This week Jonel Beauvais of the Akwesasne people in Mohawk territory offers us a practice from her people. It's a ritual for condolence, inspired by the way her own community welcomed her back as she came home from prison. You can use this ritual to mark a meaningful return, death or loss, or a moment of transformation and change.
Jonel uses a deer skin, eagle plume, and water for this ritual, and invites you to use objects that feel appropriate and accessible to you. She has only shared things here that she welcomes others to try - she has left out intimate details that are specific to the Akwesasne people that she wouldn't want other peoples replicating. So what you hear here, you are welcomed to try on and of course share where you learned it from.
Listen to the previous episode for a conversation between Jonel and Aida Cuadrado Bozzo from the Womens Fellowship at Community Change, which exists to hone the organizing skills of formerly incarcerated women of color or those otherwise directly impacted by incarceration and the criminal justice system. In that conversation, Jonel shares more about her story, including the trauma of incarceration and her return to her community, the resilience of women of color, frontline leadership, and her community’s role in welcoming her home.
ABOUT OUR GUEST:
Jonel Beauvais is an indigenous sister, Mohawk woman, a witness of imprisonment, adversity survivor, spirit lover, working to end violence, and living for the next generation. She is a descendant of women of the wolf clan lineage, and is rooted in the community of Akwesasne where she works with the Seven Dancers Coalition.
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Thank you to our incredible production volunteers on this episode: Rachel Ishikawa for audio editing and production, Zach Meyer at the COALROOM for music and mastering, and Josiah Werning for graphic design.