about pass the feather

Isohetst ne ostó:sera

Iehstoseranón:nha (She Keeps/Protects the Feathers) Pronounced: Ya sto sah la nuhk hna

Named by Louise McDonald Herne, Rotiskarewa:ke, Akwesasne Kahsennahon:we, Tehanakari:ne, Midwinter 2023

English Birth Name (pre-adoption): Mary Francis • Post Adoption Renamed: Dawn Setford

onkwehonwe | haudenosaunee | kanien'kehá ka | wakhskare:wake

Pass The Feather is First Nations owned and operated from Akwesasne Mohawk Territory and Mohawk Territory of Tyendinaga/Kenteke.

This is a unique and traditional Haudenosaunee led business specializing in bundling services of sacred feathers. Dawn is also a writer and creator of land and matrilineal inspired graphic design, photography and websites.

About Iehstoseranón:nha

Along with the IACC board of directors and friends like Zainab & Abdul Muse, Mme Michaëlle Jean (Michaëlle Jean Foundation) and HotShoe we facilitated Remember Me: A National Day of Remembrance for the 1st National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, Parliament Hill, Ottawa (2021 and 2022)

DAWN

born: mary francis

Iehstoseranón:nha

she keeps the feathers

Iehstoseranón:nha (She Keeps/Protects the Feathers) Pronounced: Ya sto sah la nuhk hna

English Birth Name (pre-adoption): Mary Francis and Post Adoption Renamed: Dawn Setford

Iehstoseranónnha is Akwesasronon, Kanien'kehá:ka (Mohawk), Wakhskare:wake (Bear Clan) and a Feather Keeper. A numbered Indian under the outdated Indian Act (status card carrying).

Dawn is the founder and president of the Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada (a Canada Not-for-profit Corporation & registered charity) and owner at Pass The Feather.

In taking inspiration from the Haudenosaunee Seventh Generation Principle, Dawn, founded the Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada in 2012 to preserve and revitalize endangered Indigenous art forms and enrich lives through Indigenous arts and culture. In safe and inclusive spaces, through community based learning, she engages, [re]connects and empowers Indigenous women by promoting the transfer and conservation of cultural knowledge; securing the capacity for the next seven generations to retain and cultivate intrinsic cultural connections. Seven years later she launched her first Indigenous Women's Arts Conference.

Dawn is a community-engaged visual and media artist who advocates for equality and facilitates the creation of informed opinions of Indigenous cultures.

Dawn's background in the arts, business marketing and management is combined with her graphic and web design skills to produce organic and Indigenous inspired branding for organizations and entrepreneurs.

Dawn has shared her skills with hundreds of Indigenous women since founding the Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada. She is a full time volunteer.

Pass The Feather, Dawn, Indigenous artist, artist, feathers, graphic design, web design, smudge feathers, IndigenARTSY, native american arts and crafts, moon time, moon water

work and education

indigneous women's arts and entrepreneurship conference, ottawa, aacc, aboriginal arts Collective of Canada, Pass The FEather, Ribbon Skirts1st & 2nd National Day of Truth and Reconciliation

Along with the IACC board of directors, leadership from Condoled Bear Clan Mother Wakerakatste Louise MacDonald Herne and friends like Zainab Muse and Mme Michaëlle Jean (Michaëlle Jean Foundation) we facilitated Remember Me: A National Day of Remembrance for the 1st National Day of Truth and Reconciliation, Parliament Hill, Ottawa (2021 & 2022)

Indigenous Women's Arts Conference

Dawn is the organizer of the Indigenous Women's Arts and Entrepreneurship Conference. This event is held in Ottawa and offers free traditional Indigenous arts workshops to hundreds of Indigenous women. The conference also boasts a diverse vendor membership; dozens of artists sell their products in the shopping centre during the IWAC.

Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada & IndigenARTSY

Dawn is the creator of IndigenARTSY.com. Under the umbrella of the Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada, Dawn has created the largest on line Indigenous artist collective and launched a new on line marketplace to advance Indigenous arts and artists.

Graphic Design

Dawn has been a graphic designer for 30 years. and spent 15 years serving the veterinary industry with her partner, Dr. Derek Zakaib.

Consulting

Dawn has contributed to many advisory groups and has consulted with many organizations that are exploring better relationships with Indigenous people. She was a roundtable collaborator for the Indigenous Arts Economic Study by Indigenous and Northern Affairs, National Art Gallery of Canada, a regular contributor to Aboriginal Women’s Economic Quarterly Indigenous, Spirit Magazine (Indigenous & Northern Affairs Canada), Mandala Project with the Ottawa Arts Council.

Education and Experiences

Dawn attended Niagara College, Brock University, George Eastman House (analog photography) and Dundas Valley School of Art. Major - visual arts, Minor - Aboriginal Studies.

Dawn spent 3 years living in Costa Rica studying Indigenous cultures, their language and arts.

Dawn works alongside Condoled Bear Clan Mother Wakerakatste Louise Herne in grassroots community-based initiatives centered on community resilience, regeneration, and sustainability. Oheró:kon (Rites of Passage), Kahwatsiraién:ton (Supporting Families of Oheró:kon) and Ionkhihsótha Enhnì:ta Karáhkwa (Moon Lodge Society). We collectively remove barriers and live under our original instructions as life-giving women and community leaders. 

United Nations Delegate with Matrilineal Order of the Haudenosaunee

In 2023, Dawn was selected to join the Matrilineal Order of the Haudenosaunee as a delegate to the United Nations at the Swiss headquarters. The Matrilineal Order of the Haudenosaunee alongside of other upstanding Haudenosaunee delegates were honoured by the city and Mayor of Geneva, Switzerland. Together we celebrated the 100th anniversary of the arrival of Deskaheh who appealed to the League of Nations for equality and recognition to the Haudenosaunee Confederacy as a soverign nation and rights to travel on a Haudenosaunee passport. For more information: https://www.geneve.ch/en/actualites/exhibition-deskaheh-march-indigenous-peoples & https://www.geneve.ch/en/themes/international-geneva/centenaire-venue-chef-iroquois-deskaheh

We were greeted with a spectacular art installation curated by Jolene Rickard, we led a march from the United Nations to Lake Geneva and joined Mayor Alphonso Gomez in a celebratory dinner representing the special friendship shared between the Haudenosaunee Confederacy and the City of Geneva.

 

On March 22, 2022, International Women's Day, Dawn Iehstoseranón:nha and Marleen Murphy were honoured to be invited by Mme Michaëlle Jean to attend a private breakfast with her family, the Mayor of Ottawa, Jim Watson, Councillor Theresa Kavanagh, Council Liaison for Women and Gender Equity.

After breakfast the small group joined the public in a ceremony to present Mme Jean with the 'Key to the City of Ottawa' where she presented her Keynote Address to a national audience.

During her address, Mme Jean commended the work of the Indigenous Arts Collective of Canada and called out the organization, Dawn and Marleen for their work in Truth and Reconciliation at the fist ever National Day of Truth and Reconciliation on Parliament Hill, September 30, 2021.

It was an honour and here is a short clip of that meaningful moment. The full video of that day can be found on City of Ottawa YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/SOSWmOSS-kY

 

Pass The Feather, Dawn, Indigenous artist, artist, feathers, graphic design, web design, smudge feathers, IndigenARTSY, native american arts and crafts, moon time, moon water

feathers and workshops

Dawn is a Feather-Keeper and artist. Her extensive collection of feathers are given to those who value bird medicines in the same way that she does.

Dawn is a survivor and infuses her workshops with important perspectives regarding intergenerational trauma and the 60's scoop - a program aimed at removing young children from their communities and placing them in non-Indigenous homes. She explores sharing circle customs, bird medicine and intergenerational trauma in each workshop.

Dawn’s workshops are held in safe spaces within public and private school systems, summer camps, workplaces, community groups, federal buildings and on-reserve educational facilities.

Some of her workshop and consulting work includes private and public school boards across Ontario, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, University of Ottawa, Ryerson University, Ottawa School of Art, Residential School Survivors Adjudication Secretariat, Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada, Correctional Service of Canada, Oshki-Pimache-O-Win: The Wenjack Education Institute, Justices of the Peace Appointments Advisory Committee. Ontario Court of Justice

Dawn spearheads a program that helps Ontario hunters recycle the wings and tails of their harvest and works closely with wildlife rehabilitation centres, zoos and aviaries. Her husband assists her with picking up the birds and Dawn walks out all birds through ceremony with her close group of Elders. The feathers are then used in workshops to teach equality, Indigenous bird medicines, sharing circles and restorative justice practices.

 

 

 

Dawn will facilitate workshops with Indigenous women on Indigenous territories. Email inquiries please.

Pass The Feather, Dawn, Indigenous artist, artist, feathers, graphic design, web design, smudge feathers, IndigenARTSY, native american arts and crafts, moon time, moon water
Pass The Feather, Dawn, Indigenous artist, artist, feathers, graphic design, web design, smudge feathers, IndigenARTSY, native american arts and crafts, moon time, moon water
Pass The Feather, Dawn, Indigenous artist, artist, feathers, graphic design, web design, smudge feathers, IndigenARTSY, native american arts and crafts, moon time, moon water
Pass The Feather, Dawn, Indigenous artist, artist, feathers, graphic design, web design, smudge feathers, IndigenARTSY, native american arts and crafts, moon time, moon water
Pass The Feather, Dawn, Indigenous artist, artist, feathers, graphic design, web design, smudge feathers, IndigenARTSY, native american arts and crafts, moon time, moon water