3. Indigenous cultures

Indeginious cultures all developed different cultures and societal norms based on their lifestyle and the people who influenced their way of living. The Mik’maq’s were semi nomadic and had created societies where all people, regardless of their gender, have equal rights and similar opportunities. With the innus, men mostly took care of the hard labour jobs as opposed to the women who took care of household chores and the kids. Although, even with the clear labour division, their community worked well since every one of their roles were essential to their survival. Iroquoians were sedentary individuals. Although men were hunters, warriors and chiefs, women had authority. This particular society was traced not only marilineal but also matrilocal and therefore women had a significant amount of power. Supposedly, nomadic indigeneous people are accustomed to labour division but each task given was equally as important as the other but all it all, each different indigenious group had developed different gender relations over time through their habits. 

From what I read, indeginious cultures seem to have been majorly dominated by men in households, in the workforce, in politics and more. A difference I noticed between indeginous peoples cultures is that they seemed to really value women and their work and treat them as equals since most of their survival requires the help of both women and men. Their opinions were heard and considered, they could attain some of the same jobs as men, they were able to make the calls on important decisions at times and more. In our western culture, for a long time, I believe that women were undervalued, and underappreciated and not only that but they were treated as objects who were there to take on more of a subservient role in the household. Not only that, but they were deprived from the same job opportunities for education as men for a while too.  Although, we are moving past that issue more and more nowadays since feminists started being more outspoken about the issues regarding the lack of equality in western societies. Another difference that I noticed was the fact that many indigenous cultures were leaning towards matriarchal rather than patriarchal.

What shocked me the most was when the text mentions that iroquoian societies were both matrilineal and matrilocal. I did not know what matrilocal meant but when I found out that it was a custom where the husband goes to live with the family of the wife and contributed to the household with his hunting i made a parallel with today’s society. The iroquoians being a matrilineal and matrilocal culture introduced me to a way of life where women are in a sense “the man of the house”. It’s not something that we see often. 

Based on the reading on indeginous cultures, we can learn that both women and men although they do different things and have different skills benefit from each others qualities since they work in harmony to survive. We learn that women in indegenous cultures had a certain amount of authority and were appreciated by the community and were treated as equals (more or less). 

One thought on “3. Indigenous cultures

  1. I find it really interesting that you brought up the matrilineal and matrilocal system and you’re right that in a way women took charge of the household and that maybe Westerners brought the idea of “man in the house” to societies.


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