Photograph by Tim Rummelhoff, Courtesy McKnight Fellowships for Choreographers


“she who lives on the road to war” will explore Native feminist leader Jigonhsasee’s foundational influence on the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, U.S. Constitution. I will contribute to indigenizing our history by tracing this cultural–political genealogy through my embodied relationship to it: through dance. I will weave the real and imagined histories of how the Haudenosaunee Confederacy coalesced from separate Nations and feature Jigonhsasee’s role in envisioning new governing structures, peoples, and territories. Recuperating lost matrilineal origins, this work can remind us that we are stronger together when we acknowledge our history. It is my hope that this work will lead towards creating peace our ancestors deserve and demand.

A feminist artist and activist, I grew up and live in the Twin Cities intertribal Native community. Being rooted in cultural teachings, values, ethics, and sense of the world gives me a deep foundation from which all my work as a dance maker and community leader emerges. My work is underpinned by the culture, history, and identity stored in my body, renewed daily through interactions, collaborations, and political actions with Native artists, activists, and educators.


Rosy Simas, Haudenosaunee (Seneca, Heron Clan), is a choreographer and film and visual artist based in Minneapolis. Her work investigates how culture, history, and identity are stored in the body and expressed in movement. For more than twenty years she has created work that addresses a wide range of political, social, and cultural subjects from a Native feminist perspective. She has received support from Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, First Peoples Fund, Guggenheim Foundation, and McKnight Foundation, and she is a Dance USA Fellow as well as a Joyce Awardee.


Rosy Simas’s residency is supported by the Stardust Art Fund.