Skip to Main Content

Indigenous Topics

What is the Medicine Wheel?

Medicine wheels are symbols within Indigenous culture, originating from physical stone monuments orienting the four directions. Most medicine wheels follow the basic pattern including a center with outer "spokes" facing the cardinal directions - East, South, West, and North. Different interpretations of the medicine wheel have included the four seasons, the four elements, or the four stages of life. 

Use these terms to help guide your research:

Medicine Wheel Sacred Hoops


The Medicine Wheel

Select resources from the U of C Catalogue

Schroeter, Annette, Brunton, Nicole, Kakekagumick, Kara, Cromarty, Helen, Linkewich, Barbara, O'Driscoll, Terry, & Kelly, Len. (2017). Using the first nations medicine wheel as an aid to ethical decision-making in healthcare. Canadian Journal of Native Studies, 37(2), 179–190.

Twigg, Robert C, & Hengen, Thomas. (2009). Going Back to the Roots: Using the Medicine Wheel in the Healing Process. First Peoples Child & Family Review4(1), 10–19.

Hersley, R., Morriseau, R., House, K., 4 Sight, Motion Visual Communications, & First Nations Films. (2005). The medicine wheel. Motion Visual and First Nations Films.