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Old 05-04-2004, 09:05 AM   #1
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My tradition, your tradition, future tradition?????

Something is really bothering me these days. What approach should we take towards our young people about learning native tradition? I love working with kids but teenage years they are more interested in friends, parties, music. Some really don't care about learning about their culture. Does anyone have their own thoughts on how to get more youth interested in being native???
Would like to hear your thoughts!
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Old 05-04-2004, 10:06 AM   #2
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If we teach the baby from childbirth, they will never forget. I'm not saying that all native kids will embrace it but if there are some that do, the teachings will not be forgotten. Not every family on our rez know any culture or traditions. Don't even want to know. Their loss. I know one young man, 17 years old, who likes to hang out with people who do know about our culture. He's never been taught anything Anishinaabe by his parents. He's learning. Those who really want to learn .......will.

Kids do get caught up in a lot of different stuff and go off in a different direction, but that's the way it goes. All we can do is take care to teach them. They may come back.
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Old 05-04-2004, 11:54 AM   #3
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It starts with parents. They have to teach their young the traditions from birth and continue throughout the years.
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:27 PM   #4
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I love that my daughter is more immersed in our culture then I was at her age. This is simply because of the choice her dad and I made in the path we follow.

I say immersed because it is a lifetime experience not one that happens every sunday and immersed because she gets to choose how much she participates versus the dunking into the church thing I received.



My daughter has not had any church "ceremonies" - baptism, first communion...... - but she has her traditional name, clan and colors, has gone through her puberty ceremony and participates in seasonal gatherings and feasts..... which has more value in my eyes, heart and mind then anything I ever went through in church.








Disclaimer - I am not a church hater - I just choose to walk a different path. If church works for you then go for it!
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:35 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kiwehnzii
If we teach the baby from childbirth, they will never forget. I'm not saying that all native kids will embrace it but if there are some that do, the teachings will not be forgotten.
\

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singing Eagle
I love that my daughter is more immersed in our culture then I was at her age. This is simply because of the choice her dad and I made in the path we follow.

I say immersed because it is a lifetime experience not one that happens every sunday and immersed because she gets to choose how much she participates versus the dunking into the church thing I received
\

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Old 05-04-2004, 12:38 PM   #6
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I think SE is right on track. It's easy to embrace something that is encouraged from childhood. To introduce children to such a culturally rich way of life is a blessing.

My brother and I weren't raised in church (we got expelled from Sunday school haha!!) but we weren't raised in a sweatlodge either. My mother ALWAYS stressed respect. Whether it was for her, elders, nature, ourselves and that had a lot to do with the life choices I have made. We were not taught about the 10 commandments or sin or punishment in a pit of molten lava. It's all about respect, not fear.

I choose do involve my son as much as I possibly can.
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:45 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ac_miss
It starts with parents. They have to teach their young the traditions from birth and continue throughout the years.
Absolutly. Me...I did not know any different. Till I was 6,I was raised in a household ,out in the boonies on the farm, no TV! ..with only native neighbors, my grandma and greatgrandma, All i knew was old folks and ceremonies and dances and cooking in arbors.
Then into a small town, still many natives and an Indian school, but high school was a city, NO native connection except when we Visited back home. I drifted into the modern world 100 percent...same in college. But in my twenties I realized I missed all that. I had to go back to learn a lot, but
my point isThe beginning my folks gave me let me 'come home.' I live on the home place, keep up the sweat lodge, tipi grounds etc..
Start them out right as little ones..that cannot be replaced.
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:54 PM   #8
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I was a self learner too.

I had to take it upon myself to learn and seek out the language myself, but I credit my Uncle for giving me an Eagle Feather when I was just 10 years old. I never knew what to do with it and I never touched it till I was older, but once I started finding out more things about it, it had my interest ever since.

I recommend that for a way to try and spark an interest in our culture.

I've told that story many times (the longer version or course) to many different people, native or non-native, and it always seems to get a good brain-storm going on how to get our youth more involved in their heritage.

Hope it helps whoever reads it.

AHO
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Old 05-04-2004, 12:56 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CandaePrincess
Does anyone have their own thoughts on how to get more youth interested in being native???
Would like to hear your thoughts!
____

Candae Cane:

I would use a tactic that the organized Christian churches use to appeal to our people. . .

Bring them to a ceremony or dance and explain to them what is going on, what to do and what the outcome should be. Sometimes there is no expected outcome. But if a teen ager feels comfortable and understands going into ceremony or dances, he may feel included and may actually get something out of it. At the end of the ceremony or dance, praise that young person for being there.

Young people are searching for their role in life. More importantly they are wanting to belong. Indian tradition is a wonderful thing be a part of.
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:28 PM   #10
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I wouldn't underestimate our youth.

They can see right through "tactics".

That is just my experience anyways. The youth on my reserve that I've spoken to seem to get more uninterested when people try and use tactics to get them to do anything.

I'm not trying to say that your post isn't right, just saying that my experiences are different.

:Angel:
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:31 PM   #11
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Thumbs up

I'm raising my granddaughter, she's learning a lot and has gone through some ceremonies already (for only being 3). She is learning how to dance at our ceremonies and also how to powwow dance. I'm trying to teach her the differences between dancing at our ceremonies and dancing at powwows, dance styles aren't even close but as young as she is she calls everything powwow (cute).
Sometimes it's hard taking her with me everywhere especially to our Longhouse, (because she sometimes gets disruptive), but she won't learn anything if I left her at home with a sitter. She is learning how to sit still and be quiet when that is needed. Everyone knows her in our community because she is with me wherever I go. Everyone claims her as their grandchild, niece, sister/cousin etc. For as long as I live (and I hope that's long enough to see my great grandchildren) I will continue to teach her and help her in her life.
Good job to all the parents and grandparents out there teaching your children a good way of life, it will be with them always.
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:37 PM   #12
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Kakeeya:

I wish there were more people like you in my community. :worthy: There are a select few, but not that many at all.

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Old 05-04-2004, 01:38 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Singing Eagle
I love that my daughter is more immersed in our culture then I was at her age. This is simply because of the choice her dad and I made in the path we follow.

I say immersed because it is a lifetime experience not one that happens every sunday and immersed because she gets to choose how much she participates versus the dunking into the church thing I received.



My daughter has not had any church "ceremonies" - baptism, first communion...... - but she has her traditional name, clan and colors, has gone through her puberty ceremony and participates in seasonal gatherings and feasts..... which has more value in my eyes, heart and mind then anything I ever went through in church.








Disclaimer - I am not a church hater - I just choose to walk a different path. If church works for you then go for it!
Right on SE. My kids have not been baptized or brought into the church either. They have no idea what goes on with that. Matter of fact, my parents have (I've lost track of how many grandchildren)....but none of them are being brought to church. They all have their ndn names, clans and colour as well. Its a beautiful way of life. :)
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:39 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kakeeya
I'm raising my granddaughter, she's learning a lot and has gone through some ceremonies already (for only being 3). She is learning how to dance at our ceremonies and also how to powwow dance. I'm trying to teach her the differences between dancing at our ceremonies and dancing at powwows, dance styles aren't even close but as young as she is she calls everything powwow (cute).
Sometimes it's hard taking her with me everywhere especially to our Longhouse, (because she sometimes gets disruptive), but she won't learn anything if I left her at home with a sitter. She is learning how to sit still and be quiet when that is needed. Everyone knows her in our community because she is with me wherever I go. Everyone claims her as their grandchild, niece, sister/cousin etc. For as long as I live (and I hope that's long enough to see my great grandchildren) I will continue to teach her and help her in her life.
Good job to all the parents and grandparents out there teaching your children a good way of life, it will be with them always.
Right on Kakeeya.
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:40 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jibby
I think SE is right on track. It's easy to embrace something that is encouraged from childhood. To introduce children to such a culturally rich way of life is a blessing.

My brother and I weren't raised in church (we got expelled from Sunday school haha!!) but we weren't raised in a sweatlodge either. My mother ALWAYS stressed respect. Whether it was for her, elders, nature, ourselves and that had a lot to do with the life choices I have made. We were not taught about the 10 commandments or sin or punishment in a pit of molten lava. It's all about respect, not fear.

I choose do involve my son as much as I possibly can.
Right on Jiibiye........I mean Jibby :p
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Old 05-04-2004, 01:41 PM   #16
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Originally Posted by ojibwaysweetie
Right on SE. My kids have not been baptized or brought into the church either. They have no idea what goes on with that. Matter of fact, my parents have (I've lost track of how many grandchildren)....but none of them are being brought to church. They all have their ndn names, clans and colour as well. Its a beautiful way of life. :)
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Old 05-04-2004, 02:05 PM   #17
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I feel I've been lucky to be brought up in both cultures. I go to Indian Methodist Church...but I also participate in NAC as well as ceremony. So I have been raised up good I feel.
I guess the main concern are the ones who are raised in their tradition....but end up turning away from it. Be it embarassment, shame, or helplessness from different family situations. IE: Being raised up with culture but being raised by alcoholic parents. If the child is ashamed of their heritage or even angry at their parents and blame it on their ethnicity.......what do we do to show them that even though bad things may have happened....they are still native and should never be ashamed by it? I'm always working with children and would like to hear what others would say if a teen said something of the liking: "Native traditions are stupid and untrue, people make fun of it so why should I be a part of it??" or "My parents were into their culture but they also drank night and day and were never real parents so why should I want to be native...that's not how I want to live." How would you handle a situation like that???


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Old 05-04-2004, 02:18 PM   #18
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One thing I told myself growing up was, I never wanted to make the same mistakes my parents made, with me, or with life in general.

I find that works well with some youth.

Also, if you can relate well with them it helps, like being able to honestly say that you have been through the same thing growing up. I know that some youth I deal with know some of my family in my community and they can see how far postive thinking, and living can get you.
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*Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work. - Vince Lombardi

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