Culture Blog

Bringing Tradition Home

Bringing Tradition Home

Jun 17, 2024
Category: General 

By Meagan Howard-Gibbon

Growing up as a city kid far away from my Nation, I often felt disconnected from my culture. The absence of tradition left me feeling isolated and unsure of where I belonged. This feeling is something that many Indigenous people who, like me, straddle the line between Western and Carrier culture, are familiar with.

As I've matured, I've made an effort to bridge that gap. Engaging in Bah’lats, embracing drumming, and supporting community events have become transformational in strengthening the connections to my roots. As I look towards parenthood, I feel compelled to bring tradition into my own home and everyday life. This shared experience of re-connection is what spurred the creation of Bringing Tradition Home, a program that invites participants to connect to their culture.

Bringing Tradition Home creates pathways between family life and connections to culture. At the heart of the program lies the wisdom of Elders and Knowledge Holders who share insights, traditions, ceremonies, and stories passed down through generations. Parents and caregivers have a chance to discuss their experiences in an open environment with other caregivers and a trained facilitator. This is a program that blends tradition with present-day caregiving.

“When you bring up children knowing and appreciating their culture, they grow up developing a sense of identity and belonging. They become strong, independent adults who feel confident about their heritage, language, traditions, and customs,” says Raelene Fietz, Family Preservation Worker.“The support and relationships are great when it comes to being a family unit and it’s not just the mother’s role to guide and nurture children. It takes a whole village! This can include aunties, uncles or even grandparents. This support ensures that children can grow and become who they were created to be.” 

Parents are often the first and most significant influencers in a child’s life. They serve as role models and guides in shaping their children’s beliefs, values and behaviours, including those related to culture. 

 “In Carrier culture, Mothers are often regarded as the main caregivers of children. Their tireless work is often done quietly and is all-encompassing,” Raelene continues. “They are the caregivers, educators, and guides for our young ones, and they taught emotional support and health and wellness through hands-on techniques. These important roles are pivotal in shaping the lives of young ones and are often taken for granted.

 “Similarly, fathers stand as pillars of guidance, instilling values of honour, respect, and tradition in their children. Through their actions and teachings, they show us our strengths. Whether through teaching traditions such as hunting, or being a leader in the community.” 

The influence of parents extends far beyond the walls of the home, shaping children's attitudes, beliefs, and aspirations as they navigate the world. Let us take the time to appreciate parents and caregivers who serve as conduits for cultural knowledge, ensuring that traditions, languages, values, and practices are preserved and passed on to future generations.



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Last modified: Wednesday 03-Apr-24 12:36:28 PDT