"When a boy began to enter manhood he would go up into the mountains to find his true self. Manhood begins when the boy’s voice began to change, about the age of twelve years. It would not be unusual for him to stay there by himself for several months. Some young men were known to stay for two years.
Try to imagine what was expected of a twelve-year-old boy. He had to learn to live on his own strength and on the resources that the Creator had put at his disposal. His years with his parents and grandparents were like the years spent in elementary school. Now he was beginning his secondary education. He would learn to apply the many stories he had been told from his earliest childhood… If he had learned his lessons well, he would have all the knowledge he might need to live comfortably."
Quote from elder statesman George Manuel, The Fourth World: An Indian Reality (Manuel, G. and Posluns, G., 1974, Ontario, Canada: Collier MacMillan) p. 38.