Our Philosophy…

Aom group sing 2014The “8 Handshakes”

The core values of the 8 Shields Institute and the emerging 8 Shields cultural mentoring movement rest on the “8 Handshakes,” a set of agreements that define not only how we relate to each other, but also articulate how we conduct ourselves in the world at large.  

These eight practices illustrate our approach for working with ourselves, our partners and those we serve.

These commitments enhance and strengthen the work of deep nature connection, culture repair, cultural mentoring and community resilience.

Observance and adherence to these principles drive our interactions in Unity, Peace and Understanding. The Handshakes are essential connective practices that support health and resiliency.

Learn about the Handshake of each direction by clicking the stones below. 


tinder AOM 2014What We Do

We founded the 8 Shields Institute to support the development of an emerging international network of deep nature connection, mentoring, and culture repair.  The 8 Shields Institute is committed to researching, testing, training, and building of healthy, supportive cultural processes that restore deep nature connection and bring meaning and hope to people’s lives.

We provide tools that will help build and strengthen families; create networks of authentic aunts, uncles and elders; and facilitate a deep connection to nature.

The practices we have gathered include those modeled from the wisdom and teachings of nature and experienced elders from many traditions. We have found that these models can be effectively applied in most settings–including the modern urban environment.

AOM JY and LaurenWe are committed to internalizing, applying, and disseminating these practices so that they emerge organically and surround our children with a healthy, immersive, regenerative culture.


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