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Code of Ethics

Traditional Indian Code of Ethics

Note: There are several variations of the “Traditional Indian Code of Ethics” to be found on the internet, most with anonymous attributions. The earliest source we can find, at present, for the Code of Ethics is 1982, the Four Worlds Development Project, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, the Four Worlds Development Project having been founded by Phil Lane Jr, a member of the Yankton Dakota and Chickasaw Nations. This Code is the one duplicated below. Another more elaborate version is found at varioius places on the internet as being first published in the “Inter-Tribal Times” in October of 1994.

1. Give thanks to the Creator each morning upon rising and each evening before sleeping.

2. Seek the courage and strength to be a better person.

3. Showing respect is a basic law of life.

4. Respect the wisdom of people in council. Once you give an idea it no longer belongs to you; it belongs to everybody.

5. Be truthful at all times.

6. Always treat your guests with honour and consideration. Give your best food and comforts to your guests.

7. The hurt of one is the hurt of all. The honour of one is the honour of all.

8. Receive strangers and outsiders kindly.

9. All races are children of the Creator and must be respected.

10. To serve others, to be of some use to family, community, or nation is one of the main purposes for which people are created. True happiness comes to those who dedicate their lives to the service of others.

11. Observe moderation and balance in all things. Know those things that lead to your well-being and those things that lead to your destruction.

12. Listen to and follow the guidance given to your heart. Expect guidance to come in many forms: in prayer; in dreams; in solitude; and, in the words and actions of Elders and friends.

Source: Four Worlds Development Project, University of Lethbridge, Alberta, 1982.



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