Physical (Well-Being) – Indigenous EarlyON

Balance is essential in strengthening the relationship to a holistic approach our wellness with health. The wellness wheel originates from an Indigenous philosophy of life which promotes health and wellness through a holistic approach based on the Medicine Wheel. It is being aware which area (Mental, Emotional, Physical and Spiritual) that may need some attention. Once you determine that, it will help to better understand one’s self and the management of diabetes. By acknowledging the choices they make regarding care in one aspect, can also affect other areas of their well-being.

TURTLE IMAGE – In the Haudenosaunee culture, the turtle shell is an example of a traditional calendar.

With 13 Plates – 1 for each moon, each time the moon goes through a cycle.

Nutrition - Remembering the spirit in our foodPhysical Activity - Land based activitiesLanguage - Learn and share your languageCulture - Connecting to community eventsStrong relationships, socially and personallyPeace FindingBalance - In Mind, Body, Spirit and EmotionGratitude - Self ReflectionLearn - Whether formal or information education to help maintaining a sense of purpose and competencySet Goals - Have a purpose and something to focus onGive Back - Do something for someone else, with no expectations (Pay it forward)Resilience - Find a solution and bounce back after a fallSupport - Resources links

Around the edges, 28 tabs which represent the total amount of days within a full cycle of moon (month).

Keeping track of the cycles of the moon was important in planning future actions: hunting, gathering, planting, harvesting, feastings and meeting events. (IDHC)

Indigenous Resources

Connection – Strong Relationships, Socially and Personally

Balance (In Mind, Body, Spirit and Emotion)

Mental – Ability to be open minded to new ideas & experiences
  • Learn New Things
  • Live by GF teachings (Love, trust, honesty, humility, wisdom, bravery, respect)
  • Nurture your self esteem
  • Revive self-worth after rejection (affirmation of your meaningfulness)
  • Stay Positive
  • Be flexible – Schedules – work/home
  • Know when to ask for help
  • Physically taking care of yourself = mental health
  • Learn how to deal with stress
Physical – Ability to live a healthy life
  • LIVE – Enjoy Life
  • Make a point to get out and move every day
  • Exercise Regularly
  • Sleep
  • Know your own boundaries
  • Eat well – balanced diet
  • Take care of your personal self – hygiene
Emotional – Ability to understand self
  • Be mindful – live in the moment and pay attention
  • Journal
  • Be optimistic, have hope
  • Accept yourself
  • Stay connected to friends/family (supports)
  • Express gratitude
  • Set goals – find your purpose
  • Make a plan – time manage
Spiritual – Ability to establish peace and harmony
  • Sing, dance, play music.
  • Ceremonies, Medicines, Socials
  • Take value in personal development
  • Meditate
  • Take time for yourself – self reflection
  • Forgive others
  • Be open to your experiences and feelings


Whether formal or information education to help maintain a sense of purpose and competency

Native Advisory Circle

Barrie Area Native Advisory Circle

(Culture Card – A guide to building culture awareness)

Gratitude and Setting Goals

Self Reflection, have a purpose and something to focus on

Gratitude and Setting Goals

Reference: Doran, George. T. (1981)

Give Back – Do something for someone else, with no expectations (Pay It Forward)

Volunteer for cultural events in your community; pow wow committees are always looking for assistance.

Powwows are celebrations that showcase Aboriginal music, dances, dance apparel, food and crafts. Commonly hosted by First Nations communities (either on reserve or in urban settings), Métis and Inuit also participate in contemporary powwows, and smaller powwows are hosted by educational institutions. Powwows promote cultural pride, respect and health for young and old in an inclusive setting; drugs and alcohol are forbidden on the powwow grounds. Powwows serve an important role in many Indigenous peoples’ lives as a forum to visit family and friends, and to celebrate their cultural heritage, while also serving as a site for cross-cultural sharing with non-Indigenous attendees and participants. (Hoefnagels, Anna. “Powwow”, 2006)


Book List:
(Found on Good Minds, Strong Nations and online)

Amikoonse by Ferguson Plain
Cradle Me by Debby Slier
Fancy Dance by Leslie Johnson
Fishing with grandma by Maren Vsetula & Susan Avingaq
Granny’s giant bannock by Brenda Isabel Wastasecoot
Jingle Dancer by Cynthia Leitich Smith
Louis Riel by Rosemary Neering
My Family by Penny Condon
Maple Moon  by Connie Brummel Crook

Owl See clearly at night by Julie Flett
Pushing up the sky by Joseph Bruchac
The bead pot by Thelma Poirier
The Mishomis Book: The Voice of the Ojibway: by Edward Benton-Banai
The Sharing Circle by Arthus Stevens
Tales of the Elders Told – Ojibway Legends (amazon)
When we were alone by Julie Flett
Where did you get your moccasins by Bernelda Wheeler

Header image source: The Government of Canada. (2018). National Indigenous Peoples Day. Government of Canada