Indigenous Women's Initiatives
Inviting you to partner with us for peace and justice
Welcome to Indigenous Women's Initiatives (IWI)! We are located at 1272 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo NY 14209. Please stop by our office sometime or join our mailing list to receive updates about events related to IWI as well as information regarding the Haudenosaunee, local and international indigenous and peace-making communities.
IWI serves these communities via the monthly Talking Circle, Annual Peace Awards, celebration of Human Rights Day and our Peace, Justice and Theatrical institutes. We hope that you will join us!
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IWI office hours are:
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday afternoons or by appointment
716-332-6988 or 332-6998 fax
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An Introduction to Indigenous Women's Initiatives and the Haudenosaunee:The Haudenosaunee have remained for thousands of years the Indigenous Peoples of the occupied territories of New York State to the Ohio River Valley and Ontario/Quebec Provinces in Canada. We are the People of the Longhouse, believing that the Creator put us here and our aboriginal rights to these lands and waters distinguish us from settler societies.
We, and others call ourselves by many names, Iroquois, Indians, American Indians, Native Americans and Indigenous to name a few. Within those generic names we identify ourselves by the waters and lands where our ancestors are buried and we continue to live as the Seneca, Tuscarora, Cayuga, Onondaga, Oneida, and Mohawk. Our relatives to the north and south continue as well to describe themselves and life ways in terms of their relationships to their environment.
We have survived the invasion of North America by Europeans fleeing from persecution in their own homelands, as well as those in search of riches and their American dream. Destruction of the natural world spread as civilization crosses North America and continues to expand north into Canada and into Central and South America.
Our numbers decreased due to disease, war, loss of lands, livelihood and languages until 1900. The last 100 years began our physical recovery, reclaiming our birthright as Indigenous Peoples in a world that is experiencing climate change, wars and economic ruin. As the result of the destruction of the natural world we all must pull together now for our future generations.
The Haudenosaunee remain with " recognition to the things that grow and support human life." [Mohawk, John The Creation Story, 2005] We remain with " thanksgiving for habitual peace of mind when we see that all of the Creator's work continues to please the minds of children." [ibid] We shall remain" so all have an equal right to possess it." [ibid]
In 2000, University of Buffalo Native Studies' students, staff and faculty who happen to be Haudenosaunee organized the Indigenous Women's Initiatives. Restoring and revitalizing the natural life ways of the Haudenosaunee within the context of a globalized world is the challenge that the Indigenous Women's Initiatives faces today.