Conclusion: Hope, Healing and the Prophecy
The lives of the ten Indigenous women leaders featured in the Women of the Nistawoyou virtual exhibit are a strong chain link of the influence and strength of matriarchal culture and heritage among the various Indigenous communities.
It serves as a vital foundation on which future generations can build meaningful lives and heal wounds as a result of various challenges that life brings.
In the midst of the long-awaited focus on the missing and murdered Indigenous women and the discovery of thousands of unmarked graves of Indigenous children throughout Canada, we would like to honour the lives of whose contributions we will never know because they were never given the chance to fully live meaningful lives.
As Indigenous communities across Canada continue to process the tragic losses, we are reminded of the importance of oral tradition and that:
“It heals itself and the tribal web by adapting to the flow of the present while never relinquishing its connection to the past (Paula Gunn Allen).”
As we web, piece by piece, the tapestry of memories of the lives of these women and children, we pledge to never surrender to violence in any form. We continue to sing the songs of gratitude for sacred teachings to guide our communities forever.
Let traditional knowledge prevail in this process of healing and our continued fight for justice for every woman, child, and man. We pledge to remain equal before our benevolent Creator and loving Ancestors.
Legend and prophecy play a vital role in safeguarding the knowledge and tradition of Indigenous people. The prophecy of the Return of the White Buffalo Calf Woman is most significant to Indigenous peoples’ hope for healing and the return to the traditional teachings.