Our Micro Grants Support Native Women Whose Work Focuses On Health and Healing Within Their Communities
I serve the Northeastern part of the United States. Our girls grow up to be the women who lead their families and their communities. It provides the tools to build a better sense of self.
My project, Ionkwanonhkwa, will be a medicine garden to help promote the use of our traditional plant medicines to empower our people to reclaim their health and ancestral knowledge.
Native Wellness Retreat
I am a member of the Manley Hot Springs Tribe and work on a Native wellness retreat project. Our Alaska Native advocates, activists, culture bearers, healers, midwives/birth workers, leaders, teachers and water/land protectors are exhausted. The battles continue in every area of development. The three wellness retreat recipients will receive support, encouragement, rejuvenation and transformation. They will learn techniques to use in their daily life to teach their family, friends, co-workers and tribal members. We call this contact transformation. When we work with leaders in these fields, they by their very nature spread healing and understanding.
We have identified three Alaska Native women who want to participate in a wellness retreat with a multigenerational Yupik Traditional Healing family. The wellness retreat is two and a half days and includes regenerative bodywork/traditional healing, sauna, regenerative traditional food menu, crafting with traditional plant medicine, beadwork and drumming/sound journey. We will follow up by phone or email for one year following the wellness retreat and continue to provide support to participants to learn beneficial techniques to cultivate awareness and nurture well-being and personal health. One participant is a tribal chief of a large Alaska Native federally recognized tribe. Another is a language revitalization expert working on a successful televised project. The final participant is a birth worker advocate who supports women and children through birth rite passage. The retreat will be held in the summer of 2021 when we can spend time outside together, no matter the COVID-19 situation.
TRADITIONAL HEALERS AND HELPERS
We are currently supporting the work of 23 Traditional Helpers and Healers Grantee Partners across the nation and several in Alaska. Meet Elise Garrish, Natalie Dana Lolar, and Helena Jacobs.
Indigenous Plant & Food Education Series
I am a member of the Muckleshoot and my project will increase Native people’s access to traditional plant and food education. Our traditional connection to the natural world has been compromised in the modern world, therefore this will be a form of healing for Native people. This will happen through an Indigenous Plant and Food Education Series.
Students will receive three meal kits to prepare a culturally relevant meal for their family. Each session, students will learn how to gather a traditional plant which will be included in their meal. Southern Lushootseed is integrated throughout this experience to offer another traditional way of connecting with the land. Each recipe will be included in the final publication. Recipes from other Native Action Network Legacy of Leadership Cohort members will be included, as well as photos, illustrations, relevant stories, quotes and Southern Lushootseed Language integration in classes, publication and land acknowledgement.
My project will promote wellness and healing through connection to the natural world and Indigenous teachings. We want to engage with family units so the cultural teachings can be absorbed through multiple generations. Traditional language revitalization will be woven in as well.
Natalie Dana Lolar:
My project would be to put as many drums into the homes of Wabanaki people as I can. During this time of Covid-19 and being forced to separate from family, it is important to remember the medicine the drum provides.
I am a drum maker and teacher. I want to offer free kits and a zoom class for Wabanaki members to learn to make their own drums. This can help people during this pandemic to feel connected to our people and culture.
This project serves the Wabanaki Tribes; Passamaquoddy, Penobscot, Maliseet and Micmac in Maine.
Alaska Native Birthworkers Community
Our project will focus on developing and implementing a virtual workshop for Indigenous birthing families in Alaska.
Families will receive plant medicine kits in the mail for the virtual workshop to make medicine at home, such as an all-purpose healing salve safe for parent and baby, pregnancy-safe tea blend and soothing nipple cream.
This project serves Alaska Natives and/or Indigenous families living in Alaska.