OUR END OF YEAR FUNDRAISING DRIVE

Wisdom is in the middle of our end of year fundraising time and asking again this year for the assistance of our supporters. In addition to our Indiegogo fundraising campaign which is launching this week, it is also the time for our annual end of year fundraising campaign.

Click Here to Read more →

eNewsletter from Wisdom of the Elders
February 21st, 2019

 

NOTE FROM WISDOM’S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR:

Greetings to all,

I hope everyone is well and looking forward to a beautiful spring.

Once again, we at Wisdom of the Elders would like to thank everyone who attended and/or supported Wisdom’s 25-year celebration in November 2018. We appreciate you walking through the years with us. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue growing and improving our projects and programing into the next 25 years!

We would like to welcome Trish Haugen to our Wisdom staff. Trish will be the Coordinator for Wisdom Workforce Development. Trish is also our Discovering Yidong Xinag (DYX) Youth Leadership Program co-coordinator, along with Kunu Bearchum, who is our Multimedia Assistant. Together Trish and Kunu will work with Indigenous communities and schools to expand Wisdom’s multimedia projects and environmental science curriculum for our Native communities in Oregon and Washington.

In addition, we would like to thank Lora Price for her many years of dedication and leadership in helping to build lasting partnerships for Wisdom Workforce Development, LLC with the many restoration and conservation organizations and individuals throughout the greater Portland Metro Area. As Lora plans for her long-awaited retirement, we wish her success, joy and much peace in her new journeys. Your presence and influence will surely be missed! Alas, we remain hopeful to meet you around the bend sometime, somewhere!

We send out a big thank you to our partners, Portland Parks and Recreation, Johnson Creek Watershed Council, Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Bureau of Environmental Services, Rose CDC, Friends of Trees, Metro,  West Multnomah Water and Soil Conservation District and Columbia Land Trust, to name a few, for the opportunities for our Wisdom Workforce Development crew to work alongside you in many important projects throughout the city and surrounding areas. I personally would like to thank Wisdom’s WWD LLC ace team, Alvey Seeyouma, Autumn Highdesertwolf, Bruce Amick II, and Dave Eyster for their hard work and dedication regardless of rain and cold or sun and heat, to accomplish the missions. Well done!

Next, we would like to welcome back Marissa Sprang, who is our Coordinator for Wisdom Workforce Development Rural Agricultural Business Incubator (aka WABI) in Marion County, Oregon. This new adventure is Wisdom’s Micro-Business enterprise that will offer training and opportunities for families and/or individuals to grow their own Indigenous First Foods business.

In order to prepare and further develop our staff, Wisdom will engage with educational institutions to develop workforce opportunities to enhance professional skills training. Wisdom’s Executive Management Team will continue to enhance and strengthen collaborative partnerships, develop our leadership outreach strategies, and increase fundraising capacity. By supporting our coordinators of the primary initiatives over the next three years, they will be ready to be promoted from Project Coordinator in year one to Program Officer by year three.

Therein, we can and will be better prepared to accomplish our primary initiatives designed to help under-represented Native American youth and adults in our communities to accomplish their own educational goals and/or help connect them to employment opportunities. This will build and strengthen our Indigenous communities, assist in attaining health and wellness goals and acquire opportunities for financial prosperity while engaging in diverse environmental or other career pathways.

We would like to recognize and send out a tremendous THANK YOU to our funders for helping us to accomplish our goals to build a better and more prosperous Indigenous community. We at Wisdom are very much appreciative for your continued financial support and encouragement!

Prosper Portland Film Grant, Collins Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, OregonMade-Creative Foundation, Prosper Portland and the City of Portland Media Grant, Running Strong For American Indian Youth- Dream Starter, National Endowment of the Arts, National Endowment for Humanities, USDA, Oregon Community Foundation, Social Justice Fund, Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Arts Commission, NoVo Foundation, Metro, EMSWCD, Eco-Trust, and The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.

To the many individuals who made charitable contributions we are very grateful for your continued support to our mission to encourage, educate and provide workforce development for our Indigenous community and our community at large.

We look forward to continuous growth while accomplishing our mission and sharing the vision!

My best regards,
Teresa Montana,
Executive Director

 

DISCOVERING OUR STORY TELEVISION PROGRAM

Discovering Our Story Television Program Airs Sunday, March 3rd, 1pm on channel 11 and re-airs March 5that 10pm on channel 22 and again on March 8that 9am on channel 23.

Our two distinguished guests this month on Discovering our Story will be Woodrow F. (Woody) Morrison, Jr., and Jedd Schrock.

unnamedWoodrow F. (Woody) Morrison, Jr., began his training as a History Keeper for the Haida people at the age of three (his last teacher died when Woody was 67 yrs. old). He attended and graduated from Indian boarding schools – Mt. Edgecumbe High School and Haskell Institute. He enlisted and served four years in the US Navy as an Electronics Technician. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Sociology from University of Minnesota, Morris and a Juris Doctor Degree from University of New Mexico School of Law. He is past President of Wisdom of the Elders, Inc and the Vancouver Society of Storytelling. From 1993 to 2010 he worked as a Cultural/Story Consultant on twenty Hollywood film productions and served as part of film crews (150+ productions). He co-hosted a cultural radio talk show for 15 years on Co-Op Radio and had his own radio show at the University of British Columbia, called “Language to Language”. He taught a Haida Language and Culture Class between 2002 to 2007 and presently is a Client Support Elder at the Child and Family Services Society, Vancouver B.C. and co-facilitates three programs: Strengthening Fathers (5 yrs.), Strengthening Families (12 yrs.) and Circle of Boys (ages 10 to 12).

Jedd Schrock is a linguist living in Portland, OR. He has been an avid language learner and teacher throughout his life. His early life was spent largely in Nigeria and Sudan where he functioned daily in languages such as Arabic and Nuer. Study of European Languages happened later in high school and at the undergraduate level (German BA).  One year of college was spent at the Phillips-Universität Marburg, and one year was spent in Ilmenau, Germany as a teacher’s assistant at a German high school. He became an ESL teacher at DePaul University in Chicago, IL.  He earned an M.A. in Linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University in 2002.  Shortly thereafter, he moved to Portland where his interests have centered primarily on the languages of Western Oregon and Washington. He has been very active in the efforts to revitalize and maintain Chinuk Wawa in the communities at Grand Ronde, in Portland, and throughout the greater Lower Columbia. He has worked to create databases of moribund languages such as Tualatin Kalapuya, Clackamas Chinook, and Lower Chehalis. Areas of interest include Native Mythology of Western Oregon and Washington, Writing Systems, German Studies, Salish Studies, Folkloristics and Music.

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WISDOM INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY!

Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. is pleased to announce the recruitment of 6-8 Native American Adultsto participate in the Wisdom Agricultural Business Incubator!!

The Wisdom Agricultural Business Incubator (WABI) will support the startup and development of 6-8 businesses by Native American (American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander) adult interns to plan and create an agricultural/horticultural microenterprise business in rural Marion County, Oregon. WABI will provide support services, including entrepreneur business development training, strategic planning, business plan development and financial planning.

Interns will achieve training and create a business plan over the course of a 3-month PAID internship from March 13 to May 31, 2019. Training will be provided through weekly seminars in our Portland classroom, a plant nursery south of Portland and other field visits in Marion County. Even more, interns will be provided 1:1 matching funds from a local CDFI for business start up costs! Though the internship is only 3 months, interns will receive ongoing support for at least three years from the Wisdom Agricultural Coop as they continue growing their business!

This is a unique opportunity to not only grow Native owned businesses and jobs, but to also intentionally cultivate First Food/Native species in nursery/horticultural setting! By focusing on first foods, WABI will provide participants with opportunities to become skilled leaders in native plant production for multiple applications, with the unique capacity to additionally share the cultural relevance of the plants they propagate.

Applicants must be 18 years or older, be willing to start a native plant micro-business, and have:

  • High school diploma, GED, or higher education
  • Interest in Indigenous knowledge & land stewardship
  • Enthusiasm for engaging in the community and outdoors (in all weather conditions)
  • Ability to work with a professional demeanor and complete the entire internship
  • Ability to work independently & as part of a team

This opportunity is available until all positions are filled. For info or to apply, please visit our website at www.wisdomoftheelders.org or email  [email protected]

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eNewsletter from Wisdom of the Elders
December 13th 2018

 

Wisdom Workforce Partnership with the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services

For the past six months, Wisdom’s social and economic venture, Wisdom Workforce LLC has partnered with the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services to conduct valuable conservation work in local parks and other ecosystems. They have learned much from the guidance and direction that Lora Price continues to provide to our team. Lora serves as Project Director for Wisdom Workforce Development and WWD LLC.

The crew worked in partnership with Damion Coe and Christa Von Behren, Ph.D., with the Watershed Revegetation Team at the Bureau of Environmental Services. Damion is Natural Resource Ecologist for the Portland BES Watershed Revegetation Program. Christa is also Program Development Coordinator at the Rae Selling Seed Bank & Plant Conservation Program which is consulting with Wisdom to pursue a potential partnership. Christa also serves as Instructor for the Department of Environmental Science & Management at Portland State University.

At Westmoreland Park, the team performed monitoring and restoration maintenance of the park’s recently installed natural area.  Removal of invasive and nuisance plants included Teasel, Birdsfoot Trefoil, Canadian Thistle, Purple loosestrife, English Ivy, Bindweed and Norway Maple plus other volunteer tree saplings. This has been a successful effort to keep invasive vegetation from taking hold and maintain a diversified balance of native vegetation. We are grateful that BES chooses not use herbicides or pesticides at this location where many young children and pregnant moms congregate.

At Brookside Wetlands, the team performed landscape maintenance including mowing, hedging and pruning of shrubs and then broadcast and mulched native seeds in cleared areas.  At Bundy Park, the team cleared Ivy and blackberry at this abandoned house site. The Crew also removed Black Locusts, an invasive tree in Vermont Park.

With Christa the team has performed seed collection and seed cleaning. Seeds were collected from Rushes, Sedges and Piggyback plants at Riverview and in Forest Park. They also work at the Oregon State University Experimentation Center in Aurora planting seedling sedges and perennials from flats into the ground.

Our crew is grateful for the direction they received while building their skills in seed collection and the different methods used to clean different seeds collected. Damion and Christa appreciated. Wisdom crew’s work ethic and their sharing of traditional knowledges.

 

Wisdom of the Elders Launches its Documentary Film Fundraiser

Wisdom’s Multimedia Team is inviting you to join us in completing a pair of hour-long television programs about the effects of the warming climate on traditional Native foods and resources in Oregon. On December 12th, we will launch a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo to prepare the films for broadcast.

For thousands of years, we Native Oregonians have been deeply connected to the land, our source for food, medicine and the things we need to live. We consider these to be gifts from The Creator. But today, these traditional gifts are threatened. As the climate warms up and development encroaches on our lands, our fish are getting sick, our forests are burning and our wild game is struggling to survive.

You can help bring this important story to a national audience through two hour-length video programs: ”Native Wisdom: The People of Oregon’s Coast” and “Native Wisdom: The People of Oregon’s Interior.” While most of the shooting is done, additional funding is needed to complete these programs and ready them for broadcast on national educational television and for distribution to schools, libraries and film festivals. Post-production editing, music, sound design and mastering take lots of time and money.  We hope to raise $10,000 to do the job right.

Please consider supporting Wisdom’s film project. Contributions of any size are welcome. There will be lots of great perks for you to enjoy in appreciation of your gift: free downloads, DVDs, signed original art prints and tickets to the premiere. Even if you can’t contribute, you can join us in getting the word out. Change is coming. Let’s make it the right kind of change. Watch for news of the campaign!

Larry Johnson and Rose High Bear filming “Native Wisdom: The People of Oregon’s Coast.”

Robert Kentta, Cultural Resources Director, Confederate Tribe of Siletz Indians of Oregon, with Rose High Bear, Executive Producer of the Native Wisdom Documentary Film Series at Wisdom of the Elders.

Coos and Coquille Tribal Members practice with a traditional NW Coast canoe

Click here to support. 

 

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Native Wisdom Documentary Film update

Wisdom’s multimedia team is continuing its recording work on the Native Wisdom Documentary Film Series last week with a trip to the Warm Spring Indian Reservation. We conducted interviews with veteran Hotshots/Warm Springs Fire Management officers Luther Clements and William Wilson, who spoke about tribal and federal fire outlooks and Native fire management vs. current models. Here’s some behind the scenes photos of our trip to the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. The team is headed to conduct recordings on the Umatilla Indian Reservation later this week.

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Our End of Year Fundraising Drive:

Wisdom is in the middle of our end of year fundraising drive and asking for the assistance of our supporters.

Wisdom is in the middle of our end of year fundraising time and asking again this year for the assistance of our supporters. In addition to our Indiegogo fundraising campaign which is launching this week, it is also the time for our annual end of year fundraising campaign.

We appreciate the help of our friends and supporters who value our work and accept these end of year donations with much gratitude. In return we have gifts to offer.

This year we have copied DVDs of our four short documentaries from the Native Wisdom Documentary Film Series and are mailing them out as gifts as a thank you to our donors. We know some of you have waited for years to receive copies and we are happy that we can now share them. There are two Alaska films and two Oregon films.

The DVDs will be gifted at four different levels of giving, starting at only $25.
We will send one DVD for contributions of $25 and more.
We will send two DVDs for contributions of $50 or more.
We will send three DVDs for contributions of $75 or more.
We will send four DVDs for contributions of $100 or more.

You can go to our donation page here:

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Wisdom is recruiting!

Wisdom Workforce Coordinator, Marissa Spang (Crow, Northern Cheyenne) is currently planning the new Wisdom Agricultural Business Incubator. She is recruiting the project Crew Leader as well as six Native American adults who will serve as interns at Wisdom’s Native Plant Nursery Academy.  See poster and WABI Crew Leader in this newsletter. Interested applicants can apply at our website.

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Beyond our Reach Conference this week

Wisdom staff are attending the Willamette River Initiative’s Within Our Reach Conference this week in Salem and participating in a poster session with the Green Workforce Collaborative. Within Our Reach is a gathering of river restoration and protection professionals, funders, landowners, public agencies, scientists, students and community members. All are united in the pursuit of a healthy river system for our future. The conference being held at Salem Convention Center provides a space to reflect on the challenges facing the river and its tributaries, learn about restoration, protection and community-building efforts within and beyond the Willamette, and craft strategies to realize our vision of healthy ecosystems and healthy communities. More information is available at http://withinourreach.net/

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Oregon Cultural Trust benefits from your contributions to Wisdom:

As an eligible cultural nonprofit, most of your individual donors can participate in and claim the Cultural Tax Credit. This is a special benefit unique to Oregon cultural donors; it prioritizes Oregon’s cultural organizations at the state level. Surprisingly, studies have shown that the single greatest obstacle to directing tax credit dollars to culture is lack of awareness by cultural donors! This giving season, we ask you to collaborate with us and take action to communicate the value of your work and the value proposition of participating in the Oregon Cultural Tax Credit. We have developed some ready-to-use tools like a printable flyer (right) and a digital ad (below). View and download all the tools here.

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Discovering Our Story Television Program schedule

The Sunday, January 6, 2019 showing of Wisdom of the Elders’ Discovering our Story Television Program will be a re-run due to the Holiday closure at our partners Open Signal, but we’ll be back live in February! Here are the Comcast show times and channels for the next three months:

 

1/6/19-  Channel 11      1pm

1/8/19-  Channel 22      10pm

1/6/19-  Channel 23      9am

 

2/3/19-  Channel 11      1pm

2/5/19-  Channel  22    10pm

2/3/19-  Channel 23      9am

 

3/3/19-  Channel 11      1pm

3/5/19-  Channel 22      10pm

3/8/19-  Channel 23      9am

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<< Subscribe >>

Check out our website and subscribe to our newsletter at www.wisdomoftheelders.org

Don’t forget to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter, and help us spread the word with #WOTE!


eNewsletter from Wisdom of the Elders
November 27th 2018

 

Greetings From Teresa Montana

Greetings, community! I hope you all are well and happy, and enjoying the beautiful colors of fall!

Wisdom of the Elders is transitioning and looking into the future full of hope and excitement. I would like to say, I am so very honored to be considered for the Executive Director position here at Wisdom. I have much to uphold and carry forth in the vision and mission that has laid the foundation of all that Wisdom is. Wisdom’s Board of Directors is expected to make its final decision in the new year.

I, of course, must be sure to tell you all what a wonderful and amazing staff we have. Our staff has impressed and delighted me from the first day. In getting to know each of them, I can clearly see and feel the commitment, dedication and passion in the work they do.

Tim Burgess, Multimedia Coordinator

Kunu Bearchum, Multimedia Producer

Dawn Lowe, Wisdom Workforce Development Education Coordinator

Alvey Seeyouma, Wisdom Workforce Development Crew Leader

Rose High Bear, Senior Consultant and Executive Producer

We also have two new employees. Leslie Riggs (Grand Ronde) and Marissa Spang (Northern Cheyenne, Crow). Mr. Riggs is Discovering Yidong Xinag Project Coordinator, and Mrs. Spang is Wisdom Workforce Development Coordinator for our new rural initiative. We are very fortunate and excited to have them both aboard as they bring their talents and experience to enhance our programs. Welcome to you both!!!

Special thanks to our consultants:

Lora Price, Wisdom Workforce Development Project Consultant

Jocelyn Furbush, Bookkeeper and Grant Manager

Larry Johnson, Multimedia Consultant

I also want to mention our Wisdom Workforce Development interns. After weekly classroom sessions with Dawn, our team of eight all put in many hours of hard work on the ground with our partners and for our city completing environmental assessment and habitat restoration projects.

I would like to thank all of you who were able to attend our 25-year celebration and birthday celebration for Rose High Bear on November 14th! The evening was a great success and it was wonderful to see our partners and to meet new people. I also want to thank those who were with us in thought and those that sent us your warm messages of support.

As we move into the end of this year, and the fast approaching winter season, may your lives be blessed and your hearts full of joy! I give thanks to all who lift us up and support our organization as we in turn lift those who come through our doors at Wisdom of the Elders.

My best to you all,

-Teresa Montana

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Wisdom of the Elders Launches a Documentary Film Fundraiser

Wisdom of the Elders invites you to join us in completing a pair of hour-long TV programs about the effects of the warming climate on traditional Native foods and resources in Oregon. On December 12th, we will launch a crowd funding campaign on Indiegogo to prepare the films for broadcast.

For thousands of years, we Native Oregonians have been deeply connected to the land, our source for food, medicine and the things we need to live. We consider these to be gifts from The Creator. But today, these traditional gifts are threatened. As the climate warms up and development encroaches on our lands, our fish are getting sick, our forests are burning and our wild game is struggling to survive.

You can help bring this important story to a national audience through two hour-length video programs:  ”Native Wisdom: The People of Oregon’s Coast” and “Native Wisdom: The People of Oregon’s Interior.” While most of the shooting is done, additional funding is needed to complete these programs and ready them for broadcast on national educational television and for distribution to schools, libraries and film festivals. Post-production editing, music, sound design and mastering take lots of time and money.  We hope to raise $10,000 to do the job right.

We’ll be sending the announcement and link along soon. So oplease consider supporting Wisdom’s film project. Contributions of any size are welcome. There will be lots of great perks for you to enjoy in appreciation of your gift: free downloads, DVDs, signed original art prints and tickets to the premiere. Even if you can’t contribute, you can join us in getting the word out.

Change is coming. Let’s make it the right kind of change. Watch for news of the campaign.

 

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Wisdom of the Elders wins Post Production Grant

November 18, 2018, Portland, OR – Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. (Wisdom) the Native-run non-profit, has received a $5,000 award from the Portland Film Office/Oregon Made Post Production Grant Program. The purpose of the funds is for post-production editing and sound design for two films in its Native Wisdom Documentary Film Series featuring today’s changing climate and how it is affecting traditional First Foods and other resources of Oregon tribes.

The documentaries will feature gifted tribal elders and indigenous scientists and their observations of ecosystems on their reservation and ceded lands where they hunt, fish and gather traditional First Foods and medicines. The films will show how traditional ecological knowledge is now influencing decisions by natural resource managers in Oregon on wildlife and resource management.

The Post-Production Film Grant Program, through a partnership between the Portland Film Office and Oregon Made Creative Foundation, supports the professional development of small, local filmmakers by providing funds for activities including sound design, scoring, editing, color correction, closed captioning, VFX and music clearances using post-production houses.

Portland-based Wisdom of the Elders, founded by the late Martin High Bear (Lakota) and his wife Rose High Bear (Athabascan), has been collecting Native oral histories, stories on history, culture and music for 25 years. Known for their award-winning radio series, “Wisdom of the Elders Radio,” and The Northwest Indian Storytellers Association events, Wisdom has started to develop documentary films. The video series “Native Wisdom,” includes programs on Alaskan Athabascan and Inupiat peoples and a pair of short films about Native Oregonians. These two films, entitled “The People of Oregon’s Coast” and “The People of Oregon’s Interior,” will be expanded to one hour each for broadcast on public television.

“Native American prophesy states that the day will come,” explains Wisdom’s Executive Producer, Rose High Bear, “when the peoples of the world will turn to Native Americans and other indigenous people to learn how to care for the earth and for one another.”

The films will be completed by Wisdom staff producers, Kunu Bearchum, Tim Keenan Burgess and edited by Lawrence Johnson.

Additional funding for the project has been provided by the National Endowment of the Arts, The Coquille Tribal Community Fund, Native Arts and Culture Foundation, Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Community Foundation and the Spirit Mountain Community Fund.

     

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NEW DISCOVERING YIDONG XINAG COORDINATOR

Greetings! Leslie Riggs here, the new Discovering Yidong Xinag coordinator with a few words about my first month at Wisdom of the Elders. I must say I am honored and humbled to be asked to join such a talented and committed team. I’m still in the period of finding my feet and getting used to the way things work. My primary responsibilities, as of now, are to focus on partnerships and the expansion of the Discovering Yidong Xinag curriculum. I have, however, been assisting in other ways such as; making contact with potential cultural leaders in the 9 tribal communities to be filmed for the documentary film series. I have also been looking at grants and potential funding sources to continue the wonderful work that takes place at Wisdom of the Elders. I look forward to learning more and becoming even more immersed in the projects.

Hayu masi

Leslie

divider2.gifWisdom Gardens Funding Sought

Wisdom of the Elders has been creating and maintaining its Wisdom Gardens since 2012. It is located in back of its Portland’s office and includes an ethnobotanical garden, rain garden, pollinator garden, berry patches, Three Sisters Garden, and 8 raised vegetable beds.

Wisdom Workforce Education Coordinator Dawn Lowe recently submitted a request to Seed Money for funding the garden. If you would like to contribute to the garden fund, you can go to:

https://donate.seedmoney.org/2895/wisdom-of-the-elders-garden

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Discovering Our Story Television Program Airs Sunday, December 2

Our guest in December on our live TV show “Discovering our Story” will be Francene J. Blythe. This program will air at 1:00pm Sunday Dec 2ndon Comcast Channel 11.

Francene J. Blythe is Navajo, Sioux and Cherokee. She grew up in the southwest, in her mother’s culture of the Navajo, and lived her adult life in Lincoln, Nebraska, which is near her father’s Dakota band of the Sioux located in and around Sisseton, South Dakota. Her Cherokee homelands are in Cherokee, North Carolina. She is the proud mother of four grown adult children. Before going to college, her earlier work was done throughout the Midwest in theater performance, unlearning Indian stereotype workshops, and touring/producing/directing Native American plays.

Upon graduating with her Masters degree in Theater, Blythe, in 2004, began her career in Washington, D.C., where initially she helped program the First Americans Festival that celebrated the opening of the Smithsonian Institute’s National Museum of the American Indian on the National Mall. At the museum, she then moved on to develop and produce cultural arts programming for the stage, working with Indigenous peoples throughout the Western Hemisphere. Shortly after the museum’s opening, she went to work at the National Geographic Society, also headquartered in Washington, D.C. where, for eight years, she strategically directed the growth and expansion of the newly formed All Roads Film Project. There she built a critically acclaimed, award-winning portfolio of film and photography grants that supported Indigenous and Native American filmmakers and photographers from around the world.

Since 2015, she has been working as the Director of Programs at the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation located in Vancouver, Washington and Portland, Oregon. She currently serves on: the Washington State Arts Commission Board, the Native American Council at the Portland Art Museum. She also volunteers with Portland’s nonprofit AGE (Advance Gender Equity) in the Arts and Portland theaters; and most recently co-programmed Portland’s first PDX (Pretty Damn Extraordinary) Native Film Night at the Hollywood Theater that celebrated Native American History month. As Director of Programs at the foundation, she implements and oversees a mentor artist program and supports several Native Nations’ community inspiration projects in Warm Springs, Burns Paiute, Narragansett, Rhode Island and a social art project at the Institute of American Indian Arts’ Museum of Contemporary Native Art. She is also part of a PBS documentary that talks about Native art and artists called, “Native Art Now!” that is currently available on the PBS website.

As a national nonprofit organization and her employer, the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation is dedicated exclusively to the revitalization, appreciation and perpetuation of American Indian, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian arts and cultures nationwide.

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Wisdom Film Productions Airing Soon

A selection of Wisdom of the Elders short films and segments from longer works will be airing on local cable access channels with assistance from our partner Open Signal.

Native Wisdom- People of Oregon’s Interior- Sacred Landscape

Channel 22: Saturday, 11-24-2018 01:30 pm

Channel 23: Wednesday, 11-28-2018 06:30 pm

Channel 11: Thursday, 11-29-2018 07:30 pm

Channel 22: Friday, 11-30-2018 12:30 pm

Channel 23: Monday, 12-03-2018 06:30 pm

Native Wisdom- People of Oregon’s Interior- Elder Wisdom

Channel 23: Friday, 11-23-2018 04:00 pm

Channel 22: Sunday, 11-25-2018 07:30 pm

Channel 23: Tuesday, 11-27-2018 06:30 pm

Channel 22: Friday, 11-30-2018 07:30 pm

Native Wisdom- People of the Oregon Coast- Turtle Island Storytellers

Channel 23: Sunday, 11-18-2018 05:30 pm

Channel 22: Friday, 11-23-2018 09:30 pm

Channel 23: Monday, 11-26-2018 08:00 pm

Channel 22: Thursday, 11-29-2018 06:30 pm

Native Wisdom- People of the Oregon Coast- STEAM

Channel 22: Sunday, 11-18-2018 04:00 pm

Channel 23: Wednesday, 11-21-2018 09:30 pm

Channel 22: Saturday, 11-24-2018 07:30 pm

Channel 23: Monday, 11-26-2018 07:30 pm

Native Wisdom- People of the Caribou Storytelling

Channel 23: Monday, 11-19-2018 07:30 pm

Channel 11: Thursday, 11-22-2018 07:30 pm

Channel 22: Sunday, 11-25-2018 05:00 pm

Channel 23: Tuesday, 11-27-2018 07:30 pm

TEK101-Wisdom from the South Wind

Channel 22: Sunday, 11-18-2018 12:00 pm

Channel 23: Thursday, 11-22-2018 08:00 pm

Channel 22: Monday, 11-26-2018 06:30 pm

Channel 23: Friday, 11-30-2018 07:30 pm

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INTERNSHIP OPPORTUNITY

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – Portland, OR

Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. is pleased to announce the recruitment of 8 Native American Adultsto participate in the Wisdom Agricultural Business Incubator!!

The Wisdom Agricultural Business Incubator (WABI) will support the startup and development of 6-8 businesses by Native American (American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander) adult interns to plan and create an agricultural/horticultural microenterprise business in rural Marion County, Oregon. WABI will provide support services, including entrepreneur business development training, strategic planning, business plan development and financial planning.

Interns will achieve training and create a business plan over the course of a 3-month PAID internship from March to May 2019. Training will be provided through weekly seminars in our Portland classroom, a plant nursery south of Portland and other field visits in Marion County. Even more, interns will be provided 1:1 matching funds from a local CDFI for business start up costs! Though the internship is only 3 months, interns will receive ongoing support for at least three years from the Wisdom Agricultural Coop as they continue growing their business!

This is a unique opportunity to not only grow Native owned businesses and jobs, but to also intentionally cultivate First Food/Native species in nursery/horticultural setting! By focusing on first foods, WABI will provide participants with opportunities to become skilled leaders in native plant production for multiple applications, with the unique capacity to additionally share the cultural relevance of the plants they propagate.

Applicants must be 18 years or older, be willing to start a native plant micro-business, and have:

  • High school diploma, GED, or higher education
  • Interest in Indigenous knowledge & land stewardship
  • Enthusiasm for engaging in the community and outdoors (in all weather conditions)
  • Ability to work with a professional demeanor and complete the entire internship
  • Ability to work independently & as part of a team

This opportunity is available until all positions are filled. For info or to apply, please visit our website at www.wisdomoftheelders.orgor email Marissa at [email protected]

divider2.gifOn The Occasion of the 25thAnniversary of Wisdom of the Elders

On the Red Road, we who walk it are cautious to preserve our histories and experiences in words on pages, in photographs, using audio recordings, and through video. The justifications for our 526-year oppression were and are being disseminated in these modes. In the infancy of our experiences with media, we thought “look at the harm this Bible, this social work manual, this BIA news reel, this ethnography, and this Western has done to us and our children”.

And now, as our understanding matures, as with any social influence, we come to know that it is how the influence is used that matters. In my prison day room, the encyclopedia explains wiwang wacipi (sundance) flesh offerings as “self-torture” and “self-mutilation”. My personal singular experience of perfect beauty and balance is now associated with barbarism, brutality and cruelty to any inexperienced reader.

In my lifetime I’ve never seen Indian people in mainstream media represented in the future of this country or of humanity. Power brokers of culture and cultural reference points who largely consider themselves to be Progressive Liberals are not planning for a future that has Indian people in it. They ask us to indulge in trickle-down social justice while our history is told through white eyes and white measures. In county jail I read “The Navajo: an ethnography” and reeled from the overt racism of a work my former white colleagues at the Department of Public Health and Forensic Medicine characterized as “pretty good research” to our next generation of gatekeepers of society’s opportunities and resources.

Indigenous are changing our measures of success to ingratiate ourselves to our oppressors as if home ownership, Western education, economic advancements and membership in professional classes will make us whole. The more we contribute and succeed in these areas, the more we take from the Earth and do not give back. I see study after study on indigenous communities illustrating the effects of genocide and adding a paragraph at the end about the “admirability of native resilience”. Resilience is defined as being capable of returning to an original shape or form as after having been compressed, or the ability to recover readily as from misfortune. Show me a Principle Investigator who says he has seen this and I will show you someone excusing themselves from the weight of history.

How do we then make ourselves whole? We decolonize modes of dissemination and indigenize social spaces. We offer counter-narratives in these modes and spaces. We accept work that is capacity-building and reject work that serves only to advance ourselves. We take the best parts of the examples leaders like Rose High Bear have set for us and join them to our own. Then, together, we pray through our actions.

I have been honored to serve Rose’s vision of indigenous cultural sustainability, multi-modal education, and race reconciliation because it is my vision too. To contribute to a body of work already in process without compromising your own moral compass is rare. I believe you are gathered here because you, too share this experience. I cannot see you or touch you now, but I know this indigenous space is filled with individuals I have loved and cared about in my personal and professional lives.

That is because Rose’s leadership has made Wisdom of the Elders a mission-driven organization uniquely capable of impactful and highly-responsive work guided by spirit and need, not beholden to the policies and attitudes that make large institutions harmful to the marginalized. Her work has used modern modes to celebrate and demonstrate the value of the traditional. She has created indigenous spaces and helped them by filling them with the living experiences and voices of Indian survivors. Having recorded over 400 indigenous perspectives, she has given us the ability to explore intersectionalities of privilege and disadvantage, testaments to extant genocidal policies, and diverse reports of the disparities individuals in our communities face. We are also brought to reckon with the beauties of Indian lives that have endured over five centuries of open hostility. The future path to achieving native resilience will be found in the voices Rose has preserved.

On a personal level, Rose has been a mentor to me. She taught me that it is ok to be a working professional who carries my spirituality in all settings. She believes our community members have the ability and the right to lay hands to the work of the community-based organization. She has demonstrated one example of how to live a life of service to the people. She has reclaimed a piece of the empowerment women in our traditional communities once held.

Her example has led to a strong female representation in Portland’s Native American organizations and is part of a broader awakening in native communities found in Movements like Idle No More, Standing Rock, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Girls and Women, and the recent election placing indigenous women in seats of national service. Our path of survival toward a future in which our children thrive is taken upon footholds secured by work like that of Rose High Bear.

On behalf of the Indian men of Snake River Correctional Institution, thank you, Rose.

Ga lo James Vann (Ga-lo Nu-tley Skildigado)

Cherokee Nation of Eastern Oklahoma

Past President, WISDOM Board of Directors

transcribed by Rebecca Whetstine, nothing added, nothing taken away.

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