Family has always been the heart of life for First Nations and Inuit. Sure, family has evolved over time, but several constants have remained, such as strong values, traditions, and beliefs. The importance of extended family and respect for children’s autonomy is, without a doubt, here to stay.
The family core: a broad, close-knit network
Parents and children, grand-parents and other elders, siblings, as well as cousins, spouses, and even close friends: for Indigenous communities, the extended family is at least as important, and especially close-knit, as the nuclear family is for non-natives. A legacy of the nomad or sedentary lifestyle of times ago, certain values remain very strong in today’s families. They are more connected than ever to their roots, driven by a search for consensus, mutual help, and sharing.
Life within the extended family helps forge strong inter-dependent ties based on mutual respect, solidarity, and a sense of shared responsibility.
Children at the heart of it all
Considered to be the most important part of the family, from the day they are born, children benefit from the open
mindedness of parents, who always respect their choices, needs, and aspirations. Children are often left to create their own learning experiences with minimum support. The idea is to foster a maximum of independence. You could say that parents, family in a broader sense, and the entire community, in some way, share the responsibility of raising children and ensuring their education. This includes the passing down of culture, values, language, and traditions from the community. In this sense, the elders play a key role with youth, given that oral tradition and inter-generational sharing is still at the heart of our values.
Family-oriented tourist attractions
While vacationing in Québec, you will have various opportunities to speak with Indigenous guides and families. Various packages include visits to communities and meetings with families, elders, and youth, all over the province and in the 11 nations on the territory.
All the Indigenous doors we open come with immense baggage: that of a vibrant culture that just begs to be shared! Whether you choose to attend an open-air festival, indulge in a traditional meal, visit an interpretation site, a museum, treat yourself to a fishing excursion, take in the sea and the forest, sleep in a rustic tent or luxury hotel, or even go shopping for unique treasures, everything centres around community and sharing. For a vacation, change of scenery, or an opportunity to share and exchange, all these occasions lead to discovery and a deeper understanding of Indigenous family values.