“The Anishinaabe child is a gift from the Creator. The child represents all creation, its place is at the centre and must always remain our focus”. – Kina Gbezhgomi Elders Advisory Group
The term “Elder” is a label given to men or women who, recognized by others, by their community, their nation, for having wisdom and possesses knowledge of First Nation values, stories, and the history of communities and nations. It is not a specific age; it is a life stage after acquiring significant wisdom and experience. Elders are repositories of cultural and philosophical knowledge, are the transmitters of such information, and, have the capacity to transmit this knowledge to others. Many elders have shared their gifts and talents with this organization since the agency’s inception.
It is recognized that our Elders have risen above negative life scripting and are instrumental the creation of positive scripts for the generations to follow. This includes wholistic approaches to balancing the physical, mental, social/emotional and the spiritual needs – Mino Bimaadziwin – the Good Life of the human kind. Our Elders will continue the tradition of care and will continue to carry vital roles to Kina Gbezhgomi Child and Family Services’ to First Nation children, youth, and families.
In First Nations cultures, the grandparents are the authorities on child care practices in First Nation families. It is recognized that First Nation communities can provide access to traditional cultural practitioners and ceremonies. This inclusive arrangement will reinforce the concept that it is the whole community that looks after the child. (Beaucage, 2011).