Major Accomplishments: A Prayer Unfolding


October 2004 – Global Women’s Gathering, New York, USA. The Thirteen Grandmothers first convene and establish a global alliance as a council.


May 2005 – Grandmother Flordemayo’s Gathering, New Mexico, USA. The Grandmothers Council convened in May of 2005 for their first official gathering, hosted by Mayan Grandmother, Flordemayo. The Grandmothers solidified their alliance, created a mission statement, approved projects to further their vision and offered prayers at sacred Pueblo sites.

June 2005 – Amazon Rainforest, Brazil. A delegation of three Council Grandmothers visit the home of two of the Council members, deepening the alliance and naming their first ambassador, Madrinha Rita Gregorio de Melo.

October 2005 – Petition to the Vatican. The Grandmothers Council sends a letter to the Vatican for the repeal of papal edicts dating back to 1493, which granted dominion to European nations over lands occupied by tribal peoples for thousands of years. These edicts remain the spiritual, legal, and moral justification for the exercise of jurisdiction, however unjust, over tribal peoples by nation-states today.


April 2006 – Acknowledgment by California Legislature. The Grandmothers receive resolutions from both the California Legislature Assembly and Senate recognizing their work in the world.

May 2006 – Grandmother Julieta’s Gathering, Oaxaca, Mexico. The next step for the council was to continue their mission for global peace in Mexico. Julieta Casimiro, our Mazatec Grandmother, invited the Grandmothers Council for a gathering at her home in Huautla de Jiménez, Oaxaca. The town of Huautla de Jiménez welcomed the Grandmothers with an honorary parade through the town and also provided for the meeting place in the government center.

October 2006 – Grandmother Tsering Dolma’s Gathering, Dharamsala, India. In October of 2006 the Grandmother Council gathered in the exiled homeland of the Tibetans, hosted by Tibetan Grandmother Tsering Dolma Gyaltong. There was a private audience with His Holiness the Dalai Lama and meetings with other luminaries in the Tibetan religious government in exile. The Grandmothers Council continued their prayer for global peace and affirmed their solidarity with the Tibetan people to reclaim their homeland.

October 2006 – Grandmothers Counsel the World: Women Elders Offer Their Vision for Our Planet, Shambala Publications. The book written about the Council by Carol Schaefer is presented to the Council in its completed form and released to the public. It has now been translated into eleven languages around the world.


June 2007 – Grandmother Beatrice’s Gathering, South Dakota, USA. The Grandmothers gathered as a council for the fourth time at the Black Hills in South Dakota, home of our Oglala Lakota Grandmothers Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance and Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance. The theme of the gathering was We are Again One People and it celebrated the 80th Birthday of Grandmother Beatrice Long Visitor Holy Dance. The Grandmothers were able to witness a very sacred Lakota ceremony when they attended the “Afraid of Bear American Horse Sundance” at the grounds of the Black Hills Wild Horse Sanctuary on the Cheyenne River and participated in prayers.

July 2007 – Third International Women’s Peace Conference, Dallas, Texas. Several Grandmothers accept the invitation to the Conference along with 5000 women from all over the world, including three women Nobel Peace Laureates.

July 2007 – National Organization for Women (NOW) Conference, Detroit, Michigan. Representatives from our Lakota grandmothers’ family attend the NOW conference where a resolution, ”Restore Peace and Dignity to Indigenous Women” is passed to protest uranium mining on indigenous lands as well as to support the Grandmother’ letter to the Vatican to rescind 15th century Papal edicts.

October 2007 – Bioneers Conference, California. As a fulfillment of their goal for Education and Community Outreach, the Grandmothers come as honored presenters to the Bioneers Conference which hosts 3000 people in the Marin Civic Center in California, and provides satellite links to 12,000 people in 18 sites across the nation.

Satellite Broadcast: The Bioneers hosts a showing of the LinkTV program of the 2006 spacebridge link between the Fourth Council in Dharamsala, India and the Bioneers Conference in California. This documentary has aired on Link TV to over 23 million homes around the world.


July 2008 – European Tour

  • Prayers at the Vatican: In Italy, the Grandmothers fulfill a long held intention to lay down prayers at the Vatican. They re-deliver their 2005 letter to the Pope requesting that the Vatican rescind several Papal Bulls, accompanied by their first youth ambassador, Davian Stands.
  • Assisi Italy, Private Council: The Council holds a seven-day private council in Assisi, Italy.
  • Spain: The grandmothers touch hundreds of people with their teachings and are present for the release of the Spanish edition of their book. Their prayers on their final night in Europe at the Gaudi Garden attract over 600 people.

October 2008 – The Grandmothers Speak, Groton NY. Eight of the Thirteen Grandmothers of the Council are featured in a gathering for teachings and prayers sponsored by the Women’s Gathering of Groton and Cornell University.

October 2008 – Heartbeat for Peace, Washington, DC. On the fourth day of a four-day event, and on the fourth anniversary of their founding as an Alliance, the Grandmothers join with Turtle Women Rising in a Drum Gathering for Peace on the Ellipse in front of the White House.

November 2008 – Aspen Summit, Aspen Colorado. Grandmothers Mona Polacca, Beatrice and Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance meet with faith leaders from around the country to address the nation’s needs to heal religious divides and to mobilize a new spiritual voice based on compassion, and a vision of oneness

December 2008 – International Inter-religious Conference, Faith in Human Rights – The Hague. On the anniversary of the signing of the 1948 Declaration on Human Rights, Grandmother Mona Polacca is invited to represent the Council as one of authorities of the different world religions to draft and sign a Statement of Faith in Human Rights.


August 2009 – Premier of the Grandmothers feature length documentary film- For the Next Seven Generations: The Grandmothers Speak. The Grandmothers’ film is received with a standing ovation by hundreds. In the first six months, screenings have been set up in over one hundred of locations.

August 2009 – Grandmother Agnes’s Gathering, Oregon, USA. The Council convened in Lincoln City, Oregon, hosted by Takelma Siletz Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim. Close to 500 people from around the world attended the gathering to support the Grandmothers Council and join in their prayer. The theme of the gathering was One Chance, One Life, One Tribe. Grandmother Agnes of the Confederated tribes of Siletz is the oldest living member of the Takelma tribe. She restored the traditional Salmon Ceremony and has been an outspoken “voice for the voiceless” animals, trees and all beings.

August 2009 – Omega Institute, New York. The Grandmothers Council facilitates a week-long retreat of teachings and prayers.

December 2009 – Grandmother Mona’s Gathering, Arizona, USA. The Grandmothers gathered as a council in Sedona, Arizona, hosted by Hopi/Havasupai Grandmother Mona Polacca. Over 500 people joined in commemoration of Honor Creation & Celebrate Community in Prayer for a Global Future. The Grandmothers and invited special guest addressed thematic topics focused on Water, Air, Fire and Mother Earth. The public gathering included prayer ceremonies. The Grandmothers made field trips and were welcomed by the Hopi Tribe Cultural Preservation Office with a visit to a very sacred site. A visit was also made to the Grand Canyon where the Havasupai wisdom keepers conducted a sunrise ceremony on the rim of the canyon as the moon set, and the sun rose.


May to June 2010 – International Indigenous Leadership Gathering, British Columbia.

July to August 2010 – European Tour – Five of the Council Grandmothers travel to Europe.

October 2010 – Omega Institute, New York. The Grandmothers returned for the second year of teachings.

October 2010 – Grandmothers at the COP-10 conference on biological diversity in Nagoya, Japan. The Grandmothers participated at a conference that focused on the rights of indigenous peoples.

October 2010 – Grandmother Clara’s Gathering, Kirishima, Japan. The Grandmothers gathered as a council in Kirishima, Japan, hosted by Brazilian/Japanese Grandmother Clara Shinobu Iura. The theme of this gathering was Novo Tempo, Nova Vida, Novo Mundo, Novo Povo, Novo Sistema (New Time, New Life, New World, New People, New System). On their historic trip to Japan, the Grandmothers participated in a citizen-sponsored program associated with the United Nations’ COP10 Summit on Biodiversity in Nagoya, established relations with the indigenous peoples of Japan in Kirishima, and made prayers for peace at the site of the atomic bombing in Nagasaki.

October 2010 – Grandmothers Visit Nagasaki. After the Council Gathering, Grandmothers Clara, Maria Alice, Julieta, and Mona traveled to Nagasaki to lay down prayers at the site of the atomic bomb blast.


May 2011 – Grandmother Rita’s Gathering, Anchorage, Alaska. The Grandmothers gathered as a council at the Dena’ina Center in Anchorage, Alaska, hosted by our Yup’ik Grandmother, Rita Pitka Blumenstein. The theme, Healing the Spirit from the Light Within, manifested through three and a half days of prayer ceremonies, healings and cultural exchanges. Public Council themes included the role of women and motherhood, restoring your foundation and peace (mental, physical, spiritual health), healing Mother Earth, and balancing life with laugher, tears and healing.

June 2011 – Council of All Beings, Montpelier, Vermont.

June 2011 – Omega Institute. The Grandmothers’ third year of teachings, with hundreds of participants.

October 2011 – Grandmother Maria Alice’s Gathering, Brasilia, Brazil. The Grandmothers gathered as a council at UNIPAZ (University of Peace) in Brasilia, Brazil, hosted by Brazilian Grandmother Maria Alice Campos Freire. The theme of the gathering was the Grandmothers’ Voice: In the Flow of the Water. During the course of the gathering, Native elders from across Brazil and South American discussed issues related to water. Each day of the gathering included prayers at the sacred fire and council teachings.


May 2012 – Global Justice Award. Grandmothers received an award from the Partnership for Global Justice for their efforts to approach the Vatican to rescind the 15th Century Papal Bulls.

June 2012 – Compassion Award. Grandmothers received the Humanity4Water Compassion Award, previously awarded by Humanity4Water to President Obama, Al Gore, Desmond Tutu and Dalai Lama.

June 2012 – Omega Institute. Grandmothers will return for their fourth year of teachings and prayers.

June 2012 – Niagara Falls. Some Grandmothers have accepted the invitation to offer prayers at the falls in a cross-cultural Gathering.

July 2012 – Grandmother Margaret’s Gathering, Montana. The Grandmothers gathered as a council at the Northern Cheyenne reservation near Lame Deer, Montana, USA, hosted by Cheyenne Grandmother Margaret Behan. The theme of the gathering was Gratitude Brings Freedom. Each day of the gathering included prayers at the sacred fire, council teachings and special guests. Thirteen tee-pees, one for each grandmother, encircled the sacred arbor where prayers and teachings took place.

November 2012 – Grandmother Aama’s Gathering, Kathmandu, Nepal. The Grandmothers gathered as a council in Kathmandu, Nepal, hosted by Grandmother Aama Bombo, of the Tamang indigenous tribe of Nepal. The theme of the gathering was Praying for Peace in the Land of the Buddha. Grandmother Aama spoke of that time as one of moving out of the tumultuous Kali Yuga into the Sattvic Age where only truth will be spoken. Each day of the gathering included prayers at the sacred fire, council teachings and special guests.


European Tour

  • July 2013 – Grandmothers Gathering We Cherish the Earth We Have Inherited, an invitation by Aurora’s Ring in Stokholm, Sweden in honor of the Sami People.
  • July 2013 – Karlsruhe Germany – Be The Change Grandmothers Gathering. The Grandmothers convened with an attendance of almost 1000 people each day.

October 2013 – Schweitzer Institute. Five Grandmothers gathered for teachings, ceremony and public gathering in which they received the International Pfeffer Peace Award from the Fellowship for Reconciliation.

October 2013 – The Path Open House. Five Grandmothers gathered for for teachings, ceremony and public gathering at Grandmother Flordemayo’s Open House for The Path See Temple in Estancia New Mexico.

December 2013 – Aotearoa, (New Zealand). Invitation by Maori Ambassador Pauline Tangiora, Full Council Gathering


March 2014 – In the Name of the Mother. The Grandmothers comes together in their first ever women’s gathering to pass their wisdom and ways of connecting through prayer and ceremony to our Mother Earth.

September 2014 –- Grandmother Rita’s Gathering, South Dakota, USA. The Grandmothers gathered as a council in Spearfish, South Dakota, located in the ancestral lands of the Lakota Nation. The Gathering was hosted by Oglala Lakota Unci (Grandmother) Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance. The theme of the gathering was Wowahuala Na Wowaunsila Ta Cangleska Wakan Ki (The Sacred Hoop of Peace and Compassion). Unci Rita selected this location because it is in close proximity to Lakota sacred sites.


July 2015 – Grandmother Bernadette’s Gathering, Gabon, Central Africa. The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers gathered as a council for their 13th Official Gathering, hosted by Grandmother Bernadette Rebienot in her home village of Oyenano in Gabon, Central Africa. The ECHOES OF THE GRANDMOTHERS: Roots of Humanity gathering topics included Woman, Spirituality, and the Environment.


August 2016 – Creation to Completion. Upon completing a full cycle that began at Menla with the creation of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, the Grandmothers Council came together to complete their circle of prayer around the planet, in the Creation to Completion retreat in Phoenicia, New York.


June 2017 – 9th International Indigenous Leadership Gathering, “Honoring Our Grandmothers – Full Circle”. Grandmother Agnes Pilgrim, Rita Long Visitor and Mona Polacca participated as honor guests at the International Indigenous Leadership Gathering in the St’át’imc Territory community of the P’egp’ig’lha.