Panel 1: Women at the Center: Historic and Contemporary Resonance with Marija Gimbutas' Work

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Today there are many repercussions, resonances, and direct responses to Gimbutas' research and writings. In this panel we will discuss the role of Indigenous language in cultural preservation of women's traditions, the responses of university students to the study of Gimbutas' work, the Old European origins of women's circle dance, and a critique of the recent proposition that the societies of Old Europe were patriarchal.

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Dr. Heide Goettner-Abendroth

Dr Heide Goettner-Abendroth, PhD, has published extensively on matriarchal societies and culture, and is the founder of the discipline of Modern Matriarchal Studies. Her magnum opus is Matriarchal Societies. Studies on Indigenous Cultures across the Globe (2003).

Laura Shannon

Considered a ‘grandmother’ of the worldwide Sacred/Circle Dance movement, Laura Shannon has been researching, teaching, and writing about traditional women’s dances for over thirty years. Laura is a faculty member of the Findhorn Foundation Sacred Dance Department and Founding Director of the Athena Institute for Women’s Dance and Culture.


Miigam’agan is a Wabanaki/Mi’kmaw grandmother of the Jagej Clan from Esgenoôpetitj/ Burnt Church also known as Atlantic Canada. She is Elder-in-Residence at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, NB, a role in which she provides support for Indigenous students and offers opportunities for the students and faculty to learn from Indigenous knowledge keepers.