Nzhishenh Charles uncle Charles Pehtategoose Maajiijiwan, Manidoo Noosiwin Indoozhinikaaziwin, Atikameksheng Anishinaabek What are your teachings surrounding being an uncle? An uncle is the extension of the immediate family, it doesn’t have to be a blood uncle. It can be someone who the parents see as someone who can help develop and raise a child. Those uncles then, if the parents or the grandparents could not provide activities whether it was hunting, being out on the land, help with children. So, it’s helping with their development and helping them to understand, especially as men, understand what it is to be a kind Anishinaabe. As an uncle who takes care of his family, what are the stories of the sacred, proud and protective role that you hold in embracing the safety of family? It’s helping to protect, not as in shelter, but to look after the development and guide them; them being children. When we think about howwe want a child to develop, especially as parents, it’s up to the aunties and uncles who are involved in the development of children to guide and shape them to be what they’re meant to be. So if one child has a special interest, maybe it’s beading, [then we help] to flourish that and help it grow and develop. Or, if he’s a good speaker or orator, it’s taking that time to listen to their stories. It’s important as uncles to help look after that and develop that child’s gift so they’ll be able to provide that for the people. Excerpt from the interview with Charles Pehtategoose by Elizabeth Eshkibok, Cultural Practitioner at the Shkagamik-Kwe Health Centre.