Rekindling The Fire Of Our Sisterhood 2024

Crossing of the Great Orbs

The Totality of the April 8th Solar Eclipse was met with a collage of cultural, historical, spiritual, and scientific perspectives. Beginning April 5th, 2024, Haudenosaunee & Indigenous Relatives across Turtle Island gathered together for four days and three nights to welcome the total solar eclipse crossing directly over Seneca territory at Ganondagan, home of the Peace Mother,  Tsiokonsa:se. Rematriation hosted around 200 Indigenous relatives of all ages, including 15 traditional titleholders.

At the core of our work, Rematriation  supports the growth of the Haudenosaunee and Indigenous Women’s Sisterhood that formed in 2017 to rekindle the fire among  the women of our nations, that extends as far back as history traces. Having been denied our ancestral connections due to the impacts of colonization that tried to tear our nations and families apart, our gatherings have helped us heal and grow together so that our future generations will know who they are and thrive in a healthy world we help lead.

In 2017, women began hearing a call that we had to gather for healing. Having received spiritual advice and following the messages and dreams we received, Haudenosaunee and Indigenous women gathered at Ganondagan under a solar eclipse that traveled across Turtle Island. As instructed, we brought forth the story of Tsiokonsa:se to stand each other back up, focusing on our children and our ways of Peace for the benefit of all of our people.

Our gatherings have centered and honored the story of Tsiokonsa:se and her role in the founding of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy over 1,000 years ago. We were instructed to bring her story forward. We learned that women across different nations held pieces of her story. Tsiokonsa:se was the first woman to accept the Peacemaker’s message and shared the message of peace among the women of our Confederacy. One of the greatest gifts she shared, and what we have learned from this journey, is to step into a space of unconditional love. As a mother to the most ferocious of men, Tsiokonsa:se was able to comb the snakes from the hair of Tadadaho. Her love helped transform him, to stand him up straight, and created a spiritual caretaker for all of our Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Her love continues to guide and inform us today.

Each year, it is a time to renew our traditional core values and to look ahead to the future seven generations. During the eclipse that happened on April 8, 2024, we went into a space of gratitude, not asking for anything, knowing everything we need is provided to us. Remember not to cloud our personal view with a negative lens, to let go. We begin being excited about the present moment and what a gift that is. Thinking about the future with an understanding that we create it. Whatever we do from here, it’s no longer inheriting things- its about gifting to the future. Let go of inheriting trauma. Let’s wipe the slate clean and give a gift to the future. Enjoy the relationships that we have right in front of our lives. Everyone deserves the gift of presence to each other. We have this beautiful life, a deeper awakening, an energetic shift, everyday realizing how alive everything is. That’s what this gathering and this moment did for us. It brought us to the present, to know we are a part of Creation. Enjoying life in the now as it is unfolding. Many say they walked away from the gathering with a stronger sense of self, remembering who we are as Onkwehonwe. 

The gathering intends to bring all our people together, to listen and learn from each other, to share knowledge and stories. Rekindling the Fire of Our Sisterhood Gathering gives the sense of love from family, it gives all an opportunity to role model love for the younger generation and how to listen and learn from our traditional title holders and their teachings. During the gathering, we are reminded of our duties to our lifeways, to learn from and absorb the information shared, and to carry on the messages to our families and communities. At our gatherings, our Relatives have the opportunity to connect with so many other inspiring individuals from across the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. Our gatherings truly create space to support each other’s work and to share in the knowledge we know or have gained by attending.

This year, a traditional titleholder described the event as something that would normally “only be a dream,” while others described the gathering as a powerful weekend where we all showed up for each other. A true reunion of spirits and souls in the sky and below. Another says this could be a time to shed the debauchery of modern life and rid our thoughts of the greedy, war consciousness that invades our thoughts daily. As we reach the solar maximum in a grand gesture like no other, we can take hold of our thoughts and just be grateful. When Grandmother Moon crosses in front of her Brother Sun, she will weaken his masculine power upon our Mother Earth in a spontaneous remission of acknowledgment of love for each other. A longing to be with each other and to remember the love of family. Each orb is vastly different but equally important, and they are to whom we owe our very existence. This is a time to honor day and to honor night. A moment in time to face the unresolved aspects of one’s self and seek a peaceful resolve. It is a time to focus on the reality we prefer and choose to create. MommaBear/Wakerakats:se/Louise, a Mohawk Clanmother, tells us that “ the transition back to women’s autonomy is a journey to absoluteness, a gift without apology, left by our grandmothers to carry forth.” Sisters and relatives described the gathering as a “room full of strong Konnón:kwe who see no limits in giving their time and love.”

Throughout the gathering, attendees had the memorable opportunity to be a part of creating this beautiful wampum belt in honor of Tsiokonsa:se by adding actual wampum beads to it. Hundreds of Haudenosaunee women contributed to this monumental 2024 Konnón:kwe (Women’s) Wampum Belt. In creating the belt, Samantha Doxtator, Dawn Iehstoseranon:nha, and beading artist Kelly Back of Fire Loom Creations traveled through the Haudenosaunee communities of Oshweken/Woodland Cultural Centre, Kahnawake, Kanesatake, and Akwesasne. The final stop on their journey was Rekindling the Fire of Our Sisterhood Gathering at Ganondagan with contributions from Clan Mothers, Faithkeepers, Chiefs, and Knowledge Keepers from across the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. 

Samantha filled our spirits with stardust and astronomical knowledge. Dawn generated the warmth of sisterhood and illuminated the significance surrounding the 2023 eclipse and the monumental roles of women in Haudenosaunee history and present-day communities. Kelly contributed her loom beading and teaching skills and reintroduced women to this vital and traditional art form. Together, this group of Indigenous women explored real wampum and honored Clan Mothers and Tsiokonsa:se with the creation of this community wampum belt.

The meaning of this belt is to commemorate Tsiokonsa:se, the first woman to accept the message of peace from the Peacemaker. She became known as the “Mother of Nations” who worked tirelessly traveling to spread the Great Law of Peace to communities. This wampum belt represents the unity of women from all nations in service to each other and in support of Clan Mothers, Faithkeepers, Sisters, Mothers, Aunties, and Girls, the helpers, contributors, teachers, and learners of culture and language. Reciprocity is equity. We are all vastly different and equally important.

This beautifully crafted belt was presented as a gesture of inspiration and gratitude for the work we all do – and a message to all women that your work is valued and your contributions are vital to creating healthier families. This contemporary belt pulls from previous promises and holds the stories of hundreds of women from each of the Haudenosaunee nations. The team traveled to talk to the women, and their stories and love were beaded in by their own hands. It is not meant to be a new concept or new story; it is meant to honor what exists historically in the spirit of the Mother of Nations, Tsiokonsa:se, for her work to establish the Great Law of Peace and a matrilineal culture.

To all the contributing women across the Confederacy, your tobacco was collected and presented to the fire during the time of the solar eclipse. The wampum belt met the eclipse in a way that uplifts and renews our commitment to peace. Of one mind, of a good mind. Wakerakats:se presented the belt with an address of the belt ceremony in collaboration with her chief, Curtis Nelson. There was not a dry eye in the room. The addressing of the belt was beautiful.

“I can’t explain how remarkable this moment was as the belt was held by every person in the room. Everyone was emotional because they knew the hard work that was put in and the deep meaning it had. Bear Fox sang the entire time, and everyone tuned in. What a historical moment! To think of all the beautiful, strong Haudenosaunee women who gathered and helped put a hand in this creation for Tsiokonsa:se. I was told by a Clan Mother that it was the women who were the ones who made the wampum belts in the past, so what we did was bring back history! How amazing is that!” – Kelly Back

“Watching each woman in the circle hug and hold Her was a feeling that will never escape me” – Dawn Iehstoseranón:nha

More of the 2024 Konnón:kwe (Women’s) Wampum Belt’s journey through the Confederacy:

We gather to heal from intergenerational trauma and to uplift our intergenerational strength. We recognize that the ever-changing world needs the focus and wisdom of Indigenous women to create universal healing and messaging for the world. With the intention of uplifting the minds of our people and helping to return to our traditional ways of life as Onkwehonwe, the Sisterhood continues to gather every year, heal alongside each other, support one another, and honor the Great Message of Peace set forth by the Peacemaker nearly 1,000 years ago. The delicate balancing of family, healing, culture, and work is only accomplished by strong, resilient women. You are who I work for and I will support you always and to the best of my ability. I ask for nothing in return but your respect and support.

Jane Burning, a Seneca Bear Clan Faithkeeper, led relatives through a live-action demonstration of how our souls came from the highest vibration (SkyWorld) into physical form. The Soul’s Journey workshop is a carefully curated piece of work through years of fasting and meditation for Jane.

“When we make a decision, with intention, to want change in our life, change begins. In this workshop, you will better understand “victim” energy and “heart-centered” energy. You will also better understand how our thoughts create our beliefs and how our beliefs change our lives. You will explore the possibilities of creating positive change in your life by changing your thoughts. You will understand what heart-centered energy is and how it works in your favor.”

Jane has studied social work and has delved deeply into traditional soul healing and energy work. More importantly, Jane has been blessed with a method to help heal on a cellular level. Understanding the soul and how we came to be in human form is the foundation of Jane’s work. Jane believes it is essential for us to recognize and heal our own emotional scars in order to begin rebuilding ourselves, our families, and our nations. Jane gives a greater understanding of where we are today as a Nation of people and how we need to move forward with our life’s purpose. Jane’s intent is to educate the group on their life lessons and how we, as Native people, being the original people, need to rise above the created painful truths in our lives and embrace “Our Sacred Bundle.”

Jane taught us: 
“Anger is one of the lowest vibrations, whereas Love and Happiness are some of the highest vibrations we can have. Pay attention, it takes effort to be grounded. Give yourself time to breathe and anchor yourself. You are a part of Creation. Being conscious is a choice.”

Written by Theresa Bear Fox
Sang by the Sisterhood & Relatives

Over the course of 3 days, Bear Fox taught the RTF Sisterhood a song that was presented to the Sun and Moon at the time of the eclipse. Stemming from dreams of Sisters, the Women and Men sang a duet this year, speaking back and forth to each other in forgiveness and love for one another. The song was incredibly uplifting and powerful with so much emotion in each lyric. 

Lyrics of the Song are shown below in Mohawk, Mohawk phonetic spelling and in English.

You can hear the song and see highlights of the journey of the wampum belt in this YouTube video.

Kahstoserakwathe Paulette Moore created a very special podcast for this year’s Rekindling the Fire of Our Sisterhood Eclipse Gathering. Hear the voices of women who attended this special event in the episode. Gratitude to Kahstoserakwathe Paulette Moore for recording our stories during this important week of connecting.


The Aunties Dandelion is a media company informed by traditional Onkwehón:we teachings. They make films, monthly podcasts, and educate through public presentations and consultation services. They’re passionate about sharing stories and perspectives of Indigenous changemakers who connect us to our languages, places, and each other.

If you are Onkwehonwe and interested in contributing to your Haudenosaunee community, reach out, get connected, and embrace Sisterhood and Community.

Nia:wen’kowa to all those who helped make this year so remarkable:

The Ganondagan Team

Hodinöhsö:ni’ Titleholders

Tobacco Burners

Traditional Singers

Lacrosse Players


Our Helpers/Healers

Kelly & Tyson Back

Aunties Dandelion Podcast


Kaluhyanu:wes Michelle Schenandoah

Wakerakats:se Louise McDonald Herne

Hoya’danä:gwad Jamie Jacobs

Ka’nahsohon Kevin Deer

Dawn Iehstoseranón:nha

Sayo’:kla Kindness

Samantha Doxtator

Theresa Bear Fox

Jane Burning


Jesse Beeson & young helpers


Original Peoples Podcast: Ansley Jemison & F Paul Yorio


Brenda Mitten


Linda Homer Deer & Madeline’s Catering