Home > A journey into Inuit Traditional Knowledge > Childrearing Practices > Chapter 8

photo Femme Inuit avec un enfant

Chapter 8

Naqi Ekho
If a person makes fun of things, nothing happens to him immediately. Something could happen either to his children or to him later in life. We knew that eventually we would be paid back for our wrongdoing. This is what my mother told me would happen if I knowingly did something wrong. Once we did something wrong, we always felt dreadful and sorry for doing it. We always took care of each other because of this. Even if people were not our own relatives we still took care of them. Our mothers always said we had to take care of everyone and look out for each other, even if they were handicapped. (Page 102)
The first part of this chapter is about intimidation. "Children should not be intimidated by their parents." (Page 113) Even if children are shy, they should not be intimidated, and especially not by their parents since this can affect their future adult behaviour. Children who have suffered intimidation will repeat this type of behaviour when they become adults. If people were intimidated as children they will intimidate; but if people were loved and respected, they will love and respect those close to them in return.


The education of a child starts as early as pregnancy. If a father mistreats his wife, or the couple argues too often, the baby-although only a fetus-will feel it and repeat the behaviour when grown. "Children learn this type of behaviour. They believe that their father will always behave like this." (Page 116) Also, if a pregnant woman is startled, her "baby ... will easily be frightened. ... it is thus important not to startle pregnant women." (Page 117)