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Life on the Reservations

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Part of the Whole-Native American Families and Communities

Family plays a large role in life on the reservations. Native American families on these tribal lands are a lot like families in other parts of the United States. Some are nuclear families, consisting of a mother, a father, and children. Others are made up of a single parent and kids. It is quite common on the reservations for both types of families to also include extended family members. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, and cousins often live under the same roof with nuclear family members. This is true of Native American families both on and off the reservations, but it is seen even more frequently on tribal lands.

Native Americans have a strong sense of responsibility when it comes to family. Younger generations usually see caring for their aging parents and grandparents as their duty. The reasons go much deeper than mere obligation, however. Most members of the younger generations want their relatives to be proud of them. Like other American families, Native American families also want their children to do well in life.