Indigenous Family Memberships

Roles and Responsibilities

last updated:  17 Feburary 2014


Establishing viable, functioning and responsible family units is essential to this seminar.   Your initial assigned family is listed below.   Membership is, however, ultimately not based upon consanguineal ties, but more akin to affinal ties.   Divorce and adoption are always options.

The term used for your family encapsulates an essential part of your identity during this seminar; much of the meaning of your ecological, social and spiritual life is derived from this term.  Learn its correct pronunciation and its meanings, both literally and the geographical place that it refers to.  In addition, learn the oral traditions, ecological significance and historical events associated with this place.  And finally, learn the board kinship roles of a typical traditional Nimíipuu - Schitsu'umsh family and apply them as you interact with other members of your “family.”

The family groups will be the basis for organizing several of the learning activities for this seminar.  The “headmen and headwomen” will have special responsibilities and help lead by their example.   All members will look after the well-being of all other members, as defined by the roles of a typical Plateau family.  Your family will play the organizing role in Learning Activity A - Assessing the Growth of Neophytes (exam #2), and Learning Activity C - Family Quest (participatory creative-nonfiction project), as well as providing a forum for study preparations.

FIRST Assignment:  Schedule a time within the first two-weeks of the seminar when all of your family members can meet.  It should be for about 30-45 minutes.  Consider a time for the meeting immediately prior to or immediately after the regular class session.  Other times are perfect as well, including evenings and weekends.  The intention of this meeting is 1) select your two head people, 2) to better get to know each other and see how each can best contribute to the success of the family as a whole and in each of the Learning Activities listed on the syllabus (review the learning activities), and 3) identify the contributing strengths and attributes of each family member relative to those learning activities.    One of the head people should take notes.

At this meeting share what you think are critical elements of your own personal and academic stories (that which you feel comfortable in sharing), and suggest how best you might contribute to the success of your family, what background interests and skills you can bring to the family.  

Your "headmen and headwomen" will coordinate the scheduling of future meetings, and delegate collaborate work on the various learning activities.

Immediately following this meeting, e-mail the instructor and outline how the meeting went, any issues or challenges encountered, and provide a summary of the contributing attributes of each family member relative to the learning activities. 



Nimíipuu Families:

lé·pwey - Cooper, Evan, Alyssa, Elyce


tutxinmepu  - Benjamin, Robert, Haven Sky, Kelly


waĺáwa  - Kyle, Gabriel, Mckenzie


Schitsu’umsh Families:

q’emiln -  Katherin, Phillip, Megan


chatq’ele’ - Brian, Rachl, Calvin, Alexis


s'maqw'l - Jackson, Katie, Trevor, Brittanee



cosechin:  If during the early course of the semester, a member of the family wishes, for whatever reason, to go it alone and complete all or the remaining Learning Activities solo, he or she can go "Cosechin."   If during the course of the semester, a family member, for whatever reason, is not participating with his or her family, accumulating "rocks," the instructor will have that student go Cosechin.  And if an entire family is dysfunctional, for whatever reason, the instructor can disband the family and each member would go Cosechin.  For each learning activity review any unique requirements if you are going "Cosechin."


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