Reclaiming Indigenous matriarchy with Sandy Ward piece on Matriarchy

On the importance of building up Indigenous women 

Our culture was based on a matriarchy. The women were very important. They had very important roles within our communities, but with colonisation that changed completely to men being the main influences in our communities. With a lot of that, women were dehumanised, especially Indigenous women. We weren’t seen as people, so there was a lot of abuse.

We feel that together, as Indigenous women, we are very powerful. If we can lift each other up, hold each other up, then we have it in us, in our bloodline. We are very strong and we are very resilient. That’s why we have women, and people who identify as women, as the focus in our programming. We get asked this quite often as it’s seen as us only reaching out to half the population. But it’s because we need to, we need to influence these women to come into the roles they used to be. They need to be strong leaders because that’s what we were. 

Canadian Geographic, People & Cultural, Jun 25, 2021, story by Nyarai Tawengwa (LGBTQ) 

Nyarai (she/her) is a settler currently residing on the unceded territories of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish), Stó:lō and Səl̓ílwətaʔ/Selilwitulh (Tsleil-Waututh) and xʷməθkʷəy̓əm (Musqueam) Nations.

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