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Our Cultural HeritageOur Cultural Heritage

“Athabascan culture and tradition has always held the environment as an important priority. Our lives have been tied, traditionally, to the land. There are rules for treating the land and the ecosystems. These rules have been passed down from generation to generation – as far back as Tribal memory serves; “Take only what is needed. Do not waste. Treat animals with respect.” We know that if these traditions and others are followed then the land will continue to provide for us, the water will be good, and the Village will experience good fortune.” (quote from “Teaching Our Many Grandchildren” curriculum guide)

“Our land supplies many plants used for food and medicine. It also provides the wood we use to make our homes, fish wheels, and sleds, and the bark and roots to make baskets, baby carriers, and many useful items. Gathering and using plants is an important part of the heritage of this land.”

“Moose hide, tanned with fermented moose brain and smoke, is used to make many types of clothing. Moose hide clothing is often decorated with intricate beadwork. Traditional beadwork designs are based on flowers found in nearby forests.”

“Storytelling and riddles enliven the cold, dark days of winter. Riddles and stories are part of our traditional education and help to develop mental patience, observation, and cleverness. Stories tell about the triumph of good over evil, life lessons and our traditional values. They are an important way that we teach our language to our children”.

“Some stories teach ways to treat the land: Take only what is needed. Do not waste. Treat animals and the land with respect. These traditions help us to know the proper way to behave, and to maintain harmony with our surroundings”.

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