Attean begins his manhood ritual when he kills the bear that was attacking Matt and him. This is a sign to his grandfather that he is old enough and skilled enough to begin the ritual. During the ritual, he must go into the woods alone and survive, awaiting a sign from his manitou. His manitou will become his spirit guide, helping him as he grows to face the challenges of life.
Matt has no such ritual clearly showing he is a man. His survival throughout the absence of his father is part of the route to manhood. What he learns from the Beaver clan enables him to survive the winter, when all of his native American friends have departed to the hunting grounds. When his family finally arrives months late, Matt has harvested the crops, preserved the cabin, and is alive and well, although a little thin. If he can survive alone in the wilderness (much like Attean), then he is a man.