Walking With Our Sisters Akwesasne has now closed

Kawehnoke Recreation Center

November 6-27, 2015

Akwesasne Mohawk Territory

Sarah Rourke – email: srourke@nnatc.org

Join our WWOS Akwesasne Facebook Page 



Stop by to support Walking with Our Sisters- Akwesasne by purchasing: fruit elderberry blend tea! -tickets for two raffles- tshirts-sprays- salves- calendars- buttons!



AKWESASNE TV, January 13, 2016: Discussion on the WWOS exhibit impact in Akwesasne

AKWESASNE TV, November 24, 2015: Walking With Our Sisters: Art Installation

CORNWALL STANDARD-FREEHOLDER, November 6, 2015: Healing and Educating in Akwesasne

“The 12 women who have been lost within the Akwesasne community over the years were honoured at Friday’s opening ceremonies. There was a private ceremony for family members in the morning, and a public ceremony in the afternoon.”

Read full article by Todd Hambleton here.

151204_akwesasne_bundle-enroute_02Akwesasne WWOS committee elders have landed in Saskatoon! 

The bundle has now been unloaded in North Battleford and we can follow it’s continued journey to our First Nations communities on their Facebook. It has been a beautiful honor to be a part of WWOS. We will continue to create awareness and safe environments for healing in whatever we do. Niawen to our volunteers and supporters for all that you have done to make this all possible. This was an amazing community movement. Now We must keep our momentum! Thoughts and prayers of support and love to all who received the bundle yesterday. We are here for you!



The bundle is all packed and the rec is clean! We smudged and sang. Sending lots of prayers to our driver Harvey. So much love to North Battleford!!


Back to where it all began..it looks the same but we never will be again. Looking forward to what is on the horizon. Grateful to help in healing for so many.


We started packing up the bundle today. We had a beautiful closing ceremony. Niawen to everyone who came to help!

We also had some happy little helpers today! Niawen to Francis Boots for saying the closing for WWOS Akwesasne. We closed the last box of vamps today. A beautiful day shared with amazing people.

Below are some images from our Facebook Page that show the attention to detail that is given to the packing up of the Bundle.

151129_akwesasne_deinstall_02151128_akwesasne_deinstall_05 151128_akwesasne_deinstall_06 151128_akwesasne_deinstall_07 151128_akwesasne_deinstall_08 151128_akwesasne_deinstall_09151130_akwesasne_deinstall_01 151130_akwesasne_deinstall_03


NDN cookies made with love for the volunteers

Our helpers today! Helping to smudge in the visitors.


Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs Carolyn Bennett visits WWOS Akwesasne

We had many visitors today, Wednesday, November 25! Niawen Carolyn Bennett (Minister of Indigenous and Northern Affairs), Paula Isaac, Mauricette Howlett, and Monique Doiron for coming to wwos, paying your respects and creating awareness for MMIW. Also niawen to the AFS high school youth for the opening and closing, Akwesasne women’s singers, and the Saint Kateri Tekakwitha Singers who sang church hymns to the bundle. Niawen to the Oherokon youth and many volunteers that assisted in preparing for the meal. Niawen to the MCA for co-hosting and supporting the meal today!

151125_akwesasne_guests_01151125_akwesasne_guests_08151125_akwesasne_guests_02 151125_akwesasne_guests_03 151125_akwesasne_guests_05151125_akwesasne_guests_07151125_akwesasne_guests_09

151123_akwesasne_visitorsWe were happy to host a tour for JOM & the native resource room at Massena Central High school!!

We have had made visitors to the Walking With Our Sisters Akwesasne memorial. Below are some images from our Facebook Page of those who have come by.


Allison Diabo came from Kahnawake today, who also contributed a pair of vamps in the exhibit. She’s looking forward to when WWOS comes to their community


From the Skátne Ionkwatehiahróntie’ – “Our Families Grow Together” Facebook Page:

Today, a few of our young parents travelled to Akwesasne to support, help and honor the Walking with our Sisters Exhibition. We talked about the role of our women in society, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and way we can honor each other.


Chellie Goodleaf came to visit the bundle where she submitted a vamp in honor of Tiffany Morrison.


Here are some photos from our Facebook Page with the high school students we worked with on November 12 that came from neighboring areas. Over 200 youth in total – many of whom shared their feelings and perspectives on action for missing and murdered women



What a great night with great people in the self-care station! Caroline and Dyan are working on the beaded community mural. Our Self-Care/Body-Care station also has reading materials on support 😊



Youth making yummy pies to feed visitors and other volunteers – made with love


Walking With Our Sisters Akwesasne has now opened! Like our Facebook Page for more information about the WWOS Memorial.

Families were served lunch before the opening ceremony: moosemeat, corn soup, moosemeat hash, ham, squash, chicken soup and fruit salad. Niawen’kó:wa to everyone who contributed to the feast.


151106_akwesasne_opening_06(Above image) From the pages of the newspaper at Kahnawake, “The Eastern Door”


The last two days have been about putting the finishing touches before we open to the public tomorrow; including these comfort blankets gifted to the bundle. We’ve set up a self-care/body care station, resource table with local community supports, and have tea available for everyone



Some information from Tanya Kappo of the WWOS National Collective about the sacred fire that is tended at each location of Walking With Our Sisters Memorial.

“Coals from the sacred fire travel in this box. At the end of each visit and their sacred fire, coals are taken from it and carried to the next visit, where they are placed in the sacred fire. On this morning of the opening day, coals from Ottawa were placed in the sacred fire. When the sacred fire is out here, those coals will be placed in this box and will travel to North Battleford. And when North Battleford lights their sacred fire, the coals from Akwesasne will go in.”


DAY FOUR OF INSTALLATION! Chanel Thompson (11 yr old) and Joryan Adams (10 yr old) sing songs in the space.

The image below shows our beautiful Walking With Our Sisters lodge here in Akwesasne for missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two Spirits. It includes the phases of the moon, a Haudenousaunee pottery design, a turtle and white pine.




DAY 3 OF INSTALLATION! Pictured above is Victoria Ransom and she had just explained the design behind her that includes the 13 moon cycles/phases. Later vamps will be place around and in between the phases of the moon.

Below are more images that show the process of the Walking With Our Sisters installation illustrating how everything that is brought into the space has importance and meaning.

Niawen’kó:wa to all of the people that came out to volunteer of their time.


(Below image) White pine is laid down. White pine is used to help with grieving and healing.



(Above image) A turtle arrives, made by Alicia Cook, and painted by Dave Fadden.


(Above image) Laying down the baby vamps on the bed of white pine, in the centre of the room.


(Above image) The beautiful memories of Whitehorse are with us as we take out the Gopher Robe.

151104_akwesasne_install_09 151104_akwesasne_install_10

(Above image) The turtle, representing turtle island, with the great tree of peace – a white pine -on her back, showing the white roots of peace -encouraging people to come with a good mind. Standing beside the turtle is Alicia Cook who helped create it.

(Below image) Elders and Keepers get ready for a circle at the end of the third day of installation.



DAY ONE OF INSTALLATION! First pair of vamps is laid down. The installation of the vamps always starts with those ones submitted from the Downtown East Side Women’s Committee in Vancouver.

Here are some more images from our first day of install.

151103_akwesasne_install_06 151103_akwesasne_install_07 151103_akwesasne_install_12 151103_akwesasne_install_17 151103_akwesasne_install_18 151103_akwesasne_install_20

From our Facebook Page:

“Akwesasne -There are many people who have been involved in the planning for Walking With Our Sisters in Akwesasne and many who are involved in the installation,the duration of the visit, and the putting away and packing up the installation.

This is Dyan [pictured below]. She is putting down the second box of vamps today. Dyan was the one who originally requested WWOS to visit Akwesasne.”



The bundle has settled in to Kawehnoke Recreation Center. The WWOS national collective has been welcomed to Akwesasne. Our elders-keepers-volunteers have come together to begin with a good mind. Tomorrow, we begin installation!!



The bundle arrives in Akwesasne from Ottawa for the WWOS opening in November.

“Meegwetch for allowing us to be there as you welcomed the Sacred Bundle into your Territory, it was a beautiful day.” Joyce Bouthiette‎ (WWOS Ottawa Committee)



As we moved the bundle with the 1800 moccasin vamps from the shelter to the island recreation, we were gifted with a beautiful rainbow!


Nia:wen Ohero:kon – rites of passage nieces and nephews! These medicine pouches and bracelets they made will be available to support volunteers and families.

151023_akwesasne_medicine-bag_03 151023_akwesasne_medicine-bag_05


We started tobacco tie making in Akwesasne! ‪#‎goodmedicine #‎homegrownlove‬  ‪#‎creatorsgift‬


Our vigil on Sunday for Missing and Murdered Indigenous was beautiful. Niawen for everyone who came to help us heal and share stories of our missing and murdered loved ones.



Niawen to everyone who stopped to donate at the mukluk drive..our volunteers were amazing! Here are some images from our WWOS Akwesasne Facebook Page.

151004_akwesasne_mukluks-drive_03 151004_akwesasne_mukluks-drive_04 151004_akwesasne_mukluks-drive_05 151004_akwesasne_mukluks-drive_06  151004_akwesasne_mukluks-drive_08



WWOS Akwesasne was at the Ieweras Gray Foundation Benefit Concert (above image) as well as the Akwesasne Freedom School fundraiser (below image). Here are some pictures of our busy summer!



Walking With Our Sisters Akwesasne was at the Upper Canada Village Food Lovers Festival this past August. Here are some images from our Facebook Page.

Below Image: “Ohero:kon – rites of passage youth helping out at our booth all weekend, rocking our awesome new shirts designed by Victoria Ransom and Honni David to bring awareness to ‪#‎MMIW‬ ‪#‎MMIWG2S‬. Sharing about medicines and teachings from their experiences too.‪#‎FutureGenerationsRising‬


Some good news! Nia:wen to our local BMO!





From our Facebook Page:

WWOS Akwesasne had a Youth Movie Night yesterday [August 6, 2015] with over 100 people! The event “Our Spirits Are Stronger than Violence” was held to help empower youth with tools to protect and heal themselves. Here are some images from last nights event!

150806_akwesasne_movie-night_03 150806_akwesasne_movie-night_06

150806_akwesasne_movie-night_07 150806_akwesasne_movie-night_08


Here are some images from our Craft Night on July 24. WWOS Akwesasne partnered with Akwesasne Family Wellness Program to create awareness and discussion through community-based art. The event was about showing how the whole community can come together as a family to stop violence and what safe relationships mean to us.

170728_akwesasne_craft-night_03 170728_akwesasne_craft-night_04


Walking With Our Sisters Akwesasne holds it’s 6th Community Conversation & Bead-In

Our open mic night was a great success! Niawen to The Tahy’s for allowing us to have to event in their beautiful space! Niawen to Sue Ellen Herne for bringing flute player Eric Marczak! What an amazing night of music and spoken word. Today we honored those women we have lost and only hope that our actions will honor their memory… As we walk with our sisters.

Below are some images of the event from the WWOS Akwesasne Facebook Page.




On Wednesday April 8 Walking With Our Sisters Akwesasne had our first bead-in.

From our Facebook Page:

“First Bead In! What a great night with amazing women – talking about ceremony and relaxing.
Join us next Wednesday! Conversation starts at 5:15 and bead in at 6 pm – potluck at ACR!”

Here are some of images of the beautiful work that was created.

Beaded strawberry at beginning stages Beaded strawberry almost done, only leaves need to be added Completed beaded strawberry Cutting out the completed beaded strawberry from the fabric it is on Close up of a completed beaded strawberry on table
Two people sitting at a table beading One person sitting at a table beading
Completed beaded flower in white and red

poster for Akwesasne's Silent Auction with event info

Niawen to everyone who came to our silent auction!

We raised a little over $1300!

For those who need to pick up your items you can meet Becky at 8 am Monday morning at Kanonkwatsheriio or in the afternoon at NNATC.

Our first fundraiser was a great success! Niawen kowa to all the volunteers who took their time to run it!