Women's History Programs
To examine the historical legacies of the passage of the 19th Amendment one hundred years ago, Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity, in partnership with the KU Department of Political Science and the KU William Allen White School of Journalism & Mass Communications, offered a two-part 19th Amendment Centennial Series exploring the influence of Haudenosaunee women on the women's suffrage movement in September 2020. Please see below for recordings of each event.
The first event in Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity's two-part 19th Amendment 100th Anniversary Series ― a virtual Q&A discussion of "Without A Whisper – Konnon:kwe" with Mohawk filmmaker Katsitsionni Fox, Haudenosaunee Knowledge Guardian Louise Herne, and intersectional feminist historian Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner, moderated by local multicultural artist, writer, scientist, and community organizer Alex Kimball Williams. "Without A Whisper – Konnon:kwe" is untold story of the ways Indigenous women influenced the early U.S. suffragists in their fight for freedom and equality. Learn more at https://www.withoutawhisperfilm.com/
The second event in Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity's two-part 19th Amendment 100th Anniversary Series ― Women Voted Here Before Columbus: The Haudenosaunee Influence on the Women's Suffrage Movement. During this virtual event, Louise Herne, a Bear Clan Matron of the Mohawk Nation and Haudenosaunee Knowledge Guardian, and Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner, author of the intersectional anthology "The Women’s Suffrage Movement" (2019), discussed the Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) influence on early U.S. feminists. They place the beginning of U.S. women’s rights a thousand years ago at the founding of the Iroquois Confederacy in present-day upstate New York. Women of the Six Nations Iroquois Confederacy possessed decisive political power, control of their bodies, control of their own property, custody of the children they bore, the power to initiate divorce, satisfying work, and a society generally free of rape and domestic violence. Herne and Wagner explore the ways Haudenosaunee women fired the revolutionary vision of early feminists, including Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Matilda Joslyn Gage, by providing them with a model of freedom for women at a time when they experienced few rights. Introductions by Sarah Deer, KU University Distinguished Professor, with a post-conversation Q&A moderated by Megan Williams, Assistant Director of Emily Taylor Center for Women & Gender Equity.
About Our Guest Speakers
Katsitsionni Fox (she/her) is Bear Clan from the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation. Fox is and filmmaker, artist and educator. Her debut film was the award winning “Ohero:kon - Under the Husk” a 26-min documentary following the journey of two Mohawk girls as they take part in their traditional passage rites to becoming Mohawk Women. Fox received the Jane Glassco Award for Emerging Filmmaker at the imagineNATIVE Film Festival in 2016 as well as the Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking Award at LA Skins Fest in 2016. This film received funding from Vision Maker Media and has been broadcast on many PBS stations in 2017. She directed and co-produced a short - doc series for REMATRIATION - a Native American women's online, multi-media magazine. It is focused on healing and empowerment of Native women through the sharing of their stories and successes. Her most recent film is "Without a Whisper- Konnón:kwe."
Wa'kerakats:te Louise Mama Bear Herne (she/her) is a Condoled Bear Clan Matron of the Mohawk Nation Council of Chiefs. She has worked for more than a decade to continue the historical and traditional strength of the Haudenosaunee through education and empowerment initiatives. One of her most influential societal contributions is her work in promoting the Oheró:kon Rites of Passage ceremony, which helps youth make their transition into adulthood. Reviving the ancient ritual she said, was intended to combat social ills, such as drug abuse and suicide, as well to reconnect youth with their identity as Indigenous people. She also secured grant funding to expand the program to other Haudenosaunee communities across Ontario, and as a result of her efforts, the program earned the 2015 Harvard Kennedy School’s prestigious “Honoring Nations” award for exemplary tribal governance. In 2016, Herne was recognized as a Distinguished Scholar in Indigenous Studies by the McMaster Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning, making her the first Indigenous woman to receive this honor. She is also a founding member of Konon:kwe Council, a community-based organization that develops and advances policies that educate and empower all community members to end domestic violence in Akwesasne. In addition to Bear Clan Mother, Herne also serves as Indigenous Knowledge Keeper and Haudenosaunee Knowledge Guardian, helping to preserve traditional culture, traditions and language for future generations.
Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner (she/her) was awarded one of the first doctorates in the country for work in women’s studies (UC Santa Cruz) and is a founder of one the first college-level women’s studies programs in the United States (CSU Sacramento). Dr. Wagner has taught women’s studies courses for 50 years. She currently serves as an adjunct faculty member in the Syracuse University Renée Crown University Honors Program. She wrote the faculty guide for Not for Ourselves Alone, Ken Burns’ documentary on Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Susan B. Anthony, and has appeared in that film and numerous history films and radio programs. Dr. Wagner 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. A prolific author, Dr. Wagner’s anthology The Women's Suffrage Movement, with a Forward by Gloria Steinem (Penguin Classics, 2019), unfolds a new intersectional look at the 19th century woman’s rights movement. Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influence on Early American Feminists (Native Voices, 2001) documents the surprisingly unrecognized authority of Native women, who inspired the suffrage movement. It was followed by her young reader’s book, We Want Equal Rights: How Suffragists Were Influence by Native American Women (Native Voices, 2020). Founder and Executive Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Center for Social Justice Dialogue in Fayetteville, New York, she received the Katherine Coffey Award for outstanding service to museology from the Mid-Atlantic Association of Museums in 2012.