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First Nation Women

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The First Nations women of North America lead a very interesting and complex life. Most of their lives spent as an object of slavery and viewed as a non-person with no rights or feelings. This varied from tribe to tribe depending on social organization, politically, ceremonially, agriculturally, geography, and mythology. In tribes that the government principles reflect on the character of Gods, women were highly esteemed and had some measure of authority. In tribes that the government was based on clan organization. The Gods believed women were supreme being the foundation of tribal society. These principles brought peace harmony and prosperity to those communities. However, these special statuses of women belonged only to a small group. Other women received no consideration, respect, or value to the tribe. All the labor required for the home, work place and community fell into the responsibilities of women. Some other jobs included tanning of skins, weaving fabrics, food preparation for winter use, drying and smoking the meat, and making clothes, mats, and baskets. As the man role was to lead the tribe, manage his family, hunt, and fight. One special status as that women held is the key to the reproduction of life and therefore the sowing and cultivating the crops was exclusively theirs.

In the Native group, Kutchin, a group of Athaascan tribes in Alaska and British Columbia. The Kutchin is a prime example of how the Native American women were badly treated. If they were to go to war, they were willing to massacre all of their women except a couple young females for wives for the reproduction of the tribe. Women were forced to do all the hard work in camps, and had no voice in family or tribal affairs except when selecting a husband for their daughter or daughters. It was compensatory that the women ate after the men were done eating. They were also required to manufacture weapons, cooking, cleaning, fishing, and building the community. Without adequate shelter or food for themselves. Besides all the bad times, they experienced many happy and fun times. Below shows what their rhythmical dances looked like:

However, even through they had some good times of dancing and playing games, most of the Native American tribes agreed on one thing and is stated clearly in the resource book, The Indians of Canada, and proves that they were brutally mistreated:

"The hardships the women suffer, induce them, too often to let the female infants



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