Toni-Leah Yake

Articles by Toni-Leah Yake

Artwork by Toni-Leah Yake

The ceremony of birth and Kanien’kehá:ka Mohawk ancestral wisdom

Imagining Turtle Island prior to Euro-colonial invasion, I am strengthened. Kanien’kehá:ka Mohawk ancestral societies were constructed on matriarchal power relations. I am part of this matriarchal society, as a Turtle Clan blood member. These ways of relating to each other extend to future generations, are secured by past ones, and also reach into Haudenosaunee people’s creations. For my children, I carry this to pass along. As Michi Saagiig Nishnaabeg writer and activist Leanne Simpson says, “I am a link in a chain” connecting the concepts of past, present, and future. (…)