The Slavey used storytelling to teach their young lessons about the
creation of the world, and understanding animals and their powers.
Young women were isolated during menses, as were the Beaver women. A
youth who wanted to marry would be required to pay for his bride by
hunting for his parents-in-law for a year, and "men wrestled
occasionally for each other's wives."
The Slavey, unlike some other Athapaskan groups, did not abandon their
elderly or infirm, but "carried them about with them, even when it
entailed considerable hardship on the family and band." For
burying their dead, they placed the deceased relatives on a scaffold or
covered them and their belongings with leaves and brush and built small
huts over the remains to protect them from scavenging animals.
Reprinted from "A Sense of the
Peace," by Roberta Hursey with permission of the Spirit of the Peace
Museums Association and the author.