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Joanne Shenandoah

Grammy Award Winning Artist, Lecturer, Educator, Ambassador of Peace

Joanne Shenandoah, Ph.D, is one of America’s most celebrated and critically acclaimed musicians. She is a Grammy Award winner, with over 40 music awards (including a record 13 Native American Music awards) and 17 recordings.  She has captured the hearts of audiences all over the world, from North and South America, South Africa, Europe, Australia…

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Joanne Shenandoah, Ph.D, is one of America’s most celebrated and critically acclaimed musicians. She is a Grammy Award winner, with over 40 music awards (including a record 13 Native American Music awards) and 17 recordings.  She has captured the hearts of audiences all over the world, from North and South America, South Africa, Europe, Australia and Korea, with praise for her work to promote universal peace. She is a board member of the Hiawatha Institute for Indigenous Knowledge.

Joanne and her daughter Leah recorded on the title track “Path to Zero” with Jim Morrison which also included artists, Sting/Bono, Sinead O’Conner, Robert Downey Jr., and others.

Shenandoah recently performed for His Holiness the Dali Lama and at St. Peter’s at the Vatican in Italy where she performed an original composition for the celebration for the canonization of the first Native American Saint Kateri Tekakwitha both in October 2012.  Shenandoah has performed at prestigious events such as The White House, Carnegie Hall, 5 Presidential Inaugurations, The Vatican – St. Peter’s Basillica, Madison Square Garden, Bethlehem Fine Arts Center, Palestine, Crystal Bridges Museum, The NMAI-Smithsonian, The Ordway Theater, Hummingbird Centre, Toronto Skydome, The Parliament of the Worlds Religions, (Africa, Spain and Australia) and Woodstock ‘94.

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Health and Spirituality

Vibration of Music & Water
The Iroquois have always used song in every aspect of life, from bringing new babies into the world, celebrating life, earth, animals, plants, medicines and all earth elements between earth and sky to releasing the spirit.  This is the most popular workshop as it incorporates the influence of our “Song” or voice, as we offer our intentions of healing to those who surround us.   Words, vibration, tonation and songs affect every living being on earth, with our children being extremely suspetible through the years of formation.  Every image, song, word, touch and smell have a vibrant or damaging effect on us as human beings.  In this workshop one will understand the influence of vibration to the water which is in the earth and inside our bodies as we move about the planet and our responsibility to mother earth to leave her better than we found her.

Women’s Empowerment
The Iroquois created a society unique in its approach to women’s rights. From ownership of all real property to the distribution of wealth Iroquois women held the key economic power among the Six Nations. They also had the exclusive right to nominate all leadership and to impeach the same.  They enjoyed universal suffrage at a time when most womne in the world were considered chattel.  The influence of the Iroquois on the women’s suffrage movement int he 19th century was profound.  The lecture will explain the historical role of women in Iroquois society and their modern status.

Rituals of Life and Death
The lecture will explain this most fundamental of human experiences.  The lecturers will explain the origins of human beings on this earth, the reasons for our being, our duties and freedoms and the events which mark our demise. The Iroquois possess a very precise set of teachings regarding birth and death, both of which are attended by specific rituals.  The human spirit endures beyond the passing of the physical body and has a set direction.  Once informed as to this journey the pain and doubt regarding death are relieved.

Creator’s Gifts – Our Children
The Iroquois hold that every human being is a remarkable gift of live, experience and creativity from the spiritual world. All children are to be greeted with happiness and collective ritual. Each being has specific abilities and talents which must be nurtured by the extended family.  Communal stability and peace is realized when children are free to explore the world and apply their talents without coercion or qualification.  How the Iroquois realized this will be explained.  Traditional story of the 7 Dancers.

Music as Healing
The Iroquois mark the passing of time and the human experience through music.  All communal rituals involve some degree of singing and dancing in which everyone is involved.  Music is performed at birth, at the time of naming, the change in life from child to adult, at various healing events, during social gatherings and to mark the passing into the spirit world. Songs are also done for other beings and living entities: corn songs, bean songs, songs for the stars, sun and moon.  The lecture will explain the use of music by the Iroquois in the quest for spiritual, ecological and social harmony.

Hiawatha: His Story
Hiawatha was a living man who assisted the Peacemaker in the formation of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the world’s oldest united nations. Established over 800 years ago the Confederacy is composed of a number of nations, each of with agreed to cede specific powers to a collective governing entity which in turn regulated trade and formal relations with other entities. Hiawatha’s personal story is central to understanding the Iroquois and how the Confederacy was created in a time of war. 

The Great Law of Peace
The Great Law is a series of rules and regulations, a moral code and a spiritual guide created by the Peacemaker centuries before formal contact with the Europeans.  The Great Law defines the duties and freedoms of the Iroquois people, provides for a set of national leaders, qualifies the powers of national governments and defines the role of the Iroquois in the world.  It is a constitution which was first written down in the 19th century but its principles have affected philosophers and leaders from Ben Franklin to Karl Marx.  The lecture will explain the origins of the Great Law, its current usages and how it has influenced the world.

Living for the Seventh Generation and Beyond
The key to survival will be the ability to live within sustainable societies which secure balance between basic human resource needs and the rights of other species. The Iroquois have a constitutional obligation to do nothing which qualifies the rights of the unborn to clean water, fertile land and a clear skies.  To achieve this, the Iroquois incorporate the rights of other from the earth to insects, animals, plants and trees-all have legal standing which must be respected.  The lecture will explain the Seventh Generation directive and how it can be made to work locally.

Since 1986 Dr. Shenandoah has been professionally providing traditional healing to the world through the gift of music.  It is through this medium, which has brought her international recognition and awareness as a peace advocate throughout her career as well as a guardian and mentor for her audiences from new borns through death and life cycles on mother earth.  Shenandoah illustrates he affect on the vibration of words, music and change for individuals, and community healthcare works as well as victims of violence whether they be children, adults or elders.  In a world filled with violence, the wisdom of elders can be carried to those yet unborn and provide a safer and healthier environment to all.

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