Seven Arrows Origins

Did you know that our school’s name was inspired by a book entitled, Seven Arrows, written by Hyemeyohsts Storm? Storm explores the ancient traditions of the Medicine Wheels, tribal rituals, and suffrage of the Plains Indian culture during the 1860s. Seven Arrows was met with much criticism in the late 19th century and has recently been revered as a classic volume on the topic.

Many of our school’s cherished rituals and traditions are inspired by the rich culture of the Plains Indians. Traditionally, large tribes were broken up into smaller groups called bands, allowing for easier travel, hunting, and communication. As such, Seven Arrows Elementary prides itself on being one of the smallest independent schools in Southern California. We believe that our small size not only allows for a closer-knit community but also the ability to see each student as an individual.

Within these bands, Plains Indians would form councils and cherish the time to connect as a group. Derived from circle practices held by these bands, Council allows Seven Arrows students to develop their own voices and express their feelings in a powerful, profound, and confident way. Similar to the indigenous origins, Council is a sacred time and space where all involved feel safe to express their innermost thoughts and feelings.

Finally, our weekly all-school Kuyam assembly is an extension of these smaller communities coming together to connect, thrive, and explore. Derived from the ancient Chumash word meaning “a place to rest or come together,” the weekly Kuyam is designed to bring the entire Seven Arrows community together to celebrate the creativity and strengths of our students.