Puurtaq Project

The reward for traditional chores

Long ago, when families lived in camps, they functioned as units. All work was done by the group, and there was no separation of tasks due to age. Children were always helping their parents and grandparents. They had very little free time. The parents decided when they would be free to play.

For example, the children had to clean the house, chew the skins to soften them, fetch water, look after their younger brothers and sisters, take out the waste buckets, help their grandparents, etc. When they were asked to do something, they were promised a reward, or told that they would be able to play outside when they had finished their chores. This motivated the children to finish their jobs faster.

Young girls usually stayed close to their mothers, watching and learning how to sew clothing. Even when their sewing was not perfect, their mothers would compliment them on their workmanship. This motivated the girls to learn new things. We don’t see children doing these kinds of household chores anymore. The Elders have noticed a big difference.

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