To start this post, I want to acknowledge the talented and loved woman who created the film, Gale Ann Kelley. I am so amazed and am so proud of the message from Gale and the Iroquois, it is so important for Native people to share their stories and make a change and they’re doing just that. This tribe of many others on the east coast, are and inspiration for other tribes and reservations around the U.S. and Canada. We are all one people, and I definitely support the change that is going to come.
In the film, the Pope was talked about a lot and the Doctrine of Discovery was one of the main concepts also brought to the conversation. As the fight to remove the Doctrine of Discovery from our U.S. democracy, there is and will be a lot of obstacles and many hardships. Indigenous people have been disrespected for centuries and the battle continues, I pray that someday the Pope will hear my fellow Native People, and hear our war cries finally.
I also want to talk about one of the questions that were asked tonight when Gale was doing Q & A tonight. The question was “Do females play Lacrosse in the Iroquois?” and of course Gale gave a beautiful answer explaining the power of women and why they honor their traditions and don’t play the game. I want to also touch base on this and share a few lessons that I was taught and the concerns people have today about our Native American historical teachings with women. Growing up I was taught that women are very powerful beings, and are our peoples life givers. To not get in to deep and disrespect my culture, I am only going to explain it in a simpler way. In certain ceremonies of my culture and many other Indigenous tribes, women are not allowed to enter or participate when they’re on their moon time. In other words, on their period. In this growing, strong feminist country, it is hard for some people to understand our work. I encountered someone who couldn’t understand no matter how many times I would try to explain the concept. In our traditional world, women are very sacred and its important to think of it in this way to protect them. During their time, their spirit is very powerful and for protection, it is a sacred tradition to keep them safe. To me, it is very empowering and makes me feel like a strong Native American woman. I am blessed to be gifted these certain teachings and I guess the message I would want everyone to know if they don’t agree with certain teachings of Indigenous people, is that women are powerful beings and there is really no disrespect in wanting to protect them because they’re vital to the earth and a gift from the creator.
Katherine Jefferson (Kat)