The Cangleska Wakan, Sacred Hoop, was the first Medicine Wheel

Apr 20, 2017 | Native Hope

Our beliefs represent the core of whom we are. They convict us, guide us, and enrich us. The Lakóta, Dakóta, and Nakóta people are rooted in a heritage of values and beliefs passed on from their ancestors from generation to generation.

There are many symbols within the Lakota culture that represent convictions and spiritual beliefs. The Cangleska Wakan, Sacred Circle or Hoop, is based on the Sioux concept that everything in the universe is related. It exemplifies the compelling belief that all things that exist are connected in one continuous process of growth and progression.  Perhaps, the most recognizable Cangleska Wakan is the medicine wheel. 

A symbol of unity


The Sacred Hoop represents the shared values that bind the Lakota nation together in unity within their tribal system. These values include, amongst others, their language, ceremonies, storytelling, songs, religion, bravery, respect, wisdom, generosity, the four directions, Mother Earth, Father Sky, teachings from elders, and the common belief that everything which is good and holy is represented in the shape of a circle.


The circle, or medicine wheel, is viewed as the foundation for every component of human and animal life, the earth, sky, and universe. It instructs us about the seasons, life, animals, and the earth’s compass. Each direction of north, south, east, and west encompasses the teaching of life for each individual and their place in society, while the center represents the earth and sky.

All of us at Native Hope are passionate about preserving Native American culture and Native American history and empowering the next generation to thrive in the authenticity of their heritage.