Native American Families
Family ties are also strong among many Native Americans, as Mary Crow Dog states: Our people have always been known for their strong family ties. for people within one family group caring for each other. for the "helpless ones; the old folks and especially the children. the coming generation .... At the center of the old Sioux society was the osteopathy. the extended family group. the basic hunting band. which included grandparents. uncles. aunts. in-laws. and cousins. The payslip was like a warm womb cradling all within it Kids were never alone. always fussed over by not one but several mothers, watched and taught by several fathers, (Crow Dog and Erdoes, 1991: 12-13) ,
Today, extended family patterns are common among lower-income Native Americans living on reservations; most others live in nuclear families (Sandefur and Sakamoto, 1988). Many Native Americans still share a sense of their extended family ties even when they do not live close to one another.