Wednesday, May 27, 2009

How to be a Traditional man


From the Winnipeg Free Press:
The chief of Misipawistik Cree Nation and former national chief of the Assembly of First Nations and said systemic poverty for aboriginal people has to be overcome and he challenged aboriginal men to step up and assume the role of provider for women and children."They have to wake up to the reality that they are contributing to the poverty of our people by not taking measures to improve their households," he said following a press conference at the Indian and M├ętis Friendship Centre."They need to improve their education and go out and find jobs so they can earn income for their families." (Read the article)

This reminded me of a great teaching by an elder. The story goes like this.

A young man, in despair, seeks out an elder for advice.

He tells the elder: "I fooled around on my wife, and I left her for another woman. Now I only see my 2 kids on weekends. I started partying too much and lost my job. The woman I fooled around with got pregnant. She didn't like the fact that I wasn't working and had no money, so she left me. I am completely alone, I feel bad and my parents are on my case. No one in the community respects me anymore. I want to learn to be a traditional man so I can regain my self-respect, the respect of my parents and my community."

The elder replies: "You've come to the right place. The first thing you need to do is quit the boozing and partying. Then you must put on nice clothes and get a job. Once you have a job you need to buy a house, and move your two women and your three kids into the house and buy them all food, clothes and diapers. When you have accomplished this, come back and I will give you the second lesson on how to be a traditional man."

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