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Mashkiki Road: The Seven Grandfather Teachings


Three young cousins explore the woods in search of medicines that heal and purify, also gathering advice from wise beings who offer life lessons cherished through generations.

“I’m running low on medicines,” says Grandma Mindy. At once, Lily, Ogimaa, and Ellie are ready to help. Together they will travel Mashkiki Road—the road where the medicines grow—in search of sage and cedar for Grandma.

Not too far into the woods, they encounter Makwa (Bear), who introduces them to the Seven Grandfather Teachings. Makwa advises them to have the courage to do what is right. Farther along the path they meet Sa’be (Bigfoot), who represents honesty, and Mashkode-Bizhiikii (Buffalo), who encourages respect. When the cousins reach a grove of sage plants, they know what to do. They put out tobacco, give thanks, and gather just the amount Grandma needs—no more, no less.

As they continue on Mashkiki Road, they meet Ma’iingan (Wolf), Amik (Beaver), and Mikinaak (Turtle), who each offer their own lessons. At the cedar grove, the children put out tobacco, give thanks, and gather what they need. As they head home at last, Migizi (Eagle) glides by to assure them he has been watching over their journey. Migizi offers the seventh Grandfather Teaching: love.

Back at Grandma’s, Lily, Ogimaa, and Ellie have much treasure to share: cedar and sage from Mashkiki Road, and also tales of the wisdom they gained along the way.