Nature’s Laws limits the way the People can deal
with the land in that land does not belong to them and
cannot be sold, traded or divorced from the being who gave
it...it has a ‘spirit’ that must not be violated.
The One of the strongest teachings of the traditional
Elders concerns the authority of women. When the Elders
speak about the role of women at the treaty, they talk about
the spiritual connection of the women to the land and to
treaty-making. The Creator gave women the power to create.
The man is the helper to the woman, not the other way
around. Women are linked to Mother Earth by their ability to
bring forth life. The women sit beside the Creator as a
recognition of their role and position.
Once there was a story of a young man who criticized a
woman at Chief and meeting. After the meeting was concluded,
an old man went to speak to the young man. The old man asked
the young man to hold out his hand and make something grow.
The young man replied that he could not make something grow
in his palm. The old man told him that a woman could make
things grow. Until the young man could make something grow
in his hand, he should not speak against women.
Because of this spiritual connection with the Creator and
Mother Earth, it is the women who own the land. Man can use
the land, protect and guard it, but not own it. Women can
pass on authority of use to the man, but not the life of the
earth. When a man hunts, the women come along and claim the
meat. If a woman is the Chief's wife, she distributes the
choice meat in the village after the hunt, because the women
own the meat and the hide. Sharon Venne, (Understanding
Treaty 6. p.191).