A nation of families: traditional indigenous kinship, the foundation for Cheyenne sovereignty

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    Abstract

    One of the major destructive forces to American Indian peoples were the assimilation-based policies that destroyed traditional kinship systems and family units. This destruction contributed to the cycle of dysfunction that continues to plague families and homes in Indian country. A second major destructive blow occurred when colonial forces, through law and policy, reinforced white male patriarchal kinship and family systems. In this colonial system, American Indian concepts, roles, and responsibilities associated with fatherhood and motherhood were devalued and Indian children grew up with a dysfunctional sense of family and kinship. This article examines the traditional kinship system of the Cheyenne Indians, highlighting the importance of kinship terms, roles, and responsibilities. The traditional Cheyenne kinship system emphasized familial relationships for the sake of childrearing and imparting traditional values of respect, reciprocity, and balance. Traditional principles of heške’estovestôtse (motherhood), héhe’estovestôtse (fatherhood), and méhósánestôtse (love) were the backbone of the Cheyenne family.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    JournalAlterNative
    DOIs
    StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2019

    Fingerprint

    kinship
    sovereignty
    fatherhood
    American Indian
    motherhood
    responsibility
    reciprocity
    assimilation
    Cheyenne
    Kinship
    Sovereignty
    love
    respect
    Law
    Values
    Motherhood
    Colonies
    Responsibility
    Fatherhood
    American Indians

    Keywords

    • American Indian
    • Indigenous kinship
    • Indigenous language
    • nationhood
    • Native American
    • sovereignty

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Cultural Studies
    • Anthropology
    • History

    Cite this

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    title = "A nation of families: traditional indigenous kinship, the foundation for Cheyenne sovereignty",
    abstract = "One of the major destructive forces to American Indian peoples were the assimilation-based policies that destroyed traditional kinship systems and family units. This destruction contributed to the cycle of dysfunction that continues to plague families and homes in Indian country. A second major destructive blow occurred when colonial forces, through law and policy, reinforced white male patriarchal kinship and family systems. In this colonial system, American Indian concepts, roles, and responsibilities associated with fatherhood and motherhood were devalued and Indian children grew up with a dysfunctional sense of family and kinship. This article examines the traditional kinship system of the Cheyenne Indians, highlighting the importance of kinship terms, roles, and responsibilities. The traditional Cheyenne kinship system emphasized familial relationships for the sake of childrearing and imparting traditional values of respect, reciprocity, and balance. Traditional principles of heške’estovest{\^o}tse (motherhood), h{\'e}he’estovest{\^o}tse (fatherhood), and m{\'e}h{\'o}s{\'a}nest{\^o}tse (love) were the backbone of the Cheyenne family.",
    keywords = "American Indian, Indigenous kinship, Indigenous language, nationhood, Native American, sovereignty",
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    N2 - One of the major destructive forces to American Indian peoples were the assimilation-based policies that destroyed traditional kinship systems and family units. This destruction contributed to the cycle of dysfunction that continues to plague families and homes in Indian country. A second major destructive blow occurred when colonial forces, through law and policy, reinforced white male patriarchal kinship and family systems. In this colonial system, American Indian concepts, roles, and responsibilities associated with fatherhood and motherhood were devalued and Indian children grew up with a dysfunctional sense of family and kinship. This article examines the traditional kinship system of the Cheyenne Indians, highlighting the importance of kinship terms, roles, and responsibilities. The traditional Cheyenne kinship system emphasized familial relationships for the sake of childrearing and imparting traditional values of respect, reciprocity, and balance. Traditional principles of heške’estovestôtse (motherhood), héhe’estovestôtse (fatherhood), and méhósánestôtse (love) were the backbone of the Cheyenne family.

    AB - One of the major destructive forces to American Indian peoples were the assimilation-based policies that destroyed traditional kinship systems and family units. This destruction contributed to the cycle of dysfunction that continues to plague families and homes in Indian country. A second major destructive blow occurred when colonial forces, through law and policy, reinforced white male patriarchal kinship and family systems. In this colonial system, American Indian concepts, roles, and responsibilities associated with fatherhood and motherhood were devalued and Indian children grew up with a dysfunctional sense of family and kinship. This article examines the traditional kinship system of the Cheyenne Indians, highlighting the importance of kinship terms, roles, and responsibilities. The traditional Cheyenne kinship system emphasized familial relationships for the sake of childrearing and imparting traditional values of respect, reciprocity, and balance. Traditional principles of heške’estovestôtse (motherhood), héhe’estovestôtse (fatherhood), and méhósánestôtse (love) were the backbone of the Cheyenne family.

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