Sunday, December 04, 2016

Family Past and Present

This morning the kitchen table family conversation shifted to pre-colonial contact tribal life compared to our current way of life, which is a heavy dose of liberalism and focus on the individual. It didn't take long and I headed over to the bookshelf to consult a dead guy. I grabbed "In Search of the Primitive." I knew Stanley Diamond had something to contribute to the conversation. I open it up to a quote that I find interesting and potentially useful when looking into our tribal past.

"In the white way of doing things, the family is not so important. The police and soldiers take care of protecting you, the courts give you justice, the Post Office carries messages for you, the school teaches you. Everything is taken care of, even your children, if you should die, but with us the family must do all that. Without the family, we are nothing, and in the old days before white people came, the family was given first consideration by anyone who was about to do anything at all. That is why we got along. With us the family was everything. Now it is nothing. We are getting like the white people, and it is bad for the old people. We had no old people's home like you. The old people were important. They were wise. Your old people must be fools." -- Words from a Pomo Indian, pg. 145)

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