Devin Naveau: Medicine Wheel at the Core of Emergency Management

By Devin Naveau, Mattagami First Nation

In the core of Emergency Management is the Medicine Wheel, which is an interconnected system of teachings relating to the cycle of life. It speaks for balance, harmony, and respect.

Medicine wheel. An illustration by Devin Naveau.

To cultivate knowledge is to know Wisdom – To know Love is to love oneself before loving others – To honour all is to have Respect – To face fear with integrity is to know Bravery – To be true to yourself is to know Honesty – To live life selflessly and not selfishly is to know Humility – Truth is to know all of these things.

These Teachings surrounding the Medicine Wheel are a reminder of our responsibilities to the world, to others around us, and to ourselves. Whether it be resilience in Emergency Management or in everyday life, I believe it is crucial to have people at the table capable of representing each virtue when making decisions for others, especially in times of emergency, as there is a tendency for division. Utilizing this framework of virtues ensures that all aspects contributing to the health and wellbeing of others are being considered.



Bizhiw nindizhinikaaz (Devin Naveau) is an indigenous youth from Mattagami First Nation who is an elected councillor. Devin started his leadership journey back in April 2019 with a vision to integrate culture and traditional teachings while maintaining a focus on youth. Devin is also an active member of the Mattagami First Nation Fire Department, which services their community as well as the neighbouring communities. Devin strives to uplift indigenous youth while working diligently towards sustainability for the future 7 generations to come.

Note from the Editor: This article was produced as part of the Time Capsule: A message to future emergency managers, resilience practitioners, and disaster risk reduction scholars series by HazNet. Read other time capsules here.