Grandmother Gail and Family
Grandmother Gail Whitlowis a Bear Clan of the Mohawk Nation of the Six Nations Confederacy residing in Ontario, Canada. She is honored to be part of the Haudenosaunee people (Iroquois – People of the Longhouse) who still follow their ceremonies according to the instructions handed down by our Creator through prophets and visionaries. There have been many Elders, Medicine People and discussions that have helped Gail on her path today. She holds a deep respect for and practices Traditional ceremonies such as Longhouse Ceremonies, Sundance, Fasting, Sacred Journeys, and Purification Lodges to give thanks and acknowledge her blessings and pray.
She presently operates Ancestral Voices Healing Centre located on the banks of the Grand River on the Six Nations Reserve in Ohsweken, Ontario CANADA. Grandmother Gail is well-known among Native American and First Nations people as a Healer and Prophecy Keeper, and has a deep commitment to carry on the work of the late Grandfather Leon Secataro, Headman of the Canoncito Navajo.
Grandmother Susan Ka'iulani Stanton (Nemake Sumake - Chiefmoon Lady) was born on the island of Oahu and raised her children on their 6-acre Kuleana in a remote valley on the North Shore. Adopted at birth, she grew up believing that her mixed blood Native Ancestry was Hawaiian, and it was not until she entered her pre-Elder years that she learned that her birthmother is Jeanne House, Six Nations of the Grand River, Mohawk/Wolf Clan. Bi-cultural, Susan was a member for a short time of the Hui Hooulu Aloha Halau, under the direction of Kumu Hula Cy Bridges. She Sundanced at the Chiefmoon Sundance on the Blood Reserve in Alberta, Canada, and has been initiated to carry Crystal Medicine. She is an initiate of the White Buffalo Cow Society (Mandan) and has worked for 23 years with incarcerated Men, Women and Youth of many Tribes as a Spiritual counselor. She is grateful for the Teachings of her Elders, who include Priscilla Vigil (Tewa), Leon Secataro (Canoncito Navajo), Chief Marie Campbell (Eyak), Jr. Thompson (Red House Clan - Dineh) and others. She believes in the importance of the Grandmothers in these times of the Coming Earth Changes, and supports all Grandmothers of All Nations in this work.
Grandmother Elizabeth Babin - Leading Cloud Woman of the Female Black Bear Clan is a Nishnawbe North American Aboriginal who has been apprenticed into the star lodge ceremony. She lived in the traditional homeland territories since birth and has travelled to several countries to speak about the importance of ceremony and spiritual connection to the land and its people. She has worked extensively with her teacher who has passed on to the spirit world, leaving her with the teachings and knowledge of the star lodge ceremony. She lives in her community and continues to embrace and share the teachings of the star lodge with others who have requested the teachings and the seven day ceremony.
Grandmother Marjorie Wright was raised a Gitksun and now lives among the Cree in Alberta, Canada. She has participated in the Chiefmoon Sundance - Sioux adapted to Blackfoot - for years. Her path has led to three beautiful daughters who have had twelve children and their children have given her the ninth great grand baby in December. All relatively independent. She works as an Addictions Counselor/Facilitator in a variety of settings. Her beliefs, along with the knowledge and experiences of life, have given her the tools to spread the Words of Wisdom and she says, "I learn from it as I listen as well. I love to sing and drum my Sundance songs. I have very creative hands and I am single. My sense of humor has been described as dry, but I don't think it is. I love to laugh, even at my own jokes." Marjorie is without a doubt the funniest of all the Grandmothers, and her Humor and Grace match the beauty of her Spirit.
Grandmother Ruth Corley-Figart is originally from Sallisaw Oklahoma. She is of Cherokee, Irish and Dutch Ancestry. Her Grandfather was a full-blood, and Ruth is a Grandmother Warrior with all the fine qualities of that heritage. She is beloved by her Native American and Hispanic Substance Abuse clients and a tireless advocate for their recovery. She currently works at the El Refugio Shelter for Women and Children in Silver City, New Mexico, and encourages self-reliance by her own example of hard work and determination. She is a loving and generous Grandmother, whose home is a place where all feel welcome and cared for. She is accompanied in her travel to Hawai'i by Grandfather Desiderio Gilbert Navarro.
Grandmother Robin Tekwelus Youngblood says that "Over the years I have found that I am a bridge between Ancient Native and European cultures. I'm my own "Five Civilized Tribes", Okenagan, San Poil, Nez Perce on one side, and Cherokee and Iroquois on the other. My family's Cherokee forebears walked the Trail of Tears from North Carolina to Oklahoma in the 1800's. I've also researched my French Canadian, Irish and Welsh ancestry. For many years I followed the Sundance Way with teachers such as Martin High Bear, and participated in my own people's Winter Dances led by Julia Pinkam. I have had the privilege of being taught by, and shared ceremony with, Northwest Coastal Teacher/Healer Beaver Chief and Hopi Messenger Thomas Banyacya; learned from Siberian Shaman Misha, and his niece Natyashta Duvan, Hawaiian La'au Lapa'au and Kahuna Henry Auwae, and Aboriginal Elder Gagadju. Among the wonderful women teachers I have had are my own Grandmother Lucille Raymond, Okanagan; my great-grandmother Salmiac, Okenagan who transmits from the Other Side Camp, Karen Timentwa, and her grandmother, Mrs. Lum (although neither would call themselves 'teacher'), Okanagon/Sioux; Sahn Ashinna, Navajo/Blackfoot; Pua, Aunties Miele, Nahi Gutzman (with whom I sometimes co-teach) and Auntie Helen, of the Hawaiian nations. I have learned so much from these honored elders - teaching, prophecy, ritual, ceremonies, songs and dances to balance our lives and our planet." Grandmother Robin lives on the island of Maui.
Grandmothers (Left to Right) Ojate Debbie, Susan, Thelma with Bonnie Hobbs
Grandmother Ojate Debbie Bono joins us from the Mimbres Grandmother Circle in New Mexico. Born in Clayton, Missouri, she is of Apache, Cherokee, and Sicilian Ancestry. Over the years Ojate has participated in many Native American Ceremonies, including the Inipi, NAC Prayer Meetings, Hanbleciya, and this summer at the young age of 55 will enter the Arbor in her first Sundance at Red Valley Arizona on the Navajo Nation. Ojate is the Ceremony Keeper for the Mimbres Grandmothers Circle, located in the Apache Lands of New Mexico, near the birthplace of Geronimo. She lives at the edge of the Gila Wilderness with her four leggeds - 2 cats, 2 dogs, a horse - and 3 beautiful parrots. "And", as she says "all the Wamakashkan (everything that moves upon the Earth) that want to be fed!" Ojate walks a Healer's Path and is known for her fresh baked breads and pastries that support her travels on the Red Road. She also brain tans a variety of hides for regalia and other uses.
Grandmother Corinne Tooshkenig Walpole First Nations, Ontario Canada, stated eloquently at a Water Pollution Conference in Ontario "Our Elders and prophecies warn us that unless we change, change soon, we will face ever increasing pain. We are not scientists, we have our own ways of knowing. We feel the pain of our relatives, all the living things in our territory. Our old people tell us how things have changed. In our own lives we have seen the changes in our land, water, weather and seasons. This is not our problem alone; mothers and children of all peoples and all species in the Great Lakes Basin are under chemical assault. The Regulators have failed all of us and now we must take responsibility for our water". A Clan Mother, Corinne was one of ten core Anishinabe Walkers on a historic 2200 mile Migration Journey for the Seventh Generation, and she called on all people to talk to business and government leaders about pollution. "We have to tell them enough is enough," she said. "We can not afford to have this silent threat traveling through Mother Earth's veins - the water." Grandmother Corinne will share with us the importance of the Moon Ceremony from her perspective of a Grandmother of the North, with stewardship for the precious Waters that all on Turtle Island depend upon to sustain Life.
Grandmother Nicole Fafard from Quebec, Canada.
Grandmother Arianna Husband was born in farming country of Southern Illinois, of Irish, N. Carolina Quaker, Cherokee, English and German descent. The birth of her daughter Hannah propelled her to find the pre-Christian spiritual ways and women's mystery ways. She has studied with Brooke Medicine Eagle, StarHawk, Luisah Teish, Hallie Iglehart Austin, Diane Marie Child and Shuli Goodman, O'Shinnah Fast Wolf & Deep Arrow Woman, Star Wolf (taught by Grandmother Twylah Nitsch.) She has been trained in ways of the Lakota ceremonial inipi with Gilbert Walking Bull under the Eagle Nation altar given him through his Grandparents. Grandmother Arianna has just recently had the privilege of sitting in teachings with Sobonfu Some and participated in the Dagara grief ceremony. "I have been singing since before I was born, and thank the Great Mother and Creator for the gift of healing music that moves through me." Grandmother Arianna would love to see our children grow up more connected to nature, to realize that we are connected to all things. We are blessed to have Arianna be an empath and to have her bring this gift to the circle of women gathering to bring healing of ourselves and Mother Earth.
Grandmother Jon Marie Kerns began her journey on the plains of Turtle Island and has always felt the mana of life through nature. Of mostly European descent, over the past 35 years her journey has been blessed by the guidance of many indigenous Elders who encouraged her to share as a cultural bridge. Grandmother Jon Marie has assisted with many ceremonial gatherings and educational programs, sharing respect for Spiritual and Wellness Traditions from around Earth Mother. Professionally for many years she worked with Youth programs from Muscular Dystrophy to the Hopi Nation and Rediscovery in Canada. She is happiest when working with friends and family from all nations; Lakota/Dakota/Nakota, Asnishinabe, Blackfoot, Hopi, Hawaiian, Tibetan, and Japanese to name a few. "I have been guided by the many culturally diverse elders on my path, (and) I have immense respect and love for Hawai'i Nei. I play native flute and am a student of Oli (chant). The joy of my life is seeing my son grow to a young man of Heart...and now, again to remember and work for the joyous creativity of all our children". Grandmother Jon Marie will offer the 13 + 13 Grandmothers an opportunity to attend an Inipi (Sweat Lodge) Ceremony on February 14th....truly a Lodge of the Heart!