This shield is a one hundred and fifty year old replica of the Medicine Shield used by Medicine Men and Women of the Wabanowin Medicine Society of the Odawa tribes.
The circle represents the entire universe with the all-knowing Thunderbird at the top as the representative of the Great Spirit. The Thunderbird was entrusted with the knowledge and ability to look after the well-being of the Odawa’s, Spiritually, Emotionally, Mentally and Physically (wholistic).
The Thunderbird was also given the responsibility of looking after the Upper World, which included the movement of the stars and all the planets. He was also given the responsibility to ascertain by working with the Brother Sun and Grandmother Moon, continued growth of all the species of medicine plants.
The Mishibishiw, Black Panther was the master of the underworld who was responsible for bringing sickness, bad luck and everything nasty and needed to be constantly appeased.
The area between the Thunderbird and the Panther represents the In Between World, which the Odawa and other tribes occupied. The In Between World was where everything to sustain life was placed. This included the four sacred herbs, Sweet grass, Tobacco, Sage and Cedar.
The Triangular Heart of the Thunderbird represents the three components of Man; Mind, Body and Spirit.
This symbol became known to only a very few Traditional Healers, due to the influence of Church and State. For over a hundred years, law forbade our people to practice their spiritual ceremonies such as the Sundance, Potlatch and Shaking Tent.
With the establishment of the Medicine Lodge within the Health Centre Complex this Shield was once again brought out and has become the symbol of Health and Wellness in our Community.