AMBERT CHAPTER 2 History and Cultural Diversity
The first families in Canada were of the Aboriginal First Nations people
They lived in settled villages and engaged in some trade
Aboriginal nations were mostly Hunter- Gatherers and followed a nomadic
experience because of the need to pursue migrating game
Nations such as the Pacheenaht on Vancouver island were Patrilineal
Patrilineal : They recognized descent and inheritance through the father’s line.
Iroquois in the St. Lawrence Valley were Matrilineal
They followed the mother’s line of descent and inheritance for future generations.
The basic social unit for all First Nations people was FAMILY
These families were communal and the concept of sharing responsibilities and
resources Childrearing and obtaining food dominated their lives.
Case Study Examples:
Plain Cree family:
- They were mainly Patrilineal families of Nomadic Nature
- The Tribes were taken care of by men, their brothers and sons
- If the band encountered difficulties the entire band would move, usually to a join
with another band of a relative.
- They had traditional division of labor and structured gender roles like the men
hunted and the woman were involved in childrearing and taking care of the
- Orphans or Boys who’s families were in trouble could live with the chief’s family
or of any other male of a high rank
- These families were mostly Matrilineal line of descent and inheritance.
- The male moved in with the female after marriage, who owned all the land
- The Females actively engaged in Agriculture as Men went hunting and fishing.
Warfare was the main vocation of the Men.
- Their settlements were heavily fortified
- There were the two things prominent in Iroquois families Producing food and
- Woman chose male leader or SACHEM from the warrior settlers for political
- Iroquois Families were structured around Gendered Equality and shared
responsibilities between men and woman.
Families of New France
Change in the history of Canadian Families began in 1535
Jacques Cartier discovered lower St. Lawrence River Valley became a part of new
France in 1608
With fewer than 30 people Samuel De chaplain establish New France , which is
Quebec City today
In 1763 the English Regime began in Canada
Groeth of people also constituted to population growth with the high rates of
Childbearing and increasing Nuclear families
The first French Canadian colonists were Fur traders or “Coureurs de bois”
- They took woman as wives called – femmes du pays (In union outside the church)
- These woman contributed n the households as well as in the fur trade with their
knowledge about skinning and preserving Fur pelts, their ability to use first
nations languages and their peoples traditions as traders.
Between 1663 and 1673 rance send about 800 woman 9the kings daughters) to marry the
settled bachelors in New France.
The earlier Aboriginal- European Marriages gave rise to Metis
By 1700 4 major events had relegated woman to a typical family role in society:
1) A Nuclear family structure was essential in the life of a farmer and his family,
as the fur trade declines.
They preferred large families in order to have more workers on the farm
Land concessions were given depending on how many children a couple a had – so
the woman had to be involved in Child bearing.
France’s minor nobility SEIGNEUR owned the lands and the Tenants worked on it
2) The second event was government policy which encouraged and promoted large
families in order to build the larger colonies against foreign invaders from Britain –
Rather than encouraging immigration from France, the French preferred to promote
higher fertility to increase population.
Because of this Nuclear families became the norm and being a single woman was less
socially acceptable now
There were incentives given to woman under the age of 16 and men who married
under the age of 20.
3) Expanding Authority of the Roman Catholic church
As farming communities grew the church gained more power over the colonies.
The church controlled education and developed a gender specific curriculum –
through which woman were taught to be pure and good wives and mothers.
The church was responsible for implementing the Crowns prenatal agenda.
4) A Peace settlement with the Iroquois families in 1701 produced a more
Agrarian societies typically have a family as the base of the society therefore the role
of the woman within the household was advanced.
The first families in canada were of the aboriginal first nations people. They lived in settled villages and engaged in some trade. Aboriginal nations were mostly hunter- gatherers and followed a nomadic experience because of the need to pursue migrating game. Nations such as the pacheenaht on vancouver island were patrilineal. Patrilineal : they recognized descent and inheritance through the father"s line. The basic social unit for all first nations people was family. These families were communal and the concept of sharing responsibilities and. Iroquois in the st. lawrence valley were matrilineal. They followed the mother"s line of descent and inheritance for future generations. resources childrearing and obtaining food dominated their lives. They were mainly patrilineal families of nomadic nature. The tribes were taken care of by men, their brothers and sons. If the band encountered difficulties the entire band would move, usually to a join with another band of a relative.