In the old times, American Indians lived a traditionally Indian way of life. They did not call it “the traditional ways,” it was just the way they lived. Margaret describes, “I never considered them traditional ways, it was just a way of life, just the way I was brought up. Aunties and other family didn’t come and say, ‘Today we’re going to do it the Indian way.’ You lived that way all of your life.”
American Indian life centered around the seasons and the natural world. While there are differences among the tribes and clans, traditional American Indian value and belief systems were and still are based on a uniquely Indian way of life.
American Indians pass down the traditional ways. They learn and grow from each other through everyday practice and oral tradition.
Joe states, “It is a way of life that is not explained, but that is lived. Everything in living is a lesson.” For this reason, the traditional ways of life have a dynamic quality.