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First Nations in Northeastern Wisconsin

Nation Inter-Tribal Organizations in Wisconsin

Other Resources

American Indian Values

The image on the FNST homepage is representative of the many values of American Indians. The following is an explanation of the visual symbols that appear in the image

Circle: The circle is a symbol that emphasizes the balance of life. Both creator and created are represented in the circle and shows natural cycles of birth, death, and rebirth. The universe moves in natural circles, so time is also recorded in a circular fasion.

Colors: The four colors associated with the values of American Indian Nations are white, yellow, red, and black and appear in the Medicine Wheel

Hills: There are four hills of life, or four stages of life, that every person passes through. The first hill is climbed during birth and early childhood, the second at youth and adolescence, the third in adulthood, and the last with old age. With each climb, the individual gains more experience and wisdom in the world.

Plants: Plants were created before creatures, so they can exist without humans, but humans cannot live without plants. Special rules govern the harvesting of plants so that the natural world remains in balance. Plants have many purposes including places in ceremonies, sustains life, and healing.

Rocks: The rock is a symbol of stability in a world constantly changing.

The Balance of 4: For American Indians the number 4 is symbolic. A few examples of sets of fours are: the four colors, hills of life, directions, elements, seasons, and dimensions of a being.

Tree: The Sacred Tree is a symbol of life-giving by four elements: protection, nourishment, growth, and wholeness. It connects the earth with the sky and air with the symbol of balance.

Water: Water is an important symbol for the Ojibwa Nation. Water gives life by its abundance and sources of food. It can also takes life away when used too much or too little. For this reason water is respected.

Oneida Language Project

First Nation Studies at UW-Green Bay have offered courses in the Oneida Language since the mid 1970s. They are taught in the Oneida Nation community a few miles west of Green Bay. The long-standing collaboration between the campus and the Oneida Nation's language revitalization efforts has produced a dictionary, texts, and numerous teaching materials. The language courses offered are flexible to offer instruction for beginners as well as advanced students.