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  • Writer's pictureDr Chan Abraham


At a time when Western culture is in free fall, with traditional values being sacrificed on the altar of untested ideologies, a little reflection on an ancient culture’s worldview on parenting, enabling boys to take their role and responsibilities to become men, and girls women, is powerfully impacting.

This is a picture of Standing Holy, who is listed as Sitting Bull's daughter. It brings to mind the traditional Oceti Ŝakowiŋ style of parenting. The first time that Sitting Bull traveled and observed non-Native people spanking their children, he was shocked.

In their culture they felt that there was never a need to continually scold a child, belittle them, or strike them. They cuddled their children from birth to about seven because they believed crying wasn't good for children.

Often, if a child did not stop crying, some grandmothers would cry along with them to help them get over whatever had made them sad.

At an early age, they begin to take on the responsibility of their clothing and bedding. The people of these First Nations traveled with the buffalo and had to be mobile. By the age of 10, most children knew how to take care of the materials needed for travel.

Their culture prioritised teaching, structure, and community in raising their children.

They contrast their culture with others that view physical discipline, not necessarily but including punishment, as a part of shaping children and turning boys into men. Native Americans have the view that, without ever being physically punished, they “produced the greatest warriors that ever walked this land”.

They believe that their lifeways and ceremonies through the different stages of life were more valuable than anything colonisation offered.

Contrast this with the cultural imperialism of “progressivism” in the West that insists on everyone conforming to an ideological pathway - use these pronouns; accept this approach to gender; judge all “white” people as guilty of historic wrongdoing - or face the consequences. Ostracism, censorship, censure, loss of friendship, livelihood and even life itself follow this intolerant and tyrannical approach.

Here’s an opportunity both for reflection and learning, as well as truly to progress from this dark period in the West’s evolution to a place of valuing everyone; of prioritising truth, justice and transparency and initiating much-needed renewal in understanding the uniqueness of our humanity.

Adapted from Native American Blood

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