Cree Walking-Out Ceremony

Cree Walking-Out Ceremony

Early spring
Among Cree Indians in Canada, it is customary for small children to be carried when they go outdoors until they are initiated through the Walking-Out Ceremony. The springtime ceremony provides an occasion for the first time a child walks on his or her own (or with a little adult help) outside, signifying movement toward adulthood and greater responsibility. The toddlers' families and friends assemble in a special tent. The children are dressed in traditional costumes and, in some places, are given toy tools and utensils, representing the real tools and utensils they eventually will use. For the walking out, each child walks through the doorway and proceeds about 20 feet to a tree, circles the tree, then returns to the tent, where a huge fuss is made over each child's new accomplishment. After all the toddlers have completed the walk, everyone enjoys a feast.
CONTACTS:
Tourist Office, Ouje Bougoumou Cree Nation
203 Opemiska Meskino
P.O. Box 131
Ouje-Bougoumou, QC G0W 3C0 Canada
418-745-3905; fax: 418-745-3544
www.ouje.ca
SOURCES:
EndurHarv-1995, p. 200