When Ah-ki’ (the Earth) was young, it was said that the Earth had a family. Like in a family, they had responsibilities both spiritually and physically. The Creator of this family is Kitchie Man-i-to’ (Great Mystery or Creator). He is like the great grandfather who has all the knowledge, wisdom and is always there…in a spiritual sense.
Nee-ba-gee’-sis (the Moon) means heavenly being that watches over us while we are sleeping in the spiritual sense, and is referred to as Grandmother because she, like in all families, watches over us while we are sleeping in a physical sense.
Gee’-sis (the Sun) means heavenly being watching us during the day. And is also referred to as Grandfather because he is the one who has the responsibility of watching over us during day. The Earth is said to be a woman and is also referred to as our mother because she gives you life, protects, and nurtures you. In this way it is understood that a woman preceded man on Earth.
Long ago, Kitchi Manitou had a dream: He saw the sky filled with the sun, earth, moon and stars. He saw the earth covered with mountains and valleys, lakes and islands, prairies and forests. He saw trees, flowers, grass and fruit. He saw all manner of beings walking, flying, crawling and swimming. He saw birth, growth, and death. And he saw some things that lived forever. Kitchi Manito heard songs and stories, he touched wind and rain, he experienced every emotion and he saw the beauty in each of these things.
After his dream, Kitchi Manitou made rock, water, fire and wind. Into each he breathed life and to each he gave a different essence and nature. From these four elements Kitchi Manitou created the stars, sun, moon and earth. Kitchi Manitou gave special powers to enhance all of his creations. To the sun he gave the power of light and heat. To the earth he gave growth and healing. To the water he gave the power to purify and renew. And to the wind he gave the power of direction, voice of music and the breath of life.
On the new earth, Kitchi Manitou made mountains, valleys, plains, lakes, islands and rivers. Everything had its place on the new earth. Next, Kitchi Manitou sent his singers in the form of birds to the Earth to carry the seeds of life to all of the sacred directions. Four Directions: Wauban (east), Shawan (south), Ningabian (west) and Keewatin (north). Two other sacred directions were the Sky above and the Earth Below. In this way life was spread across the earth.
The Creator made the plants. There were four kinds: flowers, grass, trees, and vegetables. To each plant he gave the spirit of life, growth, healing and beauty. And he placed each one where it would be most beneficial. Kitchi Manitou then created the animals and gave each of them special powers. All of these parts of life lived in harmony with each other.
Kitchi Manitou then took four parts of Mother Earth and blew into them using a Sacred Shell. From this union of the Four Sacred Elements and his breath, man was created.
It is said that Kitchi Manitou then lowered man to the Earth. Thus, man was the last form of life to be placed on the Earth. From this Original Man came the A-nish-i-na’-be people. In the Ojibway language if you break down the word Anishinabe, this is what it means:
||the male of the species
Kitchi Manitou created us in his image. We are natural people. We are a part of the Mother Earth. We live in brotherhood with all that is around us. Although last and weakest of his creations, we were given the greatest gift of all the power to dream. Thus, Kitchi Manitou has brought his dream to life.
Man, as the last of Kitchi Manitou’s creation, regarded plants, animals, and all of creation as elders because those life forms were created first.