By Jay Bell Redbird
Created 2010 for the Seneca College Community
"OUR HOME" represents the various physical locations in which we create home for our families and ourselves. It also includes home as an idea that provides a sense of belonging and comfort. No matter where or how we create our home, we are reminded that Mother Earth is our essential home.
The story of the painting begins with the four Seneca campuses, which become our “home away from home.” These campuses provide space for education and future leadership by students from all Nations from the four directions of Mother Earth. We are all united to continue to learn to be the best future that we can be.
The Seven Clans of the Anishinaabe are represented by the Eagle (Keeper of the Teachings), the Bear (Keeper of the Medicines), the Loon (Internal Chieftainship), the Crane (External Chieftainship), the Fish (Mediators), the Marten (Warrior Society), and the Moose (Kindness and Sacrifice). These Clans represent the various roles and responsibilities we have within a community and remind us that we all need to work together to ensure well-being and balance.
The Seven Eagle feathers represent the Seven Grandfather Teachings that show us that we need to live with the values of love, honesty, truth, wisdom, courage, humility and respect.
The Lightening connects the physical realm with the spiritual realm.
There is a Teepee that represents the past and the future. It is a reminder that life continues to move forward and we need to know our histories to understand where are going into the future.
The sweat lodge (womb of Mother Earth) represents Human Beings’ connection to Mother Earth, who provides all of life to the natural world. Without Mother Earth continuously providing all that we need to sustain life, there would be no life.
The trees represent strength and growth. The water represents life; it is the lifeblood of Mother Earth.
It is important as we strive to achieve success in our education and future contributions; we remember our connection and responsibilities to ensure we move forward protecting and caring for Mother Earth...Our Home.