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Cultural Quandaries: Animals

By Rua Lupa

From reading the word ‘animals’ what is the first thing that comes to mind? Think on that a bit before reading on….

In Anishinabek (Ojibwe) tradition individuals are part of a clan. These clans determine your role in the community and often your character. Your clan is usually inherited, if not it can be found through a ‘medicine’ person. There are common clan groups such as Bear, Fish, Eagle, and Wolf. And there are some individuals that fall into uncommon territory where not much is known about their role and meaning. As an example, I met someone who was Duck clan (anyone who happens to know anything about what it means to be Duck Clan, shoot me an e-mail as this individual would love to know too).

Being Metis, I did not learn what my inherited clan was, so I had to rediscover it. This is where I, and others, were surprised. I was not to be told my clan, even though I had previously received my name but a year before from the same medicine person. I was instructed that I had to discover it myself. How would I know what my clan was? I was told that when I found it I would have no doubt.

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