One of our own community members was honored with this award, my mother Jeanne Shenandoah. Who truly has embraced peace, justice, freedom and dignity. As a traditional member of the Onondaga Nation Eel Clan she has worked very hard at educating and bringing communities native and non-native with an open heart, mind and hand. “The importance of the work I do is to reach out to people in the name of peace, friendship and justice. I have been fortunate to have been able to sit in many different circles and carry the message from our people the Haudenosaunee. In following the ways of our people we stress that we have concern for the well being of all people, not only our own. We also stress that we are still here; we still exist in our indigenous territory despite the many generations of injustice and genocide that our people have endured. This message is to all people to persevere and maintain a strong belief in ones self and your path of life. Peace and love for all is the strongest message one can share. Thank you Jeanne Shenandoah.”
It truly was an honor to attend this luncheon with my mother, grandmother and several of her closest friends. Growing up the taught me to always welcome new people into my life without judgment and to always be proud of who I am an where I’ve come from. With this I would like to say Gon no wen’ kwa’ Genoha’.