The Aunties Dandelion

Kaluhyanu:wes Michelle Schenandoah - Oneida Rematriation Activist

Episode Summary

AUNTIE: Wa’tkwanonhweráton Sewakwé:kon. Greetings, love and respect to all of you. On this special edition of The Aunties Dandelion – we visit with rematriation activist and media creator Kalunhyanu:we’s Michelle Shenendoah from Oneida nation. Michelle recently traveled with a Canadian Indigenous delegation to the Vatican to address the ongoing devastation of the Catholic Church’s residential schools on Onkwehón:we people. Michelle carried with her a beautiful, empty cradleboard from our Rotinonhshyon:ni lands and presented it directly to the Pope. KALUHYANU:WES: You know that cradle board I brought in as being symbolic of every child who went to residential school who was taken away from their family. And to understand the impacts on all of those children and all of their families. And then also for him to recognize all those children’s spirits. That were lost. Recognizing every single child that died in these schools. And for him I left it there. It was not a gift. It was not a gift I brought it as an opportunity for him to reflect upon all those impacts on our people. AUNTIE: In the first hour of this episode we look at the powerful influences on Michelle’s life that prepared her to enact this historic gesture. Hour two we hear the backstory of Michelle’s meeting with the Pope. This episode is sponsored by our friends at the Center for Art, Humor and Soul – an arts and theater organization that – like Michelle - is focused on the importance dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery. And the organization is based in the Shenandoah Valley – a region named after Michelle’s ancestor – Chief John Shenandoah. We are Yethi Nistenha ne tekaronyakánare. The Aunties Dandelion. We’re dedicated to revitalizing our communities through stories of land, language and relationships. Slow down and your time with this episode – these narratives are important reminders of how we all can be speaking truth to power and that we all benefit when you listen to your aunties.

Episode Notes

Rematriation Magazine

Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the Doctrine of Discovery and the Oneida Case

Center for Art, Humor and Soul