Shayla Stonechild started the Matriarch Movement two years ago to turn the tide on the mainstream narrative regarding Indigenous women that objectifies their bodies and their culture. What started as a social media platform to amplify the voices of Native women and create a community for sharing stories of empowerment, prosperity, and resilience has in two short years become a full-fledged non-profit hosting wellness workshops and retreats specifically for Indigenous youth who don’t often see themselves reflected in the wellness space.
“I realized there was a lack of representation for Indigenous women in the state of resilience and excellence,” Stonechild says. “We’re always deemed as missing, murdered, and vulnerable, and we’re always in a state of survival. And I thought, ‘The Matriarch Movement will be like a shift and a rise and a reclamation of who we are as Indigenous people, but specifically women.'”
Today, there are more than 4,000 documented unsolved cases of missing and murdered Native women and girls in the United States and Canada, according to a 2020 report by the Sovereign Bodies Institute, a research nonprofit tracking gender and sexual violence against Indigenous people. And experts say these estimates are low, thanks to underreporting, racial misclassification, poor record keeping, and institutional racism affecting law enforcement and the media.
For this crisis to even begin to be addressed, Shayla says, Indigenous women must be respected and valued and perhaps first and foremost, be seen.
Join Shayla and The Yoga Show host Lindsay Tucker as they talk about:
- Shayla’s nonprofit and platform the Matriarch Movement
- The importance of amplifying Indigenous voices
- Systemic racism
- The crisis of crimes against Indigenous women and girls
- And more!