Culture is at the heart of everything we do.

The connection to cultural traditions and Indigenous roots is essential to the delivery of our services, and supporting families and children.

Over the years, Dilico has made it a priority to give our children the opportunity to know where they came from, to help them identify the need of belonging to our communities as they grow up, and to be connected to our grandparents and Elders’ teachings at a young age.

During a ceremony with the Dilico Elders Committee and Youth Council in 2019, Dilico’s Spirit Names were retrieved: Animkii Binesi (Thunder Bird) and Migizi (Eagle).

Healing through culture and connection.

Our work strives to deliver holistic education and programming of cultural relevance to our families and children. All children and youth are influenced by the people they are surrounded with—their family, culture and their community.

Maintaining cultural connections.

Culture can take on a variety of meanings to people. For some, culture can be tradition and history, it can encompass values and beliefs, even spirituality and the environment. For others it can be a way of life, or an activity.

It’s important to the Dilico family to remember where we started, how far we have come, and how Elders have helped us get to where we are today.

Parents and caregivers are our children’s very first teachers and it’s essential that we introduce them to culture at a young age. Identity plays a key role in healthy child development, and culture and tradition is really what is at the centre of Anishinabek people.

Elders play an important role in passing on traditions, with teachings and values, to help our youth and families grow and find happiness.


(Cultural Teachings)

Connecting back to roots through the Anishinabek way of life.

Teachings in the Anishinabek culture have been traditionally passed down from generation to generation, through stories and ceremonies. The teachings of all lndigenous cultures encompass the morals, values, structures, ceremonial practices, and spiritual beliefs, while also ensuring the survival of our people and culture.

The Seven Grandfather Teachings

The Seven Grandfather Teachings are the most commonly shared teachings across the country. Many communities have adopted the guiding principals, in one form or another, as a moral stepping stone and cultural foundation.

The Seven Grandfather Teachings connect the past and present and symbolize much of what defines Minobimaadiziwin (living well). Many try to weave the lessons into daily life each as a teaching tool for living the good life.

These teachings remain at the heart of Dilico Anishinabek Family Care. They continue to strengthen the framework of our organization, families and employees, and share a message of traditional values, hope and respect for all things, while facilitating the potential to learn.

1. Dabaadendiziwin: Humility
Humility is to know that we are a part of creation, and that we always consider ourselves equal to one another. We should never think that we are better or worse than anyone else. It’s about living life selflessly, while respecting your place and carrying pride with your people.
2. Minaadendamowin: Respect
One of the teachings around respect is that in order to have respect from someone or something, we must get to know and understand them on a deeper level. Respect develops when one takes the time to establish a greater relationship with the other. Like love, respect is mutual and reciprocal. In order to receive respect one must give respect. We honour the traditional roles that we fill and the teachings we have been given. We honour our families and others, as well as ourselves.
3. Gwekwaadiziwin: Honesty
Honesty is about accepting yourself for who you are and knowing how to use your gifts to survive and thrive. Truth is our guide and allows us to be honest with others. When we walk through life with integrity, we are giving the gift of honesty. Being true to our spirit and accepting who we are, guides us in being honest.
4. Zaagi'idiwin: Love
Love is a kindness for all things around you, and living at peace with the Creator and in harmony with all of creation. Being able to demonstrate love means that we must first love ourselves before we can show love to someone else. Love is unconditional and must be given freely. When we give love freely it comes back to us.
5. Zoongide'ewin: Courage
Courage is the ability to face danger, fear or changes with confidence and bravery. It’s about finding inner strength in order to move through the difficulties of life, while working for what you believe in and what is right for your community, family, and self.
6. Nibwaakaawin: Wisdom
A combination of the seven grandfather teachings, with the experiences of life, leads to wisdom. We gather wisdom and knowledge as we walk our journey from Elders, leadership and in everything we do. It is given to us by the Creator to be used for good.
7. Debwewin: Truth
Truth is having the knowledge of our cultural teachings, while understanding the importance of both the journey and the destination. It’s about showing honor and sincerity in all that you say and do.
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