Blog 2: Imagine living in a Matriarchal society…

Well, if we want to know exactly what that would look like then we just need to read up on the history of First Nations communities that are actually the rightful inhabitants of the very land we stand on. The Kanien’Kehake nation once lived on and cultivated these lands, with thriving communities and efficient and culturally rich societies where women were expected to fulfill very important roles of power and responsibility. All women were revered and respected for their ability to create life, but they were also expected to make laws, choose male leaders and handle issues of property and agriculture (Freese-Maire). Families were matri-lineal and the women elders would command over their longhouses, filled with their daughters and grand daughters and great granddaughters families. Sons who found relationships would be expected to move into their partners long house and traditions and historical teachings were the clan mothers responsibility to maintain and share (Luger).

All of this came to a screeching halt, of course, once colonialism happened and the Western infectious patriarchy invaded and served major damage to so many innocent communities (Luger). Many First Nations creation stories include women being the ones responsible for the beginning of life, as compared to the many other religions who consider the main creator a man. Many of those same cultures also live within patriarchal societies (AJIC).

Historical reports show that within these matriarchal communities, the idea of family was first and foremost. The teachings of their traditions and the recounting of their stories were an essential part of their culture and community. The punishment of children was effective enough through the shame and disappointment of other family members and violence was never an option – in fact they would apparently just splash bad kids with water in an attempt to ‘wash the bad away’ (Haudenosaunee Confederacy). It was a peaceful and effective societal model that I would love to see rise again. If only…

Works Cited

Aboriginal Justice Implementation Commission. “Women in Traditional Aboriginal Society.” Aboriginal Women – AJIC.  http://www.ajic.mb.ca/volumel/chapter13.html#2 Accessed February, 2020. 

Freese-Maire, Roseanne. “Women in Iroquois History.” Iroquois Women – Womens History Blog.http://www.womenhistoryblog.com/2008/05/iroquois-women.html Accessed February, 2020

Haudenosaunee Confederacy. “Family Structure.” Culture & History – Haudenosaunee Confederacy. April 17, 2018. https://www.haudenosauneeconfederacy.com/historical-life-as-a-haudenosaunee/family-structure/ Accessed February, 2020.

Luger, Chelsea. “5 Indigenous Women Asserting the Modern Matriarchy.” Yes Magazine!, March 30,2018.https://www.yesmagazine.org/social-justice/2018/03/30/5-indigenous-women-asserting-the-modern-matriarchy/ Accessed February, 2020.

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