National Longhouse Patch
The basic design of the patch is that of an Ojibway Medicine Wheel as gifted to the NATIONAL LONGHOUSE® programs by June Friday-MacInnis, niece of the great Joe Friday.
The patch elements and their meaning are as follows (from center, outwards):
The Turtle symbolizes the bringing forth of the first land mast from the bottom of the Sea. The seven sections of the shell represent their eventual separation which formed the seven continents.
The Turtle sits on the Eye of the Great Spirit, who’s blue color represents the Sea. The blue points of the Great Spirit symbolizes the four Spiritual Directions: East – the beginning of life from where the Sun rises; South – change from the southern winds bringing forth seasonal renewal to the Earth; West – the path of souls where Man must cross a body of water for his soul to enter the spirit world; North – completes the Circle of Life and represents strength and endurance.
The Spiritual Directions point to the four colors of Man. The Eye of the Great Spirit is watching over the four races from all directions. The green outer rim of the Medicine Wheel circles the four races of Humankind and ties them together in brotherhood.
Each of the six colors represents one of the Ojibway’s “Six Aims”:
- White – symbolizes Purity to the Ojibway as with their belief of Purity of Heart, represented in the first Aim
- Black – symbolizes Foundation to the Ojibway as with their belief of maintaining a strong, iron-like bond between parent and child, represented in the second Aim
- Red – symbolizes Love to the Ojibway as with their belief of the love that flows through the blood of one’s Sacred Family Circle, represented in the third Aim
- Yellow – symbolizes Illumination to the Ojibway as with their belief of being bright and attentive to the messages and signs provided by the Great Spirit, their fellow man, and their surroundings, represented in the fourth Aim
- Blue – symbolizes Healing to the Ojibway as with their belief of resolving friction and maintaining harmony with all who are blanketed under the blue Sky, represented in the fifth Aim
- Green – symbolizes Growth to the Ojibway as with their respect for their environment and taking only what they need, represented in the sixth Aim
The attachable feathers indicate which of the four program versions the wearer is enrolled. It also allows the Medicine Wheel Patch to be personalized. Each family participant is represented by a feather. The child participant would attach two feathers to his or her Medicine Wheel Patch: one to represent the child (Son or Daughter feather) and one to represent the parent (Dad or Mom feather). The parent would attach two or more feathers; one to represent him or herself (Dad or Mom feather) and one for each enrolled child. A dad enrolled with one son would have a Dad and Son feather. A dad enrolled with two sons would have a Dad and two Son feathers. If the parent used the same vest for two programs, both a Son and Daughter feather could be added.
Each of our local longhouses can opt to sell their own longhouse-name feathers which can be added to the outside of the Medicine Wheel. Colors for these special feathers are determined by the local longhouse. Members should inquire and order directly through their local longhouse.
The headband is composed of a series of pictographs. Except for the waves and text, the headbnad uses only Sioux and Ojibway pictographs historically catalogued by the work of William Tomkins, circa 1931.
The Great Spirit inspired and provided direction to the National Longhouse Council, who talked among themselves until they discovered the NATIVE SONS AND DAUGHTERS PROGRAMS® activity. They invited the dad, son, & daughter . . . and the mom, son, & daughter . . . to come join the new program with other families, so they could become a tribe, and enjoy sociability with one another, along with activities around a campfire.
The Great Spirit is the focal point of the headband. The waves radiating from the Great Spirit symbolizes His love. As with the Ojibway, the color red is used to represent Love. The waves also provide a path for the storyline and help to segregate the pictographs into sections.
In the beginning, the Great Spirit created the Earth Lodge. He commanded there be light and called it Day to separate it from the darkness which He call Night. This was the first day. He then separated the Sea from the air and called the heavens Sky. This was the second day. On the third day, He raised an Island from the Sea and covered it with Grass, Trees and Corn. On the fourth day, He placed lights in the Sky – a bright Sun for the Day and a dimmer Moon and Stars for the Night. On the fifth day, He placed the Fish in the Sea and the White Hawk in the Sky. On the sixth day, He provided Antelope and created Man and Women in His likeness to rule over what he had just created. On the seventh day, having been pleased with what He created, He rested.