A Clan Mother's Call

Reconstructing Haudenosaunee Cultural Memory

By Jeanette Rodriguez
Contributions by Iakoiane Wakerahkats:teh

Subjects: Indigenous Studies, Women's Studies, Anthropology
Series: SUNY series in Critical Haudenosaunee Studies
Paperback : 9781438466248, 128 pages, January 2018
Hardcover : 9781438466231, 128 pages, September 2017

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Table of contents

Introduction: The Call of the Earth Mother

1. Setting the Context

2. The Epoch of Sky Woman
The Creation Story
Sustaining Creation (The Three Sisters)

3. Clans and the Epoch of the League
Haudenosaunee Clans
How a Clan Mother Came to Be

4. Crossover Ceremonies
Life Stages
Healing through Ceremony
The Crossover Ritual for Young Women
The Crossover Ritual for Young Men

5. Indigenous Strategies in the Global Arena
Our Oldest Home


Appendix 1: Letter to Jeanette Rodriguez from Wakerahkats:teh, Bear Clan Matron
Appendix 2: Tasks and Responsibilities of a Clan Mother

Works Cited
About the Authors

Addresses the importance of Haudenosaunee women in the rebuilding of the Iroquois nation.


Indigenous communities around the world are gathering to both reclaim and share their ancestral wisdom. Aware of and drawing from these social movements, A Clan Mother's Call articulates Haudenosaunee women's worldview that honors women, clanship, and the earth. Over successive generations, First Nation people around the globe have experienced and survived trauma and colonization. Extensive literature documents these assaults, but few record their resilience. This book fulfills an urgent and unmet need for First Nation women to share their historical and cultural memory as a people. It is a need invoked and proclaimed by Clan Mother, Iakoiane Wakerahkats:teh, of the Mohawk Nation. Utilizing ethnographic methods of participatory observation, interviewing and recording oral history, the book is an important and useful resource for capturing "living" histories. It strengthens the cultural bridge and understanding of the Haudenosaunee people within the United States and Canada.

Jeanette Rodriguez is Professor of Theology and Religious Studies at Seattle University. She is the coauthor (with Ted Fortier) of Cultural Memory: Resistance, Faith, and Identity. Iakoiane Wakerahkats:teh is Condoled Bear Clan Mother of the Kanien'kehá:ka Nation.