Kizhay Ottiziwin: To Walk With Kindness and Kinship


  • Vicki Kelly Simon Fraser University


Anishinaabe teachings, Indigenous education, walking pedagogy, Mino Bimaadiziwin, Kizhay Ottiziwin


Forty years ago, I was sitting beside Poohbah Lake, a part of my homeland. I was deeply engaged in a process I would now describe as attunement and prayer; I was asking Gzhwe Mnidoo and the Ancestors to guide me on my way. I longed to be a living being of kindness and useful to Creation by honouring my kinship to All My Relations. As my moccasined feet gently walked the land, I wanted to honour each and everything as created, to open my heart, and to regard each being with reverence and respect. I learned to hold these teachings as they were offered. As I grew older, I understood the enormous gift I was given to witness Creation as it had been created by Gzhwe Mnidoo. This learning legacy seared itself into my heart and spirit. As I wander my life journey I return to the teachings of my people, the Anishinaabe; I continue to seek an honourable way to walk. This Indigenous Métissage tells the story of my search for Mino Bimaadiziwin through the practice of Kizhay Ottiziwin.

Author Biography

Vicki Kelly, Simon Fraser University

Vicki Kelly is Anishinaabe/Métis, and Indigenous Scholar in the Faculty of Education at Simon Fraser University. She works in the area of Indigenous Education. Her research focuses are: Indigenous knowledges, pedagogies, cultural resurgence. She is an artist who plays the Native American Flute, is a visual artist, carver, and writer.