Why I’m Raising My Kid to Show Devotion to The Creator
BY CBC KIDS STAFF
Aug 13, 2019
Art is fundamental to culture and identity. It's how we understand and interpret the world around us, and in some Indigenous cultures, it's a connection to the spirit world.
Amber, a Kanien'kehá:ka mother, talks about her Haudenosaunee heritage and how it impacts the way she raises her daughter.
In the above video, she acknowledges the resurgence of young Indigenous people connecting to their traditions, especially her own daughter, who participates in modern and ceremonious dance to please the Creator.
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Amber (mother): "I think that one of the most important things we can do is talk to our children. You know, we have a lot of really serious conversations with Aleena and helping her to understand what it means to be a Kanien'kehá:ka woman in modern society and the challenges of that.
We've had those serious conversations that most families probably don't have to have with their children. It's a challenge to live with your culture, and with your traditional values and way of life in today's society.
In Haudenosaunee culture, we're always told to listen to our children, you know, that they have a lot of insight and a lot to offer us because they're strongly still connected to that spirit world.
Our children, they don't see how the world sees them.
For the Haudenosaunee people, art is really about connecting our appreciation and our respect for the world that we live in, right? And a lot of art, as we know, is a mirror to the natural world. It's a universal language.
Right now is really this period of cultural resurgence for Indigenous people in Canada and I think that for our young people especially, they're really looking towards identifying who they are and making that a really important piece of their lives. And our people have shown that strong resilience to be able to maintain that in the face of what's happened to us, we've retained who we are.
You know, we're told that when we dance ceremonially that we are — that we are dancing for the Creator."
Aleena (daughter): "It shows everybody and the Creator, like, how we are thankful to have this gift and be able to share with people to make them happy."
Amber: "She's one of few, you know, young Indigenous women who have the opportunity to engage in a more modern form of dance and art.
Through that, she's able to — to begin to break down some of those stereotypes and those narratives that exists out there about what it means to be an Indigenous woman."
The Art of Parenting offers an intimate conversation with some of the most memorable families featured in the CBC Kids broadcast series The Art Show. The parents speak candidly and emotionally about how their own history, upbringing, belief system and circumstances have influenced their parenting style and resulted in raising of some truly phenomenal kids.
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