Blog Feature: Shayla Stonechild
In honor of National Day For Truth and Reconciliation, Smash + Tess is collecting donations at checkout to support Matriarch Movement, a podcast and non-profit organization focused on shifting the narrative around Indigenous women. The donations will have a direct impact by supporting the curation of workshops, sharing other’s stories and creating new outlets for Indigenous women to feel seen and heard.
Shayla Oulette Stonechild is the inspiring Founder and Host of Matriarch Movement and we had a chance to connect with her to reflect on the importance of the work she does and how others can get involved.
For those who may not be familiar, tell us about your organization Matriarch Movement and what inspired you to start it.
The Matriarch Movement, came to me in a dream in 2019 and since then it continues to transform into so much more.
It is an online platform, non-profit and podcast that focuses on amplifying Indigenous voices and providing wellness workshops to Indigenous youth (virtually + in person).
We are focused on being a channel for Indigenous people to share their stories, teachings, and lived experiences. We are focused on sharing our truth, healing and our joy.
Through sharing, we begin to reclaim our connection to our culture, our languages, the earth and community.
The Matriarch Movement podcast features Indigenous women who share their stories of struggles and triumphs. What do you hope listeners take away from each episode?
Each episode contains so much medicine and wisdom from each Indigenous women + two spirit person in their own unique way.
Although, the podcast has been on pause, we will be releasing new episodes soon.
I hope listeners expand their own mind when it comes to the unlearning and/or re-learning the history within this country and its relation to Indigenous people.
I hope listeners expand their own hearts and invite a new way of relating to Indigenous folks through the shared stories and teachings. I hope listeners expand their own ears and know that speaking your truth is important but so is listening to others. I hope listeners embody the teachings they hear through the actions they create in the world.
You are an inspiring role model and have led the way for more Indigenous representation in media, especially women. What advice do you have for people who feel like their voice is not being heard?
It doesn’t matter whose listening - as long as you’re speaking your truth and it is tied to what you value - you will begin to find the right people and they will listen. Your voice gets stronger with an aligned community that supports you.
What can brands be doing year-round to support the amplification of Indigenous voices?
I would love to see Indigenous people within every department of campaigns and on set. We are beginning to see that more this year and that’s exciting. However, we still have a long way to go. So, I would say invite us in, more than once or twice a year, create relationships with us outside of work, don’t be afraid to say “no” to certain opportunities and allow someone else.
Also, I love writing and working on concepts that intertwine Nehiyaw teachings and language revitalization. That’s the thing, Indigenous folks are OG storytellers, having those teachings come to life on the screen is abundance for everyone that’s a part of it and for everyone watching.
Truth and Reconciliation Day on September 30th is a day of remembrance, reflection, action, and learning. As we all continue to educate ourselves on the history of Indigenous peoples and cultures in Canada, what resources do you recommend?
21 Things You May Not Know About the Indian Act by Bob Joseph
Sacred Instructions by Sherri Mitchell
Indigenous Canada Course by the University of Alberta
Indigenomics by Carol Anne Hilton
All My Relations podcast
Well for Culture podcast
To learn more about Shayla, you can also check out our #SmashTessFam Feature on her from October 2020.