Through vision, the Grandmothers were guided to share the ancient knowledge of preparing for the dark times, the time of great sadness and loss of spirit, the restoring of the spirit, heart, mind and body.

To fulfill the vision of the ancient knowledge of life, Grandmother Renee Thomas-Hill and Grandmother Gail Whitlow of Grandmother’s Voice are sharing the vision with the next generations of grandmothers. Joining the Grandmothers will be Misty Ladd and Shani Martin of the Six Nations of the Grand River Territory.

Grandmother Renee Thomas-Hill

Renee Thomas-Hill, of the Six Nations Confederacy along the Grand River. She honours the lineage of her mother, Cayuga Bear and that of her father, Mohawk Turtle. She is a Mother, Grandmother and great Grandmother and an auntie to many, who shares the knowledge of her confederacy, of restoring Peace. Her title of Grandmother was given to her by her past clients.

Grandmother Renee shares the knowledge of the people.  She carries a message of Peace & Understanding of Life.  Her walk has taken her across Turtle Island. Grandmother Renee has presented at the UN Indigenous Women’s Forum, Weaving the Web Of Peace, in New York City. She is presently an instructor at Six Nations Polytechnic of Indigenous Wellness and Addiction Prevention; Traditional Wellness Counsellor; Lecturer & Consultant.

Grandmother Renee is co-Founder of Grandmother’s Voice; 1 of the 13 Grandmothers of Turtle Island Council; Grandmother’s Circle the Earth; Indigenous Grandmother’s Elders- Women Tapestry of Life Webinar; The Indigenous Wellbriety Grandmother of Turtle Island.

Elder: McMaster University Indigenous Studies; McMaster Indigenous Student Health; McMaster Indigenous Health Task Force; Mohawk College Indigenous Education; Halton Catholic District School Board; OFIFC – Ontario Federation of Indigenous Friendship Centre; Dodem Kanonhsa- TO Indigenous Education & Cultural Facility; NPAAMB- Niagara Peninsula Aboriginal Area Management Board, (Indigenous Youth Employment & Training); Peel Aboriginal Network/The Indigenous Network/Gladue Aftercare; ENAGB Indigenous Youth Agency; Niwasa Kendaaswin Teg. Multi Service Indigenous Organizations; The Ontario Aboriginal Head Start Association’s Indigenous Professional Learning Team (oahsa ipl team); The Hamilton Roman Catholic & Hamilton CAS (Children Aids Society).

Elder/Consultant: Health Agencies- IDHC Indigenous Diabetes Health Circle; De dwa da dehs nye Aboriginal Health Centre; CAMH/Shkaabe Makwa; & Mamaway Wiidokdaadwin Indigenous Primary Care.

Grandmother Renee has dedicated her efforts to reconnecting our relationship with the land looking at plant life, animals, medicines, and we honour our way of life. She shares traditional methods of healing through our traditions such as foods in terms of health, diet and medicines. She has presented at: Annual Indigenous Health Conference in Toronto, Eagle Quetzal Condor Conference 2014, Celebration of Nations, Moccasin Talk Speaker Series, and many others.

The priority of the TFPC, Toronto Food Policy Council is to recognize Indigenous food ways and to recognize the work of First Nations over thousands of years. Grandmother Renee’s work is part of that history, to preserve food traditions and to help create new food traditions based on those teachings. She received an award- Local Food Hero 2014.

Grandmother Renee was featured in Chatelaine magazine (June 2023)


Grandmother Gail Whitlow

My home is here on the Six Nations of the Grand River First Nation. My mother’s bloodline extends back many generations as a bear clan (shaking the rattle) woman of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. I am Kanienkehaka (Mohawk).  On my father’s side, I acknowledge the Mohawk turtle clan. I also honor my father’s grandfather who traveled to our land from Ireland. Celtic roots. I feel the power of this sacred land pulsing through my blood. Our story here on turtle island is expressed in an oral tradition, passed through generations. The deep history steeped in rich culture. Our ancestors survived many changes and challenges but retain that deep connection to the land and spiritual knowledge. 

I am the mother of 5 children and 18 grandchildren who are connected to their cultural ways.  I am proud to see them walk their path. Being born into the bear clan family means a path of healing and medicine. I walk this path proudly. And I created little bears to follow!

Our generations have carried a great burden over the past few hundred years. Our Six Nations community struggles with many issues and if there is a way to uplift our hearts and souls, then it is our responsibility to accept the challenge of providing what we can. 

I am known as a Traditional Healer, Medicine Knowledge Keeper, Pipe Carrier, and much more. Together with the heartbeat of ceremony and love, our people can breathe in the essence of unity and peace.  The journey we take as enlightened souls weaves a path of interconnectedness with all Creation. We each have a responsibility to follow our dreams for the best outcome for ourselves, families, communities and fellow beings.

  • Founder of Ancestral Voices Healing Centre
  • Founder Land of the Dancing Deer 
  • Founder of Sacred Sites Sacred Journeys
  • Co-Founder of Grandmothers Circle the Earth, 
  • Co-Founder of Grandmother’s Voice

Grandmother Gail and Grandmother Renee were featured in She Is Wise Magazine (Spring/Summer 2023)


Misty Ladd

Misty Ladd is a Mohawk Turtle from the Six Nations of Grand River territory; she is an honours graduate of the Indigenous Wellness and Addictions Prevention program and has achieved many goals on her path to this date.

Misty has travelled to many gatherings with Grandmother Renee Thomas-Hill and Grandmother Gail Whitlow, and she has learned many traditional and cultural practices from her travels with these Knowledge keepers. The teaching she has gained has helped her develop her practice in the SSW field to become a Spiritual Wellness Helper, bringing land-based healing methods to the forefront of health and wellness.

Currently Misty is working with the Survivors Secretariat connecting with the survivors of the Mohawk Institute and other Residential School survivors from all over Canada with the Outreach department. Misty is developing her skills in making connections with the many nations who attended the Residential Schools. On her journey with the Survivors Secretariat, she has developed many relationships within and outside of her community.


Shani M. Martin (SSW, Waldor ECE)

Shé:kon Sewakwé:kon Kawennontie niwaksennó:ten. Kanien’kehá:ka niwakonhwentsió:ten. Ánowara niwaki’taró:ten. Oshwé:ken nitewaké:non. I’wa’karihwaientáhkwe ne onkwe’hshón;’a. Kheienawases ne onkwe’shón:’a ahoti’nikonhriiohake.

Kawennontie (Shani) is from the Mohawk Nation and Turtle Clan Family of the Haudenosaunee/Onkwehón:we from Six Nations, Grand River Territory. She is a Mother, Grandmother, Wellness Educator and provides services in the Healing Arts through Aromatherapy Massage, Reiki, Grief/Loss Sharing Circles, Family Rhythms and Art Wellness Programs.

Kawennontie has received her education through her studies in the Social Service Work Field, Anthroposophy, Waldorf Teachers Education and Haudenosaunee Culture and Language. She is compassionate, an empath and lives within the essential principles of the Great Laws of Peace.

Today, she continues to assist those seeking wholesome pathways to understand and cultivate their own inner and outer landscapes of self for emotional, spiritual, physical, and mental wellness. It is through the warmth of her heart and understanding mind, that Kawennontie’s genuine passion for helping humanity and creation, serves an everlasting impression for continued health and wellness.

September 10 @ 12:00
12:00 pm — 1:30 pm

Shani M. Martin, Misty Ladd, Grandmother Gail Whitlow, Grandmother Renee Thomas-Hill

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