Sunday, November 24, 2013

Traditional First Nations Code of Ethics: An Ideal

"Raven People", by Roy Henry Vickers
The following is reprinted from Learning By Designing, Pacific Northwest Coast Native Indian Art, Vol. 2. This may be of interest to some of you.

"All cultures have ideals or ethics, either spoken or unspoken. Ideals are always something to strive for, the ultimate goal. The following code of ethics and philosophy was a consensus decision by a group of First Nations Elders from across North America who met at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada for the Four Worlds Development Project based at the University.

1. Give thanks to the Creator each morning upon rising and each evening before sleeping. Seek the courage and strength to be a better person.

2. Showing respect is a basic law of life.

3. Respect the wisdom of people in council. Once you give an idea it no longer belongs to you; it belongs to everyone.

4. Be truthful (with compassion) at all times.

5. Always treat your guests with honour and consideration. Give your best food and comforts to your guest.

6. The hurt of one is the hurt of all. The honour of one is the honour of all.

7. Receive strangers and outsiders kindly.

8. All races are children of the Creator and must be respected.

9. To serve others, to be of some use to family, community, or nation are the main purposes for which people are created. True happiness comes to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others.

10. Observe moderation and balance in all things.

11. Know those things that lead to your well-being and those things that lead to your destruction.

12. Listen and follow the guidance given to your heart. Expect guidance to come in many forms: in prayer, in dreams, in solitude and in the words and actions of elders, friends, situations and happenings.


  1. Great stuff here brother. Just in the begining stages of learning about your post here. Im a avid hiker and student of the ancients who once thrived here in ventura and adjacient locations. Ive been to just about every mortar, painting, camp, and village site in the santa monica mtns and coast. My hat off to you!

  2. Thanks for sharing; definitely of interest! That code packs a pretty powerful punch. Pretty amazing if you think about it, probably thousands of years of collective tradition and wisdom there. Solid Content!