THIS IS MY GRANDMOTHER
The city of Rochester, and surrounding suburbs in Monroe County have all been settled on the seized ancestral lands of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy (“People of the long house”) made up of the Mohawk, Oneida, Onondaga, Cayuga, Tuscarora and Seneca Nations. Each nation maintains its own council with Chiefs chosen by the Clan Mother and deals with its own internal affairs but allows the Grand Council to deal with issues affecting the nations within the confederacy. Often described as the oldest, participatory democracy on Earth, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy’s constitution is believed to be a model for the American Constitution.
Among the Haudenosaunee are groups of people who come together as families called clan. As a matrilineal society, each clan is linked by a common female ancestor with women possessing a leadership role within the clan.*
Moved by the passionate desire to elevate and make visible the people, voices, and stories of our Indigenous communities and inspired by the matrilineal society of the Haudenosaunee, through our project, This is My Grandmother, Our Voices Project creates space to honor Indigenous people, their ancestors, culture, and heritage through intergenerational stories and truth telling and celebrating the resiliency of Indigenous communities, past, present, and future.
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