The Red Shawl Grandmothers are community members of Gila River and Salt River communities, and Phoenix Metro areas. The Red Shawl Grandmothers are comprised of women who collectively have been praying and working for Native people for more than 108 years. We are women who have actively worked in urban and reservation communities for more than 30 years. Providing professional guidance, education, healing and support services addressing the effects of alcoholism, drug addiction, gang and domestic violence, historical trauma, and overall health and wellness. We have performed this work in both compensated and uncompensated roles. We continue to move the healing of our women forward as essential to the well being of our people and in particular our future generations and the health and well-being of our families.
In the last year, many events transpired beginning with several young women, who had been trafficked and young women who had been sexually assaulted in their own communities coming forward with their stories. A vision then came forward to Bring the Sacred Back to Women through the laying down of prayers through horse rides.
Fortuitously, while in the sweat lodge, sharing the vision of the horse ride, a Red Shawl Grandmother was invited to be a participant at the 2013 World Conference of Indigenous Women held in Lima Peru. The women’s stories, the vision to Bring the Sacred Back to Women and the horse ride was shared, and International interest to participate was expressed. It was brought forward for individuals to bring back healing to their individual communities and ask the community to help pray for the issues that are being brought forward and for the healing to take place.
This ride seeks to bring attention:
This historic journey of healing is a process that is unfolding daily as our prayers reveal where we are to go, what we are to do, how we are to accomplish this healing.
The journey of the horse ride is in important aspect of the individual healing through the historical and well established equine empowerment training. We know horses allow us to unite unconditionally with first ourselves then with another living being. We can then begin the healing process without fear of rejection, for Horses have no expectations, prejudices or motives, allowing for true expression of feelings and interactions with another being, and developing an empowered self-concept.
The horse ride - the journey of laying down of the prayer itself - then is one aspect of a larger perspective of collective community healing including: restoration of lost ceremonies; the appropriate roles and healthy relationships of families, and men and women; talking circles; sweat lodges; community gatherings; and community ceremonies of healing.
We seek to physically manifest that prayer and to take steps forward and setting that prayer into process beyond our individual selves empowering the individual to be a survivor who is active in making change in their life, their family and their community.
After our riders return, as a symbol of their journey, we envision family members of the riders and community members welcoming the riders back as a part of the ceremonial healing by closing prayer and sharing of food. Our desired outcome is to bring forth visible healing, demonstrating the strength and vitality of our indigenous communities the wealth of our collective wisdom.
Horses Help is a premier accredited therapeutic and recreational agency that serves the special needs population by providing activities to empower them to break through physical, cognitive and emotional barriers using a unique collaboration of horses and people within Arizona's "Valley of the Sun".
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