, Volume 49, Issue 4, pp 521–526 | Cite as

Cultivating Spiritual Intelligence: Honoring Heart Wisdom and First Nations Indigenous Ways of Knowing

  • Nancy-Angel DoetzelEmail author


The author of this paper has First Nations Indigenous Ojibwa roots and was taught to honour heart wisdom and spiritual ways of knowing throughout her lifelong learning. The spiritual dimension of people’s lives, which reflects heart wisdom, is an important source of learning and is commonly awakened by ceremonies, rituals, art forms, music, drama or storytelling. When acknowledging heart wisdom, educators are honoring First Nations Indigenous ways of knowing. In sacred scripture, spiritual masters introduced narratives to reveal sacred truths that can awaken people’s hearts. Vanier (Becoming human, House of Anansi Press, Toronto, ON, 1998) gives his perspective about heart wisdom:

To speak of the heart is not to speak of vaguely defined emotions but to speak of the very core of our being. At the core we know we can be strengthened and rendered more truthful and more alive. Our hearts can become hard like stone or tender like flesh. (p. 87).

Pearsall (The heart’s code, Broadway Books, New York, NY, 1998) further states that “one of oldest forms of medicine has focussed on the heart as the centre of the spiritual energy that expresses our soul “(p. 29). This paper will present an argument that supports cultivating spiritual intelligence and acknowledging heart wisdom within educational systems.


First Nations Indigenous Heart wisdom Spiritual intelligence 


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Copyright information

© Springer Nature B.V. 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mount Royal University Calgary FacultyCalgaryCanada

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