Throughout all Indigenous beliefs, women of any background are considered sacred. The reason for this is not only for the significant and powerful role they play in society, but for the lessons they teach us and the love they provide to everyone around them.
Women play a variety of roles and are given a high level of respect in every community and there are a few common reasons that women are considered so sacred in Indigenous culture that ties directly back to traditional roles and associations that have been around for generations.
In order to understand why women are considered so sacred, we must look at the important roles they play in Indigenous culture!
A LIFE GIVER
There is a reason we call Earth “Mother Earth.” Mother Earth provides us with everything we need to live in the same way that women give each of us life. The role of the mother is sacred not only for human beings, but for all of nature because without our mothers, there could be no life for any of us.
In the same way Indigenous peoples honor and cherish Mother Earth, we also honor our mothers, grandmothers, and any other women who hold a special place in our lives.
Indigenous teachings state that all life is sacred and connected. Women are revered as beautiful and powerful because they are the givers of sacred life, connecting us to Mother Earth and Father Sky by bringing children into the world.
Women carry on the future, giving life to generations who will carry on tradition and culture. For this reason, women are highly respected in Indigenous culture.
A PILLAR OF STRENGTH
Despite colonization, erasure, violence, and devaluation over centuries, Indigenous women have continued to provide enormous strength and support for their communities while also molding and empowering future generations.
Women play indispensable roles in spiritual, political, and family life in indigenous culture even in the face of so many hardships.
Women stand for important causes, serving as spokespeople for the land, water, and all living things. Women serve as guardians of indigenous traditions and protectors of all things important and sacred to indigenous communities.
This strength has been rooted in Indigenous women for centuries and passed down along the generations, providing a foundation for Indigenous culture to continue to build upon.
Indigenous women provide a foundation of strength that is sacred, respected, and relied upon.
GIVERS OF LOVE AND COMPASSION
Indigenous women are known for their deep love and compassion for all people, especially their communities and families. As the matriarchs of their communities, women are responsible for ensuring everyone is loved, happy, and healthy.
Love and compassion are guiding principles of indigenous teachings and women help teach these principles through their example.
KEEPERS OF THE WATER
For indigenous people, water is life and needs to be respected. Indigenous women share a sacred connection to water through their role as child bearers and givers of life.
Indigenous women have long had the responsibility of protecting and nurturing water and its sacred nature, as well as playing a role in governance related to water.
This has continued into today, as Indigenous women raise their voices in response to political and social water issues facing Indigenous people and seek to reestablish their connection to water and the role they play in protecting it.
GATHERERS OF THE SACRED MEDICINES
Traditionally, women gather the sacred medicines needed for healing, smudging, and other sacred practices and daily tasks in Indigenous life. Sacred medicines hold an important place in Indigenous culture, which is why they have always been entrusted to the loving and nurturing care of women.
This is not only an important role for every community, but also helps to nourish the sacred connection between women and nature.
For generations, women have ensured Indigenous communities have everything they need to live and thrive -- they are not only life givers, but teachers, guardians, protectors, caretakers, and symbols of strength for their communities.
For all of these reasons, women hold important and sacred roles in Indigenous culture and help to pass on wisdom, teachings, and sacred practices from generation to generation.