What is the Indigena Project?
The Indigena project is a series of 4 day gatherings / residencies for self-identified Indigenous girls, women and mothers of Turtle Island / Anahuac (aka: the Americas) who want to restore and revitalize their connection to ancestral ways and wisdom of birth and mothering. This is of particular interest to women who have lost connection with their lineage – and who want to restore what has been broken for their children and ancestors.
Many of us are diasporic Indigenous people who have lost contact with our lineages and Indigenous Eldership as a direct result of the The Indian Relocation Act, corrupt Indian adoption policies, Indian residential and boarding schools, military recruitment of Indigenous people, forced migration, borders, shame and hiding etc…) Many of us in the group feel that we do not belong, cannot belong, and yet still feel drawn to make sense of the call of our Indigenous ancestors.
We will gather and connect using the gentle tools of Indigneous storywork, laying-on the earth, community theater, dream work, appreciative inquiry, Somatic Experiencing, constellation ceremony, Myth Mending, Earth-Womb medicine, the mesoamerican sweat house (Temazcalli), Susto and Limpia (soul loss and spiritual cleansing) and trauma-driven performance protest – which we will present publicly for the creative representation and restoration of our people.
The Indigena project emerged from our need to:
- remember and restore ancestral wisdom for the descendants of Turtle Island
- interrupt structures and systems of subtle (and not-so-subtle) violence
- create connections across tribal/national/urban/migrant divisions
- collaborate creatively in the ceremony of performative-protest
- celebrate and grieve our Indigenous ancestors
- repair ruptures at individual, relational, socio-cultural and ancestral intersections
- restore somatic healing and visioning ceremonies for birth and mothering
We have been exiled and silent long enough.
We, the members of the Indigena Project, see a way out of the confusion and division and assert that this world has has reached a level of disconnection that must be addressed… We believe that working together in restorative collaborative creative intimate and activist work will restore our selves, our relationships, our communities and our lineages.
We believe the time has come for this kind of work to find support outside the (perpetuating) structures of schools, therapy, research and the non-profit sector. We believe that our work is important and that with your help we can make real transformations in the way Indigenous people of Anahuac are represented and viewed as well as how they participate in the unfolding future of humanity.
We can do it with your help
We are fundraising to support travel costs, room and board, lost wages, performance space and nutritious meals for each woman participating in the 4 day Indigena project gathering / residency. This is an approximate breakdown for the first cycle of 6 women:
- $1,000 travel costs for 3 participants
- $500 :: raw ingredients for food
- $300 :: kitchen assistance
- $2,160 :: for lost wages at $120/day for 3 weekdays
- $1,500 :: reduced rate for accommodations, gathering space, and performance space
TOTAL :: $5,460
Funding will go to these categories in this order depending on how much we are able to raise. Extra will be used toward our next gathering. We are working on finding creative ways to be self-supporting through our creative process. We are hosting an event and silent auction that you don’t want to miss if you are in Portland at the end of August.
Keep an eye out for our zine, t-shirts, etc… coming soon!
Join us in Community Supported Unsettling:
Somewhere down my mother-line, the women relatives sang as their sister, daughter, niece, and granddaughter drank down wináwizi čík’ala, wild licorice root, and hummed the baby down.
Instead, I was the lone buffalo, moaning in the grass–grass covered in my blood and my water. I think even my blood wanted to know–where did the women go?
In the tender days after birth, I felt significantly the discordance and disease which plagues my heart, my center, and the hearts and centers of my fore-mothers.
All I knew, and know, is that this way, is NOT our way. And like the buffalo, who are being returned to their homelands by the ones who hear the call to remember their allegiance to protect and preserve, I too am being called to return birth and motherhood to their homelands.
Why does this matter?
Why is this my, our, most crucial beginning and end?
Because the women in my family are terrified of birth. The women in my family experience debilitating post-natal depression and anxiety. Because total spiritual, psychological trauma and isolation almost brought my life and the life of my screaming infant to an end.
Because of the inner conflict seething within my mother, grandmother, and great grandmother when they tried to raise their children in Honor, only to meet the whip of shame, intolerance, and forced assimilation.
When and if my daughter chooses to birth, she will NOT be alone in the grass, bleeding. She will not raise her children in isolation. She will not doubt her wisdom to the point of collapse.
I will sing to her the sweet gutturals of our mother tongue, and wipe her brow with cloth washed on the rocks of the river.
~ Rebecca Lee, Indigena project resident-participant-collaborator