There was a visible contrast between the European and Indigenous culture when it came to their gender relations. Unlike the Europeans, the indigenous people were matriarchal and lived an egalitarian society meaning everyone had equal rights and opportunities. In the Indigenous culture, everyone has an important role that will in some way benefit their community. While the men do more of the hunting, women make a lot of important decisions-making when it comes to their lives and well-being. They are also more open when it comes intimate relationships before marriage and the term “two-spirit” which is when both genders are in one body.
In the European culture, men were seen as always in power while women were looked down upon and considered less important. The men in the women’s lives were always the one to make decisions for them or in general. Regarding marriage, it was not a personal choice people got to make but more of an obligation in society in order to have a status and later on children.
Both of these cultures can relate in some way to our contemporary western culture. The Indigenous culture is similar in the sense that both men and women play an important role in our society when it comes to daily affaires; from job positions, to household responsibility and financial situations. While there has been a vast improvement in our society between men and women, there are still major barriers that we have not overcome which is where our contemporary western culture is also similar to the European culture. Women are still seen as less than men which is a growing issue in our society.
The aspect of the Indigenous culture that struck me the most was how open they are about their view on lgbtq+ viewpoints in their society and the term of being “two-spirited”. No matter what, everyone in the community is viewed as equals to one another which I believe creates positive environment and should be something we do in our community as well.