Morning Prayers After awakening, the individual would pray, thanking the Creator for blessings and new opportunities. A confession of responsibility was made to other people. Sacrifices were given.
Sacred Path Day began with man walking reverently along a sacred path, among all living things on earth and under the supernatural powers dwelling in heaven.
Seek Knowledge from Elders
Learn to be Quiet and Listen
Learn by Example
Respect the Elders
Learn, through play, by practicing what they see
Protectors (Warriors) Keep tribe safe
Hunters Provided for tribe
Made items for Rituals/Ceremonies
Teach older children
Set up camp or take down camp
Take care of young children
Family ties handed down through women
Mediators Traditionally, an elder would hear both sides to a story and mediate to solve the conflict.
Disciplinarians Grown children often lived with parents in an extended family situation. The grandparents would discipline the children, not the parents.
Teachers Grandparents were admired for their knowledge and wisdom which they often conveyed through stories.
Leaders Because of their knowledge and wisdom, elders often make decisions effecting the tribe.
Traditional Roles Elders
One Elder relates:
One thing I liked about the old people is that they had Indian thinking. For example, my mother and I were driving down the highway and saw a stand of dying birch trees. She asked me if I knew why they were dying. I probably would have explained it as pollution or some other technical explanation. She said the birch trees are dying because no one is using them anymore. They are sad because they no longer have a use. Now that, I think about it, this is kind of like the elders no one is using them anymore. Thats what I call Indian thinking. They would relate themselves with the connection in nature. (Becker, Poupart, & Martinez, 2002, The Way it Was, p. 2)