by Gae Ho Hwako (Norma Jacobs) and the Circles of Odagahodhes, edited by Timothy B. Leduc
McGill-Queens University Press
In the words of Cayuga Elder Gae Ho Hwako Norma Jacobs: "We have forgotten about that sacred meeting space between the Settler ship and the Indigenous canoe, odagahodhes, where we originally agreed on the Two Row, and where today we need to return to talk about the impacts of its violation."
Odagahodhes highlights the Indigenous values that brought us to the sacred meeting place in the original treaties of Turtle Island, particularly the Two Row Wampum, and the sharing process that was meant to foster good relations from the beginning of the colonial era. The book follows a series of Indigenous sharing circles, relaying teachings by Gae Ho Hwako and the responses of participants - scholars, authors, and community activists - who bring their diverse experiences and knowledge into reflective relation with the teachings. Through this practice, the book itself resembles a teaching circle and illustrates the important ways tradition and culture are passed down by Elders and Knowledge Keepers. The aim of this process is to bring clarity to the challenges of truth and reconciliation. Each circle ends by inviting the reader into this sacred space of Odagahodhes to reflect on personal experiences, stories, knowledge, gifts, and responsibilities. By renewing our place in the network of spiritual obligations of these lands, Odagahodhes invites transformations in how we live to enrich our communities, nations, planet, and future generations.
"This book is a testament to the power of respectful, collaborative thinking and the merging of Indigenous intellectual tradition with a Western academic approach. It is engaging, deeply thoughtful, sincere, and uplifting, exactly the kind of work that is needed now to assist in the rebuilding of relationships amongst, and between, Indigenous communities and non-Indigenous Canadians." -- Rick Monture, Six Nations of the Grand River/McMaster University
About the Contributors:
Gae Ho Hwako (Norma Jacobs) is of the Wolf clan in the Cayuga Nation of the Great Haudenosaunee Confederacy, a Longhouse Faith-keeper, and advisor to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Timothy B. Leduc is associate professor at Wilfrid Laurier University and author of A Canadian Climate of Mind.