NYWIFT Women Who Dared Documentary Series, Week 4: Without A Whisper

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Join us for Week 4 of the NYWIFT Women Who Dared Documentary Series in partnership with International Documentary Association (IDA) and with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

A six-week screening series of captivating documentaries by women filmmakers starting on Friday, October 23, 2020 and every Friday to follow.

Week 4: Without A Whisper – Konnon:Kwe

Watch the film: starting Friday, November 13th throughout the weekend via Women Make Movies

Then join us on Monday, November 16th at 4 PM EST on Facebook Live for a conversation with Director Katsitsionni Fox, Mohawk Clan Mother Louise McDonald Herne and Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner

Moderated by Carey Graeber 





Without A Whisper – Konnon:Kwe, uncovers the hidden history of the profound influence Indigenous women had on the beginnings of the women’s rights movement in the United States. Before the first women’s rights convention in Seneca Falls in 1848, European colonial women lacked even the most basic rights, while Haudenosaunee women had a potent political and spiritual voice and authority in all aspects of their lives. The contact that the early suffragists had with Haudenosaunee women in New York state shaped their thinking and had a vital impact on their struggle for equality that is taken for granted today. The film follows Mohawk Bear Clan Mother Louise Herne and Professor Sally Roesch Wagner as they seek to correct the historical narrative about the origins of women’s rights in the United States.



Katsitsionni Fox has been making films since 2003 in the Mohawk Territory of Akwesasne, where she resides. Her film Ohero:kon – Under the Husk, following the journey of two Mohawk girls as they take part in their traditional passage rites to becoming Mohawk Women, received funding from Vision Maker Media and was broadcast on many PBS stations. Katsitsionni received the Jane Glassco Award for Emerging Filmmaker at the imagineNATIVE Film Festival in 2016 as well as the Achievement in Documentary Filmmaking Award at LA Skins Fest in 2016. She produced a series of twelve short segments for REMATRIATION, a Native American women’s online, multi-media magazine, that is focused on healing and empowerment of Native women through the sharing of their stories and successes.  Her latest documentary, Without A Whisper, is an untold story of how Native American women helped to inspire the struggle of American women’s suffrage movement in the United States.


Dr. Sally Roesch Wagner is the Founder and Executive Director of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Foundation and Center for Social Justice Dialogue in Fayetteville, New York. A prolific author, her anthology The Women’s Suffrage Movement, with a Forward by Gloria Steinem (Penguin Classics, 2019), unfolds a new intersectional look at the 19th century woman’s rights movement.  Sisters in Spirit: Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) Influence on Early American Feminists (Native Voices, 2001) documents the surprisingly unrecognized authority of Native women, who inspired the suffrage movement. It was followed by her young reader’s book, We Want Equal Rights: How Suffragists Were Influence by Native American Women (Native Voices, 2020). A major historian of the suffrage movement, Dr. Wagner has been active on the national scene during this suffrage centennial year.  She appeared on the CNN Special Report: Women Represented and has been quoted in The New York Times, The Washington Post, Time Magazine, The Smithsonian and Nation, among others. 


Wakerakatste (Wa-geh-lah-gats-the) Louise McDonald Herne (pictured above) is a condoled Bear Clan Mother for the Mohawk Nation Council. She is a trusted advisor for families and community youth and works closely with them in their homes and schools. She bestows traditional names in the longhouse and provides spiritual counsel for all those seeking support. Through her work as a matrilineal leader and as a mother, she is a founding member of Konon:kwe (Goh-noon-gwe) Council, a circle of Mohawk women working to reconstruct the power of their origins through education, empowerment and trauma-informed approaches. Louise champions the philosophy of Kahnistensera (Ga-nees-the-sa-lah), “Mother Law”—a natural law that binds Onkwehon:we (Uhn-gwe-hoo-weh), or Indigenous, kinship society. She is the lead conductor of the Moon Lodge Society, a convening women and girls on a monthly basis in line with the full moon cycle. Currently a Spirit Aligned Legacy Leader, Louise has presented at the United Nations Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues and lectures regularly at universities throughout Canada and the United States on Haudenosaunee philosophies and self-determination regarding women. Louise, affectionately known as Mama Bear, is the Distinguished Scholar in Indigenous Learning at McMaster University Institute for Innovation and Excellence in Teaching and Learning (MIIETL).


Carey Graeber (moderator) is a past President of New York Women in Film & Television, and is currently on the Advisory Board. She is a documentary producer who has created broadcast documentaries and corporate communications vehicles for major corporations, government entities and non-profits.   She founded her media company, Great Plains Productions, in 2001. Her work has been broadcast on PBS, MSNBC, and WDIV-TV in Detroit. Other clients have included:  Pfizer Pharmaceuticals, The Open Society Institute, Safe Horizon (funded by The New York Times 9/11 Neediest Cases Fund), the Walter Reed Medical Center, Detroit Public TV, and General Motors. Graeber was on the faculty of the Northwestern University School of Communication in New York City and is a graduate of that school.  She served on the Board of Directors of the Alumni Association and was President of the Northwestern University Entertainment Alliance East. She is currently a member of the Council of 100, an NU mentoring group for women. Graeber is also National Chair of the Matilda Joslyn Gage Advisory Circle.


Special thanks to the National Endowment for the Arts for funding for the
NYWIFT Women Who Dared Documentary Series.

Without a Whisper provided by:


The NYWIFT Women Who Dared Documentary Series is presented in partnership with International Documentary Association (IDA) and with support from the National Endowment for the Arts.

A six-week screening series of captivating documentaries by women filmmakers starting on Friday, October 23, 2020 and every Friday to follow.

This screening series is part of NYWIFT’s Creative Workforce Summit scheduled October 20-23, 2020. This year’s theme celebrates the 100th Anniversary of the 19th Amendment granting women the right to vote and recognize the contributions made by Women Documentary Makers that document creators of social, cultural and economic change in history.

Additional films to be announced soon.

Learn about the Summit


A special thank you to our Summit supporters:

November 16 @ 4:00pm
4:00 pm — 5:00 pm (1h)


Join the conversation on social media:
#nywift | @nywift

NYWIFT programs, screenings and events are supported, in part, by grants from New York City Department of Cultural Affairs in partnership with the City Council, and New York State Council on the Arts with the support of Governor Kathy Hochul and the New York State Legislature.