Clan Systems, Residential Schools and European Contact
Social Work with Families – NSW112-11
Professor M. Pro
Thursday March 28, 2013
Family Life Prior to European Contact
The clan systems operated at the government of the community, worked out methods of organizing daily tasks for individuals within the community. The clan systems were built on equality and guided and reinforced the teachings of living a good life. The hoof clan members were the social workers of the community and provided care and protection for the vulnerable members of the community. The hoof clan was responsible for making decisions for the safety of the community. The community was interconnected to each other and the land in their nomadic lifestyle as well as a concern for sustaining the land and ensuring that the resources were available for next generations. Tribes followed the seasons and went where food was available at a certain time of year. This lifestyle allowed time for the earth to replenish what resources were used by the communities. Two gifts from the toddler stage of life are laughter and learning from mistakes. These gifts contribute to family wellbeing by enabling the family to embrace the joy of living. Two gifts of the young adult stage of life are independence and settling into an individual’s own role into the community. These gifts contribute to family wellbeing by providing information and support while the young adult finds their place. European Contact: Catalysts of change to the Family System
The European policies that affected family life and created challenges for Aboriginal families include enfranchisement which is the loss of status, either by choice (a move from the reservation), or marriage (a Native woman lost status if she married a white man) and legislation that was passed to prevent Native peoples from purchasing farm equipment with bank loans. This made family life harder because it promoted the cycle of poverty on the...
References: Aboriginal Healing Foundation, The. (2005). Reclaiming connections: understanding residential school trauma among aboriginal people. Ottawa: Anishinabe Printing (Kitigan-Zibi).
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