviews with seven AWN Elders and Traditional Knowledge Holders. They asked questions to elicit their personal understandings of the meaning behind each principle, how they have seen these principles being applied in past and present actions in their lives, and how they believed the principles should apply in the future.

Johanne transcribed and analyzed the interview data and added information from published works where Cree scholars have discussed these principles. This helps everyone, fluent or not, deepen and broaden their understanding of the principles. These principles assisted in the development of the draft Citizenship Code  and can be used for AWN’s future constitutional and other governance work.

In 2020, AWN presented Johanne with an Eagle Feather to celebrate her incredible academic achievements. The Eagle Feather is a sacred symbol in Cree culture given to those who have reached extraordinary accomplishments through hard work, integrity and a willingness to learn and improve. AWN was proud to honour Johanne’s dedication and commitment to understanding and making positive contributions to the Nation.

ᐊᐧᐦᑯᐦᑐᐃᐧᐣ
Wahkôtowin

Relatedness or interrelatedness: we are not only related to human beings, but we are also related to everything in Creation.

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ᒥᔪ _ᐑᒉᐦᑐᐏᐣ
Miyo-wîcihtowin

Getting along well: everyone to help each other and to get along well through sharing and goodwill.

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ᓯᐦᑐᐢᑲᑐᐃᐧᐣ
Sihtoskâtowin

Supporting and pulling together to strengthen each other.

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ᒪᓇᒋᐦᑐᐃᐧᐣ
Manâcihtâwin

The act of respect or to be considerate, gentle, and mannerly. To mitigate or conserve something for the future.

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Reference: Aseniwuche Winewak Nation Citizenship and Governance Research Project Report 2018-2020, prepared by Dr. Hadley Friedland, Dr. Shalene Jobin and Koren Lightning-Earle of the Wahkohtowin Law & Governance Lodge, University of Alberta