Medicine Wheel Education was founded by Teddy Anderson, a multicultural individual that grew up in the Red Deer area among many cultures. Teddy was given the sacred permission to perform, teach and share the traditional Hoop Dance under the guidance of Lakota teacher Kevin Locke. Teddy and his family have been adopted into the Tagish/Carcross First Nations. Teddy belongs to the Deishitaan clan and given the name Yéił S’aaghí (Crow Bones). In all of Teddy’s travels he found there is a significant lack of Indigenous resources in schools.
To respond to this need Medicine Wheel Education was born, a company that delivers on culturally authentic books, resources and tools specialized for teachers and schools.
Dawn Flight: A Lakota Story by Kevin Locke
A MESSAGE FROM OUR FOUNDER- TEDDY ANDERSON:
Dear Educators, Parents and Community Members,
My name is Yéil S’aaghí (Teddy Anderson) and as far back as I can remember I have always been in love with Indigenous culture, people and the sacred teachings. My grandparents and my father lived with the Tlingit people since the 1950s. I spent time with Elders listening to stories, attending potlatches and learning traditions from many cultures. My grandparents and father were later adopted into the Tlingit Nation through the potlatch ceremony. When I was 15, spending my summer with my grandfather, I met a Hoop Dancer at the Red Deer Aboriginal Dance Troupe. After an offering of tobacco was accepted he taught me two lessons in how to dance and I earned the cultural protocol to dance. My training later took place with my current teacher Kevin Locke.
I am proud to be Persian, English, Scottish and Norwegian. But that’s not all I am. Growing up with many Indigenous teachers who I consider to be family, I learned a lot of my life lessons as well as elements of my identity. Much of this comes from smudging, prayer, connecting with the land and learning the spirituality behind the Hoop Dance. In short, the Hoop Dance, the culture and the teachings changed my life and helped me to understand that everything is connected as well as to find my place.
That is why I believe what we are doing at Medicine Wheel Education is so, so important! I believe this will not only to benefit Indigenous children but further steps towards reconciliation. I hope for a future where all children, regardless of background, can understand and love Indigenous culture in a meaningful way. I believe our children can achieve reconciliation if we continue to provide the opportunity for greater understanding, respect and love. Our books and stories do just that.
There is so much cultural misunderstanding in our society, and Medicine Wheel Education is about building a bridge between cultures in an authentic, heartfelt and beautiful way.
I come from a family of privilege and I believe in using my abilities to create positive change through empowerment. I recognize that I am working with culturally sensitive stories and that requires a methodology for how to approach the important work. These are my guiding principles.
I sincerely hope each one of you can appreciate your roles in these story books. It’s time we band together as a society to celebrate and honour Indigenous stories, lessons and teachings.
With respect and gratitude,
|Raven’s Feast by Kung Jaadee|