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Nature's Law
Spiritual Life, Governance, Culture, Traditions, Resources, Context and Background
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Family Responsibilities

Who May One Marry

Family Definition

Customs of courtship


Rules of Separation

Sexual and gender relations

Marriage Patterns

Women's roles and rights

Bands and

Visual representation of nature's laws

How do you define 'family?'

Extended families would appear to be widespread if we noted low frequencies. Practically every tribe had at least a few three-generation groups of relatives living together at a given time. While we do not have adequate statistical evidence to prove this statement, the abundant reference to grandparents and grandchildren in biography and folklore indicate plenty of three-generation propinquity. (Driver 236).

The Importance of Genetics
Interviewer - Earle Waugh, PhD.


On the northern Plains, it is difficult to choose between independent polygynous and patrilocal extended families. Both were present among all tribes, and any difference among them can at best be a matter of emphasis. Probably the larger unit was more typical before the horse, and later gave way to the more individualistic polygynous unit when the fur trade changes many features of the socio-political organization (Driver 238).

Arranged Marriages
Interviewer - Earle Waugh, PhD.


The ties of kindred and relationship are of a very complex character among the Ojibways; in more than one instance a singular exemplification of cross-relationship occurred during our voyage on lakes Winnipeg and Manitobah which his perhaps worthy of being recorded, as it may serve to show the permanency of ancient customs and traditions among families now dwelling nearly a thousand miles west of the hunting grounds of their ancestors. Near the mouth of the Little Saskatchewan, we met an Indian family in small canoes journeying towards the mouth of the Red River. The family consisted of a young Indian, his wife and two little children. The father was born on the shores of Lake Winnipeg, and had never travelled east of the lake. After a few words passed between him and a half-breed Ojibway from Lake Superior, (Wigwam) they shook hands and proclaimed themselves related to one another. Each belonged, as I was informed, to the tribe which bore the name of the ‘Bear’ and having by some means which Wigwan could not or would not explain, ascertained this fact, they spoke to one another as brothers. A similar relationship was established between Wigwam and another Ojibway on Moss River, solely as he informed me, because his own and his newly found friend belonged to a tribe whose distinctive name was the ‘Bear.’ The Cree half-breeds told me that in their communication with the Ojibway of Lake Winnipeg, and further west, the recognition of relationship not infrequently took place between individuals who met for the first time and who were born and lived in districts far apart (Hind 113).

Political Implications of Marriage
Interviewer - Earle Waugh, PhD.


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