Saturday, March 5, 2011

Integrity (and WHMIS)

Integrity: the quality of being whole or united

We each have our own gifts and limitations. We are each able to contribute and able to receive. Mother Earth has survived since the beginning of time, in a never ending cycle of seasons; life and death; destruction and re-birth; this is
b a l a n c e .
This balance is the reference point for the Medicine Wheel and encompasses the oh so infamous ‘circle of life.’ When we acknowledge that we are part of a larger process, a larger system, a larger community; we (ideally) gain a perspective that is balanced. When we integrate empathy, kindness and forgiveness into our actions, we leave ourselves open to the goodness that comes from sharing what we have and accepting what we receive.

Committed to finding our Role

Many young people feel challenged today because they don’t feel a connection to others, and the isolation and aloneness can be fatal. Suicide is the second leading cause of Death among young people aged 10-24 in Canada. We must work together as a North End, Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada and Turtle Island Community and acknowledge that we all have a role to play in changing this world for the BeTteR. It is challenging to clearly understand where we need to go in this life if we do not have a clear understanding of where we have come from (‘We’ is a personal term and refers to the group of people that we each identify with on a cultural and historical level). Once we have an understanding, we can gain a better perspective of where we as young individuals, living in the present day, stand.

Youth should understand that our very first commitment must be to ourselves. To ensure that we enable healthy communication with our own self (and our own spirits) it is useful to look at the Medicine Wheel as a point of reference. If we do this, we can literally have conversations with the different parts of ourselves. We each have the following personalities:

Spiritual – This is the faith part of you. Whether you believe in the Great Spirit or any other, this is the part of you that believes. This is your soul and can be nourished by dancing, singing, laughing and cultural exploration.

Physical – this is the basic part of you, the part that physically exists. This is the part of you that needs food, water, shelter, sex, sleep etc. You must eat healthy and keep physically fit, and be aware of what kind of nourishment you put into your body.

Emotional – You must learn how to interact and acknowledge your emotions. Honesty is so important here, and you must use caution and courage to share your emotions when you need to.

Mental – This is your logic and your mental state. Youth must make sure you exercise it by learning, and teaching/sharing your gift with others. This is the logical reasoning part of us.

In addition to the Medicine Wheel helping, we can also integrate the Seven Sacred Teachings as a helpful model. The Teachings are essentially 7 values; or moral principles; just suggestions to live by. The thing that’s awesome about them, is they will help you act with integrity and if you refer to them in situations where you are unsure, you can make better decisions and always be respectful of yourself and others!

Part of living the Seven Sacred Teachings means acknowledging and deliberately entrenching them into our actions and thoughts. When we say something, we must ask ourselves the questions:

Am I being loving? Am I being honest with myself and others? Is this respectful? Is this wise? Am I acting with humility? What courage do I need to do this?

In asking and answering each of these questions, we live truthfully, and with integrity.

W3rd. (teehee)


PS > Oh yeah! WHMIS! And more! I have prepped the next AYO! UpdateZ and will be distributing it shortly And don't forget to to sign up for 'AYO! does WHMIS', happening this Wednesday March 9th in the evening @ SAFE Workers of Tomorrow which is my day job (884 Portage Avenue, downtown, Peg City!)

1 comment:

  1. Hi. Cool blog. Regarding WHMIS, you might get a kick out of my new original youtube parody song, The WHMIS Warble. Feel free to use it in your training seminars and share it with others if you wish.
    Cheers, Marsh

    The url for The WHMIS Warble is


North End MC

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Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada
Representin the North End of Winnipeg since 1987. I will share my journey tryna set an example and live a proud Cree life. I'll include my challenges and feelings and progress in terms of AYO! Aboriginal Youth Opportunities. You(th) are the reason.