The source of the word Algonquin is unclear. Some say Algonquin is a name given to us by the French settlers from the Maliseet word, elakómkwik, which means,”they are our relatives/allies.” Others say Algonquin means “at the place of spearing fishes and eels from the bow of a canoe.”
We continue to use Algonquin to describe ourselves and in our language we call ourselves, Omàmiwinini, meaning, “down-river people”. Another common term used to describe ourselves is Anishnabek, meaning “original peoples” or “the good humans.” Other First Nation people also refer to themselves as Anishnabek, such as the Odawa and Ojibwe.
Algonquins of Pikwakanagan is the only federally registered Algonquin community in Ontario. In Quebec, there are nine Algonquin communities: Abit ibiwinni, Timiskaming, Eagle Village (Kebaouek), Wolf Lake, Long Point (Winneway), Kitcisakik (Grand Lac), Lac Simon, Mitcikinabik Inik (Algonquins of Barriere Lake) and Kitigan Zibi (River Desert) First Nations.
Our philosophy is to only take what you need; give in order to receive; recognize that you are an equal part of all that is; be thankful for everything that you get. Many teachings relate to the Creator. Our teachings are not rigid and can be interpreted in different ways. It is encouraged that each person develops their own special relationship with the Creator. It is this difference, this uniqueness with the Creator that creates meaning.
The Anishinabe Way to Live:
- Treat the earth, and all that dwell upon it, with respect
- Remain close to the Creator
- Show great respect for your fellow beings
- Work together for the benefit of all mankind
- Give assistance and kindness whenever needed
- Do what you know is right
- Look after the well-being of mind and body
- Dedicate a share of your efforts to the greater good
- Be truthful and honest at all times
- Take full responsibility for your actions
Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers include:
The Anishinabe Way of Life, Philosophy, and Teachings of the Seven Grandfathers was compiled from the text, Anishnabe 101: The Basics of what you need to know to begin your journey on the Red Road written and published by The Circle of Turtle Lodge and is available at www.algonquintradingpost.com.