The Seven Clans:
The Crane Clan
The Loon Clan
The Bear Clan
The Deer/Hoof Clan
Depending on the geography of nations, each nation would have had differences in their clans. For example, the Crane Clan may have been the Heron Clan. Also, when looking deeper into oral history of our Elders, many clans had sub-clans as communities became larger and dispersed. The Marten Clan spawned the Otter Clan and the Beaver Clan. The Fish clan spawned the Sucker clan and the Turtle Clan. If a clan is not specifically listed in this teaching, there is a possibility that is part of or descended from one of the seven original clans.
The crane stands in the water observing the world above the water line. Because the crane observes the outside world the Crane clan is known as the Outside Chief. The outside chief is responsible for negotiating with people from other communities.
The loon dives and sees the happenings inside the water. In this way the Loon Clan is known as the Inside Chief as they are responsible for settling disputes and issues within their home community.
The mother bear protects her cubs with ferocity. She is also cunning and knowledgeable about the plants of the forest. Like the mother bear, the Bear Clan is responsible for protecting their people. It is said that people of the Bear Clan are short tempered and live on the outside of the village to ensure the safety of the gentler clans inside the village. The bear clan are also the medicine people for they know the healing ways of the plants available to them.
The Deer or Hoof Clan were known for their kindness, gentle and soft spoken nature like the animals they represent. The Hoof Clan were responsible for looking after the social aspects of the community including ceremonies and celebrations.
The Bird Clan
The bird can fly high in the sky observing the world at great distances. Like the Eagle, the bird is known to be closest to the creator as they are part of the sky world and can access his/her wisdom. The Bird Clan are the keepers of knowledge and responsible for spreading the seeds of knowledge. The Bird Clan were traditionally the teachers and farmers.
The Marten Clan
The small agile marten is limber, quick tempered, ferocious, has quick reflexes and is an excellent hunter. Members of the Marten Clan carry these characteristics and as a result are the strategists, warriors and builders within their community.
The Fish Clan
The fish watch the sky and have the knowledge of the sun, stars and moon. In this way the Fish Clan hold the most intelligence and are the peoples' philosophers. They are also advisors to the Chief Clans.