In the ways of many Tribal Nations and Native people, the bear is a symbol of both healing and nurturance. The bear represents teachings that describe and prescribe the bear in both medicine and the healing of wounds—for it is the bear that teaches the medicines of healing wounds and injury. The Center logo invokes the concept of the bear’s medicine in the healing of wounds in individuals, families, and communities.
The Two Bears logo depicts a healing of family: the mother bear and cub symbolize the very essence of parenting, the power of women, and the power of new life. The logo recognizes the strengths of our mothers and grandmothers in guidance of the family, which carried the family ways and traditions throughout the generations. The walk of the bears signifies maternal guidance and resilience moving the family forward in the survivance and nurturance of resilience, which is the driving force of the Center for Native Child and Family Resilience.
The designs on the bears represent the passage of family patterns and designs, which we see on baskets and in lodge designs and ledger art. The two paths of lightning on the bears represent the medicine of lightning, indicating the power of family responsibilities and ways of caring for one another. To pass this power, many cradle boards are made of a tree split by lightning. The four paws of the logo represent the four directions or winds, which feed the life of the family as teachings, medicine, traditions, and purity of heart. The patterns on the paws represent the symbols emanate from great traditions of our people: the creation stories, songs, and teachings that serve as a foundation our family and people. The red clay background of the logo symbolizes the red earth, the red medicine that is so vital to our ties to the earth and our mother of origin.
The patterns around the logo symbolize the traditions of family and the caring of community as handed down throughout our nations. The circle of patterns around the edge is incomplete, in recognition of the children and families that are missing from their rightful place in our communities and cultural responsibilities due to the historical tragedies we have survived and the removal of children from their cultural ways of family. The solid circle around the red background symbolizes the unbroken resolve and resilience of our cultural ways of caring for family and one another, which will never end. That is our commitment. This is the shared vision of the Center for Native Child and Family Resilience.