Beverly Cook: Mohawk women bringing healing to community

"Konon:kwe Council, is a circle of Mohawk women relatives working to reconstruct the power of our origins as daughters of Sky Woman. In August Konon:kwe Council hosted a spiritual and educational gathering, Weaving Webs of Women’s Wisdom, during the fullness of our Grandmother. It was designed to be an opportunity for women to discuss matters affecting our side of the “house,” as well as those affecting our Mother the Earth.

Powerful women (and men) from across Turtle Island joined together to share, support and strategize to fight the effects of centuries of genocide. There were concerns expressed for the physical and emotional health of relatives suffering from trauma, addiction and illness. We heard stories of youth suicide, of families being torn apart and of mothers losing custody of their children at the hands of “service providers.” However, in the midst of releasing this pain and sadness, we laughed hard and sang and hugged and prayed together as only Indian women do.

What made this gathering exquisite in my eyes was not only the recalling of spiritual practices but actually doing them, setting our prayers into motion. Each morning different women modestly knelt on the earth, representing the four directions. They made prayers in their own languages, for their people, lands and waters. Then we sang, sending those prayers out to the universe on the smoke of tobacco and cedar. Later, as the full moon rose above the trees, a ceremonial space was offered for women to express personal wounds. Those brave-hearted women spoke of spiritual, emotional and physical traumas as supportive sisters gently combed their hair and acknowledged their suffering with beautiful healing songs."

Get the Story:
Beverly Cook: Konon:kwe Council: Resilience From Our Roots (Indian Country Today 11/29)

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