For most North American Indian Tribes the number four is sacred and figures prominently in their culture, religion, prophecies, and oral traditions
or stories. Although there may be some variations from tribe to tribe, the four colors represent the four cardinal or sacred directions North, East, South
and West. The four colors also represent the four colors of the human race, and the four elements; Earth, Water, Fire and Air. In addition to the four colors
White, Yellow, Red, and Black, the color Green is often used to represent Mother Earth, and the color Blue is used in place of Black or to represent Water.
Each of the four directions holds a special meaning. Briefly, North represents strength, stamina and endurance; East marks the beginning of the life cycle for it is where the Sun first rises, it also symbolizes wisdom and knowledge; South represents change as the southern winds bring forth a seasonal renewal to the Earth; in the West lies the path of souls where the Indian must cross a large body of water or river in order for his or her soul to enter the spirit world, leaving the human form behind to become one with the Earth, thus repeating the cycle of life and death and renewal. Obviously, many variations and interpretations of the Four Directions can be found among the more than 300 American Indian and Canadian First Nation Tribes across Turtle Island.