This short documentary offers a portrait of a group of women who led their community, the largest reserve in Canada, Six Nations of the Grand River Reserve, in an historic blockade to protect their land.On February 28, 2006, members of the Iroquois Confederacy blockaded a highway near Caledonia, Ontario to prevent a housing development on land that falls within their traditional territories. The ensuing confrontation made national headlines for months. Less well-known is the crucial role of the clan mothers of the community who set the rules for conduct. When the community's chiefs ask people to abandon the barricades, it is the clan mothers who overrule them, leading a cultural reawakening in their traditionally matriarchal community.
Ages 15 to 17
Study Guide - Guide 1
Civics/Citizenship - Human Rights
History and Citizenship Education - Culture and Currents of Thought (1500-present)
Indigenous Studies - History/Politics
Indigenous Studies - Issues and Contemporary Challenges
One of the Six Nations leaders says, “When we consider what prosperity means to them and what prosperity means to us, it’s two totally clashing perspectives.” Have students discuss this. How do the Native women see their role in the community and in the conflict? Have students describe and discuss the interests and perspectives of the two opposing parties, namely the Canadian government and the Native groups.