Perhaps you have heard the expression, “It takes a village to raise a child.” This cooperate-to-survive approach was essential to the people of the eastern woodlands.
In their villages, everyone received food and shelter, but everyone had jobs to complete. Men cleared trees off the land so that crops could be planted. Men also hunted deer and other game in the woods and fished in the rivers. Women and children planted and tended the gardens, and they gathered nuts, berries, and other wild foods in the forests. By dividing up chores, the people accomplished more and increased their chances of survival. On some big jobs, such as harvesting, maple sugaring, and building canoes, men and women worked together. Children did not attend school, learning instead by working alongside adults. In some tribes, women played a large role in village government, because men were frequently gone on long hunting trips.