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Bear Clan Mother, Tewakierahkwa, or "Mama Bear"
Bear Clan Mother, Tewakierahkwa, or "Mama Bear"

Recovering the ancient role of women in Akwesasne

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Women are the traditional leaders in Iroquois culture. Their models of government and leadership were seeds for the U.S. Constitution and the women's suffrage movement. But the reservation system, Indian boarding schools, and racism helped weaken the matrilineal connection among the Iroquois people. This weekend, a hundred Iroquois women will convene at a heritage center in Akwesasne. They'll use conversation and sweat lodges, and also Power Point and Facebook, to try to reassert women's traditional roles amidst the fast pace of modern life. David Sommerstein reports.

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Danielle Lazore-Thompson, Randi Rourke Barreiro and son, Tewakierahkwa, and Katsi Cook in the Earth Lodge, with a blanket telling the Iroquois creation story.

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Reported by

David Sommerstein
Reporter/ Producer

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