Star Blanket Medallion

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In October 2021, the Indigenous Initiatives team unveiled a new medallion, featuring a star blanket design created by artist Joseph Sagaj.

What is the star blanket?

IES Medallion

In Ojibwe teachings, the star blanket is seven-pointed and carries the seven original clans and the seven grandmother/grandfather teachings. It can represent legends, stories, events, and different perspectives of culture and heritage. A story is told through the star blanket by the reflecting elements of nature and the colours chosen.

What does the star blanket represent?

The star blanket is symbolic and accompanies its own origin story in many Indigenous communities across Turtle Island. In Anishinaabe culture, the collective understanding is that we are the descendants of the stars and our inherent connection to the stars spans across generations.

  • The morning star that is represented in this logo ties in our Creation to Winona, the first woman, who was lowered from the sky.
  • Yellow represents the sun.
  • Sky blue represents the wind and water.
  • Green represents mother earth.
  • Purple represents grandmother spirit.
  • Navy blue represents the raven or health.
  • Red represents thunder.

Why a blanket?

To give a blanket is to demonstrate great respect, honour, and admiration for that individual. The giver holds the individual in very high regard, and when the star blanket is placed on the individual, it is wrapping the individual with respect and admiration.

The giver chooses the colours that represent the individual to tell their story, show their personality and reflect their accomplishments. It is used to honour, protect, and celebrate the individual.

Receiving a star blanket brings good dreams, prosperity, and protection.

The star does not only represent the Morning Star but it's also known as the Creator's Eye, therefore when the Creator is with you, covering you, you are forever safe.

Hear from the artist, Joseph Sagaj

“The Balance is also incorporated into the design. The other elements of Earth and Air can be acknowledged in our Mind and Spirit as well in an abstract sense. They are important as all Life Source that sustains All Living Creations. The people joined together in a circle represent all people from all walks of life.  There are the Four Colours of the Four Races and are joined in the Spirit of Peace and in Unity. The gifts of the four directions circle the star represents our worldview which is holistic where all things are connected and is a reference to 'all our relations' that comprise the circle of life, which is not complete without any part of it the circle.”