Our belief system has evolved over thousands of years, now to be shared with the rest of the world. In a most humble way, in a most loving way, in a most respectful way, in a most honest way, we have come to share these teachings with the world because in our hearts we believe that if we do not share this then we stand to lose all that has been created for us.
Elder Dave Courchene, Anishnabe Nation, Eagle Clan
In 2004, I went to Winnipeg, Manitoba. I was supposed to meet with a woman there to talk about ideas for a film I was working on but I was not sure about making the trip.
Back then I still used a travel agent and this travel agent was not at all encouraging. “Have you ever been to Winnipeg?” she asked. “You won’t like it-it’s completely flat. The only thing of interest there is the statue of Winnie the Pooh at the Winnipeg Zoo.”
I always look for signs about which path to take and Winnie the Pooh was my sign. As a child, my most beloved stuffed animal was Winnie the Pooh and then my grandchildren have always called me Pooh.
So my travel agent made the arrangements and I went.
The first few days were awful. The weather was cold and rainy, the hotel was ugly and depressing and the woman I had gone to meet with was not very helpful. It seemed my intuition had really let me down and I felt completely discouraged and miserable, trapped in a depressing hotel.
Then about the third day, the woman I was meeting with said “Today we’re having lunch with Dave Courchene.” She said this in the same way one might say “Today we’re having lunch with the Queen.”
And so I met Dave Courchene, an Elder from the Anishnabe Nation and immediately, I understood why I had made the trip.
I spent the next few days with Dave. He took me to see his lodge, called the Turtle Lodge, now an international healing center
and we talked about the documentary my son and I were making which came to be called Starblanket a Spirit Journey. Dave wanted to make a film about his vision and he wanted to find more ways to share the 7 Sacred Teachings he had received.
The 7 Teachings are represented by animals and they are: BUFFALO~RESPECT, EAGLE~LOVE, BEAR~COURAGE, BIGFOOT~HONESTY, BEAVER~WISDOM,WOLF~HUMILITY & TURTLE~TRUTH
You can hear Dave explain these teachings in this short video:
Dave had once talked about wanting to put the 7 Teachings on billboards and buses which I thought was a great idea but the cost was far too great. Over the next few years however, as we made 2 films with Dave: THE 8TH FIRE and MANITOU API~Where the Sun Rises, we created t-shirts and hoodies, pillows, prayer flags, bracelets and posters featuring the 7 Teachings and the message of The 8th Fire which is One Earth~One Whole Circle AgainThis I thought, in addition to the films, would offer another way to bring the teachings to a wider group of people, a different group than Dave was reaching in Canada.
I have shown THE 8TH FIRE and MANITOU API to large audiences and the response has been truly amazing, probably because the messages they bring forth are so needed in these times: A vision of hope and beauty for a dark and hopeless world.
I see a time of seven generations when all the colors of mankind will gather under the sacred Tree of Life and the whole Earth will become one circle again.
Here are a few responses to a screening of MANITOU API ~Where the Sun Rises
Dear Andy and Cindy,
I really don’t have words to express how deeply I was touched and inspired by the timely and important message of the film. The film, with the seven teachings, is an essential message to all mankind. I trust it will find circulation all over the planet. The time is now. Thank you.
Michael A Knight
The Helene Wurlitzer Foundation of New Mexico
“Manitou API – Where the Sun Rises is by far the best Native American film I have ever seen. A MUST see
– Diego Mulligan, KSFR Santa Fe Public Radio Host of “The Journey Home”
“I was basically speechless when I left the theater but filled with a profound sense of a clear path for a positive future for humanity and all of life.”
The film was awesome! Your work is incredible as it carries a message of hope.
Again, last night rocked and am grateful to have see the film.
Lawrence A. Medina, MBA
Rio Grande ATP, Inc.
Embudo, New Mexico 87531
Below are the trailers for The 8TH FIRE and MANITOU API~Where the Sun Rises.
Most of the products above are available at POOH’S STORE. The 8TH FIRE and MANTOU API~Where the Sun Rises can be purchased here
*A few months ago, I started a Gofundme campaign for ME. I had never done anything like this, never tried to raise money for myself but always for others. “How embarrassing” some will say, not having been there themselves, it’s so easy to judge! It was something I had to do however and if you read the stories and watch the film clips, you’ll understand why….so if you appreciate this blog or just want to make a contribution or are interested in reading about the work I’ve done for the past 28 years [AIDS, Hospice, Aging, Loss and Grief, collaborating with First Nations/Native Americans etc.] https://www.gofundme.com/2cpdpc2k