Maternal Gift Economy: Breaking Through -
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Maternal Gift Economy Movement - Salon #28 - The Gift of Women's Herstory

March 12, 2022

Featuring Max Dashu, Miigam’agan and Genevieve Vaughan

Moderated by Letecia Layson


Miigam’agan is a Wabanaki/Mi’kmaw grandmother of the Jagei Clan from Esgenôpetiti/Burnt Church. She is a mother of three wonderful people and a grandmother to three beautiful grandchildren. Her life has been devoted to Wabanaki cultural revival and promoting an understanding of Indigenous matriarchal systems drawing on her language. Currently, Miigam’agan is Elder-in-Residence at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswick. In this role, she provides support for First Nation students and offers opportunities for the students and faculty to learn from indigenous knowledge keepers. Miigm’agan sits on the Executive Committee of the Urban Aboriginal Knowledge Network at the University of New Brunswick, which sets research priorities and ensures that the research they support meets the needs of urban Aboriginal peoples. She is also a member of the steering committee on Adult Education Initiatives for the Catherine Donnelly Foundation and a co-chair for the women of First Light, an indigenous women led initiatives on adult education for social change.

Max Dashu

Presentation topic: Matricultures

Egalitarian matrilineal / matrilocal cultures show a way of being human outside the paradigm of domination. Not a mirror image of patriarchy, but a totally different way of life, in which the life support matrix is the highest good, with women at the social center. Mother Law (Adat Ibu of the Minangkabau), Sisters’ Children (marumakkathayam, Malayalam). Domination is not universal and unavoidable. Max Dashu draws on her 51 years of research on mother-right.

Maxine Dashu founded the Suppressed Histories Archives in 1970 to research and document global women's history. She built a collection of 15,000 slides and 30,000 digital images, and has created 150 slideshows on female cultural heritages across time. Dashu's work bridges the gap between academia and grassroots education. It foregrounds indigenous women passed over by standard histories and highlights female spheres of power retained even in some patriarchal societies. Dashu is internationally known for her expertise on ancient female iconography in world archaeology; female spheres of power and matricultures; patriarchies and allied systems of domination; medicine women, female shamans, witches, and witch hunts.

Dashu is author of Witches and Pagans: Women in European Folk Culture, 700-1100 (2016) and Pythias, Melissae and Pharmakides: Women in Hellenic Culture (forthcoming, 2019), from Veleda Press. These books are part of the 15 volume series Secret History of the Witches. Dashu has also produced two videos: Woman Shaman: The Ancients (2013) and Women's Power in Global Perspective (2008). Her work is followed by over 187,000 people on Facebook and has 102,000 views on on, ranking in the top 1% for her fi

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