Rekindling the Fire of our Sisterhood 2022
Sisters RTF 2022
Rematriation’s Annual Gathering: Rekindling the Fire of our Sisterhood aims to gather Indigenous women from across Turtle Island to discuss essential concerns in today’s world. Each year we set weekend intentions and create solutions for social change through dialogue.
Michelle Schenandoah & Samantha Doxtator RTF 2022
Rematriation offers the physical and virtual space for sisters to confer today’s paramount concerns in a more natural way for Indigenous Women. The gathering creates the opportunity to draw upon our traditional and cultural values to build stronger networks and impact public policy while fostering personal growth, connections, and healing. The Sisterhood environment offers encouragement and support while celebrating each other’s successes. As part of our values, we honor all sisterhood women: past, present, and future. We remember the women who came before us by celebrating their strength, courage, and wisdom. We support our sisters today by uplifting and lessening the burden they carry. We encourage the next generations by offering support, guidance, and inspiration as they develop into the leaders of tomorrow.
RTF 2022 weekend’s motto was to: Love Yourself, Heal Yourself, and Use Your Voice. Participants described the weekend as a transformational, eye-opening experience in a healing way, with many leaving in tune with their physical and spiritual sides. Women connected on all levels through their minds, bodies, and spirits while sharing knowledge, inspirations, wishes, concerns, and love. It was an empowering weekend that many of us needed after a long calendar year.
Rematriation Discussion RTF 2022
This historic meeting of Indigenous women started in August 2017 during a solar eclipse. Haudenosaunee and Indigenous sisters from across the Americas and as far as the Maori from New Zealand met at the Ganondagan State Historic Site in Victor, New York. As instructed by readings and dreams, the Sisterhood held a feast for Jigonsaseh, one of our ancestral sisters who lived in the territory where Ganondagan sits. The instructions were to uplift our people’s spirits and help our people return to our ways as Onkwehonwe. The gathering honored the founding of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy over 1,000 years ago during another solar eclipse. Jigonsaseh’s story was the main topic at this gathering to commemorate her life and role in making the Haudenosaunee Confederacy a reality. She was the first woman to accept the message of peace from our Peacemaker and was the one to help heal the most ferocious and defiant chieftain titleholders to complete the Great Law of Peace. Our Great Law is considered the oldest continuous democratic government in the world, later influencing the US government, its Constitution, and the Women’s Suffrage Movement. However, in return, our people suffered at the hands of colonization, losing many of our traditions over time.
Melissa Powless-Chacon Presenting RTF 2022
We gather to heal from intergenerational trauma stemming from the Sullivan Clinton Campaign, residential schools taking our children, and being forced out of our traditional lands by the hands of the US Government. During these RTF weekends, we focus on reviving our traditions in; food and agriculture, midwifery and childbirth, medicines, health and wellness, women’s stories, and the power of using our collective voice. Our gatherings include ceremonies, talks, workshops, and agenda-setting as a group. We recognize that the ever-changing world needs the focus and wisdom of Indigenous women to create universal healing and messaging for the world.
A spiritual awakening occurred during that first 2017 gathering, and it was just the beginning of a transformative healing experience. As the women dispersed to our respective homelands, our Onkwehonwe women continued to meet and support each other. These weekends bring healing and love to our hearts, which we carry into all we do. Haudenosaunee women are the world’s most influential women, and we have the power to influence the world once again – through the power of our unity, peace, and love that we cultivate at Ganondagan.
The readings and dreams instructed us to meet again in seven years when the next solar eclipse passes directly over our Confederacy and to hold this feast for Jigonsaseh again. Until then, the women agreed to meet each year.
Workshop RTF 2022