Member of the 13 Grandmothers Council
“Indigenous people have come through a time of great struggle, a time of darkness. The way I look at it is like the nature of a butterfly. In the cocoon, a place of darkness, the creature breaks down into a fluid and then a change, a transformation, takes place. When it is ready and in its own time, it begins to move and develop a form that stretches and breaks away from this cocoon and emerges into this world, into life, as a beautiful creature. “We grandmothers, we have emerged from that darkness, see this beauty, see each other and reach out to the world with open arms, with love, hope, compassion, faith, and charity.”
—Mona Polacca, member of the 13 Grandmothers Council
Hopi, Havasupai, and Tewa elder, Mona Polacca is one of the 13 grandmothers of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers, a global alliance that teaches ancestral ways of prayer, education, and healing. She has served as treasurer and council member of her tribe and is a member of the Colorado River Indian Tribes of Parker, Arizona. A featured conference speaker internationally, Mona has been a United States delegate at the Indigenous Women’s Intercontinental Meeting in Lima, Peru, and an observer at the United Nations Permanent Forum for Indigenous Peoples.
Mona holds a masters degree in social work from Arizona State University. She has more than 20 years of practical experience working on health and social issues affecting American Indian tribes throughout the nation, including Native American alcoholism, domestic violence, and mental health for elderly native peoples. She is committed to developing effective strategies and sensitive approaches in the delivery of health and social services to the Native American population as a whole.