Elder Wisdom Mapping

Where do you seek wisdom?

“Every moment instructs, and every object: for wisdom is infused into every form.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

“We are a part of nature, and it is a part of us.” – Sally Cole-Misch

“People say to think seven generations ahead when making big decisions, because our future ancestors – those yet to arrive, who will one day become the Elders – live with the choices we make today.” – Angeline Boulley

Elder Wisdom Mapping Concept:

To trace where one seeks advice, wisdom, opportunity for realizations.

Book Connections: Elder Wisdom Mapping was conceived when reading the OBOC choice: Firekeepers Daughter by Angeline Boulley and the companion book: The Best Part of Us, by Sally Cole-Misch. Both books consider the question: How can we best carry our elders’ knowledge of the Great Lakes region forward to face the challenges and opportunities we encounter today? We invited attendees of Monroe County’s OBOC Kickoff! to consider their experiences and ideas of where their have sought wisdom and they mapped it!

Here are their responses:


  • my children
  • best friend
  • husband
  • parents
  • friends
  • grandmother
  • best friend
  • family
  • my son, Liam
  • coworkers
  • best friend
  • aunt/uncle
  • people I work with
  • my children
  • adult children
  • my mother
  • mom and dad
  • Bill Stapp (professor)
  • Sangha Church community
  • Best friend parents
  • my mom
  • memories of what my dad would say
  • my mother
  • people
  • Place

  • The Library
  • Home
  • MCCC Library
  • Monroe County Library System
  • Library
  • Nature

  • Lake Louise Glaciers
  • woods
  • outdoors anywhere
  • the wind, the wood, the people I pass as I run. They allow space to contemplate ideas & solutions.
  • woods, water
  • I love trees. I love to listen to them and talk with them. They are wonderful friends.
  • A walk with my dog!
  • Running in nature
  • The ocean, what the tide brings in and what it takes.
  • My backyard garden
  • Lake, mountain, woods
  • mountains
  • the dog beach @ the salty ocean
  • lake
  • animals living in harmony with plants
  • Words

  • Song lyrics
  • poetry
  • novels
  • books
  • blank
  • storytelling, be it from gossip, memories or from dreams
  • compassion
  • novels, teachers, ancient writings
  • patience
  • Objects

  • jewelry
  • art
  • my grandmother's wedding ring
  • Thunderbird
  • Sounds

  • Birdsongs
  • hymns
  • song lyrics
  • choral music
  • blank – sounds


  • my pets
  • blank – other

    This activity is suported by Michigan Arts and Culture Council and administered by Creative Washtenaw.   






    The Question
    The Activity
    Adding to the Map