Louise McDonald Herne (Wakerakatste) 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. Through her work as a matrilineal leader and as a mother, she is a founding member of Konon:kwe 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 (“Mother Law”)—a natural law that binds Onkwehon:we, 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. McDonald Herne is the principal organizer and leader of Ohero:kon (“Under the Husk”), a
traditional rite of passage ceremony for Mohawk youth. She has guided hundreds of community families and volunteers through self-reflection and Haudenosaunee cultural instruction and ceremony. She 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.