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Sun, Oct 07


Sonnenberg Gardens

The Role of Hodinöhsö:ni’ Women and Suffrage

This event is co-sponsored with Sonnenberg Gardens, and is presented in conjunction with the Ganondagan State Historic Site exhibit: Hodinöhsö:ni’ Women: From the Time of Creation.

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The Role of Hodinöhsö:ni’ Women and Suffrage
The Role of Hodinöhsö:ni’ Women and Suffrage

Time & Location

Oct 07, 2018, 2:00 PM – 4:00 PM

Sonnenberg Gardens, 151 Charlotte St, Canandaigua, NY 14424, USA

About the Event

Sally Roesch Wagner will explore how the woman’s rights movement took form in the territory of the Haudenosaunee, the six nations of the Iroquois confederacy, where women have always lived with far greater status and authority than in the non-native world. Based on her most recent book, Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influence on Early American Feminists, Dr. Wagner will share her research on how Haudenosaunee women fired the revolutionary vision of early feminists by providing a model of freedom for women at a time when Euroamerican women experienced few rights.

Jeanne Shenandoah describes the world she inhabits as a Haudenosaunee woman. The democratic governmental system, established long before Columbus and based on peace, provides equality for everyone with a balance of responsibilities between women and men based on a matrilineal clan system. Together the women explore the impact that Haudenosaunee women, living in absolute equality, had on Euroamerican women, who lost all their rights, even their legal existence, when they married. Euroamerican women learned and were inspired by the equal political authority, control of their bodies and property, religious voice, custody of their children, satisfying work, and almost complete absence of rape and domestic violence women experienced in Haudenosaunee nations.

Their presentation will be designed to invite participants to explore similarities to the position of native women in their area, and speculate on whether Euroamerican women settlers were similarly influenced in their contact with native women.


Jeanne Shenandoah, Eel Clan, Onondaga Nation, was a traditional home birth midwife and herbalist for twenty-eight years. A mother and grandmother, she works at the Onondaga Nation Communications Office, and is “involved with spiritual and political activities of my people and follow the traditional ways.” A member of the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force, she served as a representative of the Onondaga Nation in the Onondaga Lake Environmental Cleanup issue. Jeanne attended The Global Peace Initiative of Women Religious and Spiritual Leaders at the United Nations in Geneva Switzerland as a Haudenosaunee woman representing the spiritual tradition of indigenous women. Jeanne received The Harriet Tubman Humanitarian Achievement Award in March 2005.

Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner received one of the first doctorates awarded in the country for work in Women's Studies and is a founder of one of the nation's first college women's studies programs. Having taught women’s studies for 48 years, she is now the Executive Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Center in Fayetteville, New York and adjunct faculty in the Honors Program at Syracuse University. The author of numerous books and articles on women's history, she wrote the faculty guide for Not for Ourselves Alone, Ken Burns’ documentary on Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and appeared in that film and numerous history films and radio programs. Sally was selected as one of “21 Leaders for the 21st Century” by Women’s E-News in 2015. She serves on the New York Suffrage Centennial Commission.

Co-sponsor Sonnenberg Gardens. (Event free; half price gate fee to gardens $7)

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