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POSTER ART Roger plant 2

This poster art was created by Lower Elwha S’Klallam artist Roger Fernandes who is also President of the Northwest Indian Storytellers Association.

Wisdom of the Elders and the Northwest Indian Storytellers Association are excited to announce plans for our eleventh annual Northwest Indian Storytelling events. Two special events are being held on Friday afternoon and evening, February 18, 2017 in Portland, OR.

The theme this year is traditional First Foods species that are threatened or endangered. Tickets will be available soon along with more details on these events so please stay tuned to our monthly newsletters.

In addition to the evening of storytelling, we will add a symposium event the afternoon of Friday, February 18. Our tribal storytellers, song carriers have long known the link between their stories and songs to their traditional First Foods. They also acknowledge the critical importance of restoring these species as a vital part of our Pacific Northwest ecosystems. So indigenous science educators and scientists will join with our Native storytellers, song carriers and basket weavers to present at this symposium event.

During the daytime conference, Native elders, cultural leaders and scientists will share traditional stories and songs about salmon, lamprey eel, camas roots, and other threatened and endangered first foods species; and reveal traditional practices that are integral to First Foods restoration. This event which will integrate Native cultural arts with traditional ecological knowledge and other STEAM* elements integral to indigenous science are being funded by National Endowment for the Arts. This is our eleventh year of funding from NEA and we would like to express appreciation to them for this record of support of our activities. (*STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, ARTS, and math).


Aloma Joseph Participant Cowichan tribe

Aloma Joseph is one of four emerging Native filmmakers learning documentary film production this summer with the guidance of Toby Joseph, Sr.

Wisdom’s Native youth film, “The Salmon People Are At Risk,” won best Youth Documentary Short and runner up Best Youth Directing at the Tulalip Tribe’s Film Festival in September according to Lena Jones, MaOM, Education Curator at the Tulalip Tribe’s Hibulb Cultural Center. Producer Toby Joseph, Sr. trained four Native youth from Pacific Northwest tribes this summer as the youth completed production of four short documentary films featuring an emerging climate issue.

Lena Jones commented, “It was great to have your films in the festival, and I told the young people who were attending that was their assignment, to follow the advice of the folks on the film. You can view this film at: The Salmon People Are at Risk-Vimeo Final Cut.

We would like to acknowledge Toby and the following partners for the success of this collaboration: The Puyallup Tribe, Cascadia Consulting, Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians and Wisdom of the Elders, Inc.


Film Interns 2016
Ericha Casey’s film production, “Ericha’s Huckleberry Project” has been selected by the Pechanga Tribe of California to be screened at their upcoming film festival competition.

Ericha was one of four emerging Native filmmakers who received film production training from producer Larry Johnson and Mentor Tiyana Casey during Wisdom’s Native Climate Film Academy earlier this year. Special thanks to Rupert Ayton, Vice President at Native Arts and Cultures Foundation for entering Ericha’s film into the competition.

This project provided advance training to four emerging Native filmmakers. Their final productions were presented by Don Sampson from ATNI at the 2nd Annual Tribal Leaders Summit on Climate Change which was held on September 13 & 14th in Tulalip, Washington. When we asked one of the interns, Meadow Wheaton (Nez Perce) about her decision to become an emerging Native filmmaker, she explained her motivation. “My great grandmother is a traditional gatherer of the camas root, but due to changes in the climate the food source is becoming difficult to find.”

As a result of this, our first year of providing this Native Film Academy to our community, Wisdom is now planning to provide annual Emerging Native Filmmaker Academies. Wisdom’s collaborative media project was funded by Native Arts and Cultures Foundation ( and Affiliated Tribes of Northwest Indians ( You can screen these films at the ATNI link above. Special thanks to our exemplary partners — because without their generous support, this project would not have been possible.