By: Delores Juanico, CSVANW Advocate Coordinator
This Women’s History Month, the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women is recognizing and celebrating all our Matriarchs in our communities. In traditional Indigenous communities, Matriarchs are the protectors, nurturers, roots of their communities, and stewards of Mother Earth. Matriarchs carry the vision for the well-being of future generations. They practice being good relatives and breaking cycles of violence that come from colonization. Matriarchs are life-givers, not only to their children but also to what they put into practice.
Matriarchy is intergenerational, meaning that the youth inherit their elders’ teachings to become future Matriarchs by learning their traditional roles and values that exist both in their kinship structure and in the greater community. Matriarchs also teach young men and boys what their roles are as it relates to respecting and being in community with women, girls, LGBQ+ relatives, 2Spirit relatives, Trans and gender non-conforming relatives. Matriarchs embrace all our relatives and understand the importance of collective solidarity in order to restore balance in our communities.