Journey Through Secwepemculew - Secwepemc Values

Knucwetsut.s

 

The Value of Individual Strength and Responsibility - Knucwetsut.s (Take care of Yourself)


In traditional times, before contact, it was of extreme importance that each person carried his/her own weight and assisted the community in food harvesting and subsistence gathering. The value of, "taking care of youself", was of great practical importance to the culture's survival. Much of Secwepemc childhood education was in preparation for life's hardships. The development of physical prowess and stamina was valued as an individual strength. Today this value is just as appreciated and can be translated to include " finish what you start", "persevere in your job, your studies, and your struggles".

"The methods used to teach skills for everyday living and to instill values and principles were participation and example. Within communities, skill were taught by every member, with Elders playing a very important role. Education for the child began at the time he or she was born. The child was prepared for his role in life whether it be hunter, fisherman, wife, or mother. This meant that each child grew up knowing his place in the system."

Quote from elder as interviewed by Celia Haig-Brown for "Resistance and Renewal: Surviving the Indian Residential School" (1988) Tillacum Press:Vancouver, Canada. p. 33.

 

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