Andre Cramblit: Watching my son grow too quickly into adulthood

Andre Cramblit. Photo from From The River Collective / Facebook

Andre Cramblit, a member of the Karuk Tribe, reflects on family:
My son is growing into adulthood. Seems just like yesterday that my brother, wife and myself found ourselves too late for the hospital and all three of us taking a role in an unexpected home delivery. Woefully, the time between that birth morning at 8:24 AM until the very instant I write this has gone by all to quick. It was the moments between those two time related bookends that are full of remembrances of a growing boy and his family, mostly good or great memories with the occasional bump along the road.

Karuk people, like most Tribes, are very family oriented. We take care of our Elders and have so many cousins it is hard to count them all (I am in one FB group of Karuk Cousins that currently has 60 members). Our progeny are precious commodities to be swaddled in our famous baby baskets, nurtured, given basic education and then released into the world. It is like a hawk teaching a fledgling to fly.

As a parent you can only do your best to raise your child in such a manner that they grow into mature, responsible and kind people. You hope that along their path to adulthood they have absorbed some of the lessons that you, your extended family and your cultural traditions have presented them with along the way. Many Tribes believe in the notion of the seven generations. For the Tribes in NW California this is translated to the three generations behind you, your generation and the three yet to come. This philosophy shows that you are part of a continuum and have an important role in transcending the past and helping shape the future. This is exactly the role of a parent. It is your job to make it a better world for your descendants based upon the culture, wisdom and customs that come from your past.

Get the Story:
André Cramblit: My Son Is the Arrow I Shot (Indian Country Today 2/28)

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