Dr. William Woodworth, Raweno:kwas
Dr. William Woodworth, Raweno:kwas is the Founder and Director of the Beacon
to the Ancestors Foundation.
The vision to recover the sacred land in Toronto and to renew the ancient welcoming ceremonies
of his Hotinonshon:ni [Iroquois] ancestors was inspired by his years assisting the great
Cayuga Chief and a traditional Hotinonshon:ni teacher Jacob Ezra Thomas of Six Nations of the
Grand River between 1995 and 1998.
William Woodworth was born in 1946. His mother [nee Elliot] was a member of the Lower
Mohawk Band of the Six Nations of the Grand River near Brantford, Ontario. His father
was descended from twelve generations of the Woodworth family who migrated to Massachusetts in 1637.
The Woodworths shared the Mohawk Valley of his Mohawk ancestors in upstate New York until
the American revolution when both sides dispersed. His mother's family moved to Detroit,
Michigan to escape the Canadian residential school system at Six Nations. He was born in
Michigan where his parents met, and is a member of the Six Nations community today.
He emigrated to Canada in 1970, and holds triple citizenship today.
Following his graduation with a professional Architectural Degree from the
University of Michigan, Ann Arbor in 1970, he has been practicing architecture and teaching in Toronto
with projects in southern Ontario and Quebec. On sabbatical between 1993 and 2001, he
taught at Lawrence University in Michigan and studied toward a Doctorate in
Traditional Knowledge at the California Institute of the Integral Studies in San Francisco
under Dr. Apela Colorado, an Oneida Elder. After receiving his Doctorate in 2001,
he has continued his architectural practice as a Mohawk traditionalist, consulting with
Iroquoian archaeologists, and giving occasional lectures. He lives in Toronto, and finds
home at Six Nations of the Grand River.
"When the Stars revolve about the North Pole, they are longing for our growing consciousness"
Jeleuddin Rumi 13th c. Sufi poet