A circle of women gathered weekly for meetings for years with their children in tow, mostly at Alice Skenandore's house. Around the kitchen table, they studied midwifery and childbirth related issues unless one of the women had a problem to work through. In these instances, the group helped resolve the challenge, or just listened and offered support.
Over the years, many people have called on Alice seeking wisdom about home birthing, other information, and just to talk. Alice has also spoken and shared her knowledge at many conferences and public venues. A representative from the Ford Foundation was present at one of these events and invited Alice to New York and talk about midwifery and home birth to a group there. The women were so interested, some came to Alice's room after the talk and watched videos for hours. Some said that it changed their lives.
Alice and Wise Women Gathering Place believe that women are supposed to know what birth is like. Fear from not knowing is dangerous. The Ford Foundation gave Wise Women Gathering Place a grant to get started. They supported the organization for four years with an annual grant which provided resources for with training, materials, a site and everything necessary to continue to create awareness in our community.
Since the beginning, Wise Women Gathering Place has grown exponentially and now encompasses several endeavors intended to promote Peace, Respect, and Belonging in our community. Please visit the transitional living, youth programming, and women's & men's support groups pages, to learn about all the great community opportunities Wise Women has to offer today!
As Alice continued with her group meetings, conversations evolved to talking about relationships. The women really discussed how they had made mistakes and poorly judged things. These mistakes and misjudgments left problems to deal with that were really difficult. Out of these discussions developed a curriculum called Discovery Dating. It is a deck of cards and a workbook that helps a person to learn character discernment based on observed behaviors.
Today, Wise Women Gathering Place has trained countless other organizations through Discovery Dating Teacher Trainings. The organization also believes in empowerment through skill building, and thus offers several other training programs on consensus building, parenting, and grandparenting. Please visit the Upcoming Events portion of our site to learn more about these events and to get registration information.
In 2010, Wise Women Gathering Place participated in the Native American Center for Excellence (NACE) Service to Science Academy in Denver, CO. We were able to work with qualified evaluators to improve our prevention programming. Hear the tale, as well as a brief history of Wise Women Gathering Place, in the video below!