Gender Roles


Male Activities, Rights of Passage, Responsibilities, General Information

Tribal members hold children to be sacred until the age of twelve.  Children are not to be verbally, emotionally, or physically abused.

After the age of twelve, when a boy becomes a man, he must go through the right-of-passage.  Traditionally, young men went on a vision quest; however, the white man outlawed any traditional ceremonies including the vision quest.    Recently, on August 11, 1978, the American Indian Religious Freedom Act passed and protected these ceremonies.  Some tribal members and families still practice these traditional coming of age ceremonies.

Female Activities, Rights of Passage, Responsibilities, General Information

The female rites-of-passage ceremony was also outlawed, but continues to be practiced by some Tribal members and families. 

When a young girl experiences her first menstrual cycle, a ceremony is conducted for her.  A woman is considered to be very sacred and holy during her menstrual period and woman are respected and taught by family and friends how to respect themselves.  During this time, woman do not go to ceremonies where a pipe is present; they are careful not to step over children’s clothes and possessions.  As shared by the elders, a woman also does not touch Eagle feathers or men’s weapons while menstruating.   


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