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Traditional Helpers and Healers

Supporting Native Womxn-led solutions.

The Traditional Healers and Helpers micro grants program supports Native Womxn-led projects that restore traditional lifeways to improve physical, mental, spiritual, cultural, and economic health in Indigenous communities.

In the current grant round we will have supported over 100 Native Womxn leaders to reconnect their communities to traditional knowledge, food/medicine, ceremonies, and languages.

Meet the powerful womxn bringing healing to their people.

Meet the Grantees

Group Year

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  • 2023–2024 (44)
  • 2022–2023 (35)

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*2023–2024 grantee profiles still being added!

Josie Heyano

Tribe: Tanana Tribal Council

Project: Alaska Human Trafficking Data Summit

2023–2024 Grantee

Signify Consulting’s training initiative is focused on creating and implementing holistic and decolonized practices within service organizations to better serve Alaska Native and Indigenous people working on anti-trafficking efforts. Using the wisdom of lived experience and stewarding the stories of her clients and colleagues, Josie aims to shift the narrative in anti-trafficking work in Alaska away from identifying our culture as vulnerable. In doing so, she seeks to unveil a truth; Our Indigenous heritage is not a liability to our safety but a beacon of strength and resilience. Josie believes the Indigenous survivors of human trafficking in Alaska should be at the forefront, weaving the path to prevention and healing. We understand and train on the power of relationships, community, culture and ceremony. This means that when service providers implement anti-trafficking programs for our Alaska Native people, we train and promote the necessity of traditional ways of healing. This means teaching that healing from trafficking includes tea, aunties, beading and laughter.

“It is important to support Native Women because for many of us, our whole lives we have been taught that our existence was a risk factor. That our experiences were bound to happen because of our heritage. Unlearning this narrative, standing not only in our power, but in our wisdom and preciousness is how all of our communities start to heal. There are so many Native Women and Girls who have yet to understand their right to take up space in this world, and if we do that, we liberate our healers.” - Josie H.

Amanda Singer

Tribe: Navajo Nation

Project: Healing through Hozho

2022–2023, 2023–2024 Grantee

Helping and Healing within Navajo Nation, Amanda works with a team of doulas and lactation support providers for her community for little or no compensation. She is passionate about her role in the community and often uses out-of-pocket expenses to complete her goals. She is working to replenish perinatal and lactation support tools for her dedicated team which experienced extreme hardships during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“There is a need for a more holistic approach to promote and guide our relatives through healing and ceremony. We want to ensure that adequate education and guidance is provided to the community to grow their own healthy foods so that they use homegrown foods as medicines to heal their bodies.” - Amanda S.

Antoinette Halvorsen

Tribe: Gwichyaa Zhee Gwich'in

Project: Gwichin Tribal Dancing

2023–2024 Grantee

This project includes weekly trips to villages to teach traditional songs and dance. All women and children are invited to attend every week. To learn our culture, we will heal from within, gathering and sewing our own outfits. With funding, all participants will be provided with traditional outfits.

“We come together when sewing, singing and dancing, and we heal within.” - Antoinette H.

Arnalda Cervantes

Tribe: Tohono O'odham

Project: Women’s Sweat Lodge

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Gila River Indian Community, Arnalda is working alongside Andrea Ruiz and Carri Thin Elk to help Native women and girls in their area access traditional sweat lodge ceremonies and provide nurturing meals as a part of cultural togetherness. She is caregiving and investing in the maintenance and upkeep of the ceremonial sweat lodge and plans to instruct a sewing class for women and girls to empower them to make personal sweat lodge dresses.

“The women's sweat lodge is a healing ceremony for all of the women and girls. It promotes healing from trauma, substance abuse, and other areas.” - Arnalda C.

Aspen Mirabal

Tribe: Taos Pueblo

Project: Community Healing through Indigenous Childbirth Education

2022–2023, 2023–2024 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Taos Pueblo area, Aspen is hosting a series of educational opportunities about Indigenous childbirth available to tribal members of her community. She offers locally harvested herbs to support self-care rituals during pregnancy and postpartum.

“My vision is to support the healing of birthing people through education. That we are able to heal from the internalized obstetrical violence that we have endured as native women. One way I can support this is by guiding individuals to fully ground and feel empowered when it comes to creating and having a baby.” - Aspen M.

Buffie Schmidt

Tribe: Sherwood Valley Band of Pomo Indians

Project: Northern Pomo Language Book

2023–2024 Grantee

Buffie is a Northern Pomo language high school teacher. Her students are learning about animals, numbers and colors in the Northern Pomo language and will create a language book with these subjects. This book will be available to the Native Pomo community for those who haven’t had a chance to learn their language, as there is healing in learning and revitalizing our culture. This will be a positive step toward healing from historical trauma.

“Empowering our Native Women and Girls brings healing to entire families. In many families, the woman is the center of the family. Young girls see their mothers, sisters, grandmothers and aunts in these strong roles making positive strides in revitalizing our culture.” - Buffie S.

Casandra Stouder

Tribe: Navajo & Seminole

Project: Healing the Spirit, Empowering the Future

2023–2024 Grantee

Generations For Change, a nonprofit led by Indigenous Women, will provide its "Healing the Spirit, Empowering the Future" Indigenous Yoga Project in Maricopa County. Focused on transformative healing in tribal communities, the project addresses mental, emotional, physical and spiritual well-being. The goal is to offer consistent, accessible opportunities for Indigenous women and youth to engage in yoga to promote healing, empowerment and well-being within the community. By addressing health disparities and preventative care practices, the program contributes to the resilience and overall health of Indigenous Women and youth.

“Supporting Native Women and Girls is essential to address historical injustices, preserve cultural richness and empower communities. By recognizing and addressing their unique challenges, we can promote leadership, bridge disparities and contribute to a more equitable and resilient future for Indigenous populations. Additionally, targeted support helps fight against violence and discrimination while fostering cultural sensitivity and inclusivity. Ultimately, investing in the well-being and education of Native Women and Girls is an investment in the strength and sustainability of Indigenous communities.” - Casandra S.

Chasity Salvador

Tribe: Pueblo of Acoma

Project: Breathing Oceans in the Desert - A Gathering of Pueblo Women & Medicinal Plant Relatives

2022–2023, 2023–2024 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Acoma Pueblo area, Chasity shares knowledge of harvesting and preparing traditional plants with respect and meaning. She is passionate about inspiring her community to grow their own medicinal gardens and advocates for each individual to find the healer that exists within them.

“I believe that we heal together with the revitalization of medicine within our plant elders, each other and the land in which we all so love and are held by. This knowledge is deep within the crevasses of our inner knowingness, that of which is our families' stories, guidance and love that comes from living in this land for hundreds of years. Embrace these plant relatives that grow alongside us.” - Chasity S.

Cheryl Horn

Tribe: Fort Belknap Assiniboine

Project: Fort Belknap MMIP Healing Gathering

2023–2024 Grantee

This project will bring self awareness and self defense to local MMIP families. It will provide healing projects to our families dealing with trauma, including art, beading, poetry, story writing and activities focused on mental health. It gives a safe space for families to discuss their trauma to those who have been in the same situation, with no judgment or timeline - only the opportunity to sit and listen if they don't want to share or speak.

“Our women and girls are important and valued, they need to know this.” - Cheryl H.

Christina Castro

Tribe: Taos Pueblo & Jemez Pueblo

Project: Healing with Clay Retreat

2023–2024 Grantee

The Healing with Clay Retreat offers a group of Pueblo/Indigenous femmes/thems the opportunity to self-care, commune and create using one of our traditional art forms. Facilitated by Saya Evelyn Naranjo (San Ildefonso Pueblo), participants will meet over a weekend to share stories of healing while creating a vessel or figure that reflects each individual's commitment to positive, personal transformation. Participants will also have access to healing hot springs for rest and rejuvenation. Upon completion, each clay creation will be fired traditionally and returned to participants. This project promotes healing By offering us a place to commune, rest, rejuvenate, create and care for one another, while exploring our traditional art forms as means of cultural connection and grounding.

“It’s important to support Native women because we carry the responsibility of upholding our communities and don't often get credit for all we do. We deserve time to rest, self-care and reflect on our own personal development and healing.” - Christina C.

Dakota Eagle

Tribe: Three Affiliated Tribes

Project: Grandma's Garden

2023–2024 Grantee

Grandma’s Garden will bring women and girls together to grow their own food and build community in the process. We’ll gather seeds, plant, harvest and process our own foods. We will also share knowledge that was passed down through generations from our grandmothers and their grandmothers. My project intertwines physical and social emotional healing through gardening and processing foods.

“It is important to support Native Women and Girls because we are the heart and strength within our communities.” - Dakota E.

Dawn Manuelito

Tribe: Navajo Nation

Project: Understanding Fuel for the Body from the Inside Out

2022–2023, 2023–2024 Grantee

Helping and Healing within the Navajo Nation, Dawn is hosting a series of courses focused on historical food trauma, understanding gut health/digestive system and how to apply this knowledge to daily practices to achieve a healthy lifestyle.

“This will help heal our communities by giving the knowledge and hands-on experience in healthy meal preparations along with literature and materials to help with a successful outcome of healthier lifestyles. This can help develop skills to share at home with families and also help reduce the high rates of health issues in our Native and Indigenous communities. Starting at the grassroots, teaching this knowledge empowers our people to reclaim their wellness.” - Dawn M.

Deanne Morris

Tribe: Blackfeet

Project: Blackfeet Beaver Medicine Bundle Holder

2023–2024 Grantee

Deanne is a Beaver Bundle holder who teaches traditional language, songs and dance associated with the bundle. This is a woman's healing bundle, as they care for the bundle and their people. Some of the ways this project helps its community is by directly working with treatment centers and domestic abuse centers, helping people use basic traditional skills. The project also provides a ceremony open to anyone twice a year in the spring and fall. Within the project, plants, prayer and song are also used to help in the healing process - Using different smudges, ceremonies and sweats to help in healing.

“Our women are our strength - they give us life nurturing and love. It is our responsibility to encourage and teach our girls respect for themselves and others. In supporting our women, we support our community.” - Deanne M.

Dr. Carma Corcoran

Tribe: Chipewa Cree

Project: Gentle Action Theory & Traditional Ways Healing Workshop

2023–2024 Grantee

The project will bring women together who have experienced incarceration. Circumstances of foster care, childhood abuse, abuse as adults including sexual violence and domestic violence, will be discussed. Using traditional ways of healing will bring them into a healing place. The project will make a difference by focusing on traditional ways using gentle action theory, providing a pathway to healing. The women will have a renewed sense of who they are as Native Women and feel connected to their culture and people. By finding acceptance, they increase their sense of belonging and begin to create a new life for themselves. Their healing helps the women, their families, their community and reduces the odds of reoffending.

“Native Women and Girls are the heartbeat of our people. They need cultural identity to find healing, connection to community and culture. In doing so they can begin to create a healthy life.” - Dr. Corcoran

Dusty Nelson

Tribe: Oglala Sioux Tribe

Project: Lakota Children's House

2022–2023, 2023–2024 Grantee

Helping and Healing on Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, Dusty is the founder of Lakota Children’s House which is a home-based Montessori that provides access to quality childcare and early childhood education through Lakota Language, culture immersion and nature based learning. She uses her own life experiences to empower youth who may have difficulty navigating life’s challenges, and is passionate about creating talking circles for young women in her community to provide a safe space to share, connect and receive support.

“I use my life experience, personal resources and time to learn in context what it truly means to be a good relative and restore intergenerational transmission of traditional knowledge within my tiospaye and further.” - Dusty N.

Elise Bill-Gerrish

Tribe: Muckleshoot

Project: Uplifting Language Revitalization Community Posters

2023–2024 Grantee

Uplifting posters will be made for the Muckleshoot Indian community to promote Southern Lushootseed Language revitalization and traditional values. Posters will display positive messages in Southern Lushootseed (SL) with English translations, to strengthen a sense of community, accessibility to SL, advocate for healing and increase overall positivity wherever the posters are utilized. All ages of tribal and community members will benefit from the addition of these posters.

“This project promotes healing by increasing accessibility to our tribal language. It invites the audience to speak our language, increase self-esteem and cultural belonging. It is incredibly important to support Native Women and Girls because they deserve good things in their lives. Statistically we encounter many forms of violence and trauma, so we need to counteract that with support from fellow Native women who can help uplift each other.” - Elise B.G.

Gervana Begaye

Tribe: Navajo Nation

Project: Planting & Harvesting Traditional Foods

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Navajo Nation Shiprock community, Gervana is determined to recover from the 2015 Gold King Mine waste spill which released millions of gallons of toxic waste into waterways in Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and the Navajo Nation. She sees the youth in her community reclaiming local food sovereignty and is ready to start planting seeds for future generations.

“My vision is to re-establish our traditional food systems by planting native white/blue corn, squash and watermelons, and using the youth to maintain the fields with harvesting and sharing healthy goods.” - Gervana B.

Haley Laughter

Tribe: Navajo

Project: Hozho Total Wellness - Indigenous Yoga Empowerment

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing near the Lone Peak Wilderness in Utah, Haley is weaving breath work and movement from yoga practice with traditional knowledge to create a conscious state of being. She uses yoga as a path to overall wellness and an introduction to a lifestyle that is consistent with balance and harmony.

“Yoga has been proven to decrease stress and high blood pressure, help with depression and anxiety, and improve overall lifestyle. Yoga gives you purpose and helps you identify the inner strength and fortitude to want more for yourself, affecting the generations to come. There are so many benefits to yoga and I want to share them with our Native female population to shift the consciousness to self-love and care. Change begins from within and expands throughout communities.” - Haley L.

Jacqueline Alcantar

Tribe: Oglala Sioux Tribe

Project: Sewing for Healing

2023–2024 Grantee

This sewing project was created to aid in the healing process. Sewing has a calming effect and is a great way to build healthy relationships amongst relatives and friends. Jacqueline believes it is a powerful avenue for healing. Sewing, along with other arts and crafts can promote healing, build resilience and reclaim cultural identity within our communities. The art of sewing is not only therapeutic, but also one of many important healing elements and traditional activities that helps to strengthen the connection to our rich culture, as well as fosters a sense of pride. This process of reconnection can serve as a vehicle for healing historical trauma and promoting resilience within our communities. Because Native Americans have and still face many challenges today, as well as historical trauma, it is essential to be intentional to create healing and safe spaces within our families and communities. Sewing plays a significant role in the expression of identity, values and spirituality, which in turn create wellness and healing.

“It is important to support our Native Women and Girls because of this great movement that is happening now in our Native American communities where we are standing strong and making positive changes for our families, communities and future. It is important to empower each other and support each other as we continue to grow.” - Jacqueline A.

Janelle Hummingbird

Tribe: Pueblo of Acoma

Project: Healing Horses Program

2023–2024 Grantee

Coming soon...

Jennifer Andrulli

Tribe: Manley Hot Springs Tribe

Project: Connecting to Our Wisdom Keepers

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Kenai peninsula borough, Jennifer is preserving plant medicine, tribal doctoring, ethnoherbalism and ethnomedicine by recording ecological knowledge from local elders/wisdom keepers. The recordings will be archived at the University of Alaska Fairbanks (Project Jukebox.) Her efforts are part of climate change resiliency, adaptation and mitigation as Alaska faces extreme and rapid changes to its natural environment.

“My vision is for Native Communities to have access to traditional healing, tribal doctors and medicine people.” - Jennifer A.

Jessica Stago

Tribe: Dine-Navajo

Project: Elect Nihi'zaahni

2022–2023, 2023–2024 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Southwest, Jessica is organizing her community members to elect more Dine (Navajo) women into leadership positions. She is helping break barriers that prevent Native women from being elected officials in public office. Her efforts include adapting the patriarchal and colonial norms of modern government systems to include cultural and traditional thinking. She knows matriarchs provide the skills and ability to provide government services effectively and efficiently that can help heal our families.

“I want to restore the power of traditional matrilineal societies by increasing the number of Dine women who serve our communities in an official capacity.” - Jessica S.

Joann Horn

Tribe: Yupik

Project: Your Choice to Heal

2023–2024 Grantee

This project focuses on passing the teachings from our elders on to the younger generations. The project will have groups to let participants learn and share what they learn, because what we learn from our elders is so important, as it is our way of life and a healthy life to pass on. The way we live, the way we talk and the way we teach is part of teaching. When we hear stories from our elders, it is like healing. When we cry, it is like healing. When we express our feelings, we heal. Even though it's painful, we will feel like we heal.

“It is so important to share how we should live, talk and teach our way of life, because if we don't teach our families they will be lost. We have to support Native Women when they ask for help.” - Joann H.

Kaylene “Iñuraaq” Evans

Tribe: Nome Eskimo Community

Project: Indigenous Doula & Birthworking Healing Journal

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing around Noem, Alaska, Iñuraaq provides ongoing emotional and spiritual support to expecting families in her community. She is a certified full-spectrum Indigenous doula that serves Native families with pre-natal, pregnancy and postpartum care.

“...Feeling worthy of a beautiful life is the first step in advocating and working towards one. It is hard work to process and release trauma, yet we are completely deserving and capable of that hard work. We are deserving of the joy, freedom and pleasure that come out of creating a life aligned with our values and traditions as Indigenous Peoples. We must feel that sense of worthiness to seek out the resources and embody the practices that bring us closer to our truest, healthiest selves. As we are seeking to heal ourselves, we bravely give permission and inspiration to others to seek that healing too.” - Iñuraaq E.

Keesha Nanalook

Tribe: Manokotak Village Council

Project: Traditional Healing Through Culture: Prevention & Community

2023–2024 Grantee

This project will provide prevention events for local community members to directly help with traditional healing through making Native garments, fur hats, gloves and more to help those who are in need of healing.

“It is important to support Native Women and Girls because who else will? Who else will fight for our women better than Native Women?” - Keesha N.

Kena Chavez Hinojos

Tribe: Cochiti Pueblo

Project: Turn the Nights Teal

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Albuquerque area, Kena is focused on bringing awareness about sexual violence in Native communities. She is driven by her desire to protect the youth from the deeply rooted effects of historical trauma. “Turn the Nights Teal” is an event she created with her daughter to raise awareness about sexual violence.

“...As we acknowledge our trauma, we are releasing our ancestors and those victims/survivors silenced. Our youth are our future leaders. We need to listen, support and guide them.” - Kena C. H.

Kimberly Smith

Tribe: Diné

Project: Love on the Land

2022–2023, 2023–2024 Grantee

Helping and Healing in Diné Nation and surrounding communities, “Love on the Land” project is about developing, organizing and hosting sustainable community housing development workshops. For the past two years, NKB has completed the first three phases of the Love on the Land pilot structure, including landfill cleanup, soil bioremediation, renewable energy sourcing, watershed planning and hosting strawbale building workshops all alongside our community and allies. The next two years will bring completion of the pilot.

“Healing the land and healing our bodies. I am a firm believer that how we treat the land is how we treat ourselves. When we heal the land, we heal ourselves. We yearn for that healing and continue to create innovative ways to heal for the ones before us and future generations.” - Kimberly S.

LaShon Cate

Tribe: San Felipe Pueblo

Project: Value Added Project

2023–2024 Grantee

Our project would allow access to agricultural knowledge and transform our harvest into valued added products. Allowing us women to provide nutritious food for our families but also earn an income. Our project promotes healing in several ways and we are able to reconnect to Mother Nature. Studies show being outdoors promotes healing. This project will also promote healing by treating traumas pertaining to money. By learning the value and organization of money, it can foster a new relationship with currency.

“It’s important to support native women and children because it is our compassion that helps the world grow. Native women are the future.” - LaShon C.

Lauren Small Rodriguez

Tribe: Northern Cheyenne

Project: Northern Cheyenne Women & Girls Cultural Wellness Workshop

2023–2024 Grantee

The project’s purpose is to facilitate a workshop on cultural revitalization for the health and wellness of Native communities, specifically in the Northern Cheyenne homelands. During this workshop, a group of Northern Cheyenne Women and Girls will be taught and guided in creating medicinal salves. These salves will be made from harvested medicinal plants, wild rose flower petals and roots that were cultivated on the Northern Cheyenne Reservation this past summer. This project is dedicated to making a meaningful impact on the healing of Native communities by prioritizing cultural revitalization as a pivotal element in enhancing overall wellness. Through active participation in traditional practices like crafting medicinal salves and nurturing a connection to heritage, we promote the mental, spiritual and physical well-being of our participants. Our community workshops provide a culturally grounded approach that positively influences wellness practices, fostering a strong sense of identity and belonging. Moreover, our workshops catalyze the strengthening of bonds within the Northern Cheyenne community of women and girls, playing an integral role in our healing and resilience journey.

“By supporting Native Women and Girls, we pave the way for future growth, enabling a broader impact on Native Women and Girls in the Northern Cheyenne community and beyond. This grant is pivotal for sustaining and expanding our cultural wellness initiatives, ensuring the preservation of traditions for generations to come. Additionally, emphasizing the importance of traditional practices for women and girls in harvesting roles within our tribal community is crucial for passing down Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK).” - Lauren S.R.

Lea Wetzel

Tribe: Blackfeet

Project: Healing Together

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in Montana, Lea shares knowledge as a White Bison 12-step Medicine Wheel Facilitator, Warrior Down Recovery Reentry Coach, NAFFA’s Fatherhood is Sacred; Motherhood is Sacred Facilitator, Indigenous Vision’s Cultural Humility Instructor and a certified behavioral health peer support specialist.

“There is power in education and lived experience. Our ways are prevention. Being able to offer a platform to connect and engage these relatives can give them the extra support they need and deserve to be productive. Transferring traditional knowledge allows healing and identity to those who may be disconnected from their ways or may have felt and endured disconnect due to their choices. Offering space for support and teaching can allow growth and healing.” - Lea W.

Lestina Saul-Merdassi

Tribe: Sisseton Wahpeton Oyate

Project: MMIR Grassroots Formation Omaha Chapter

2023–2024 Grantee

The purpose of this project is to put together a grassroots committee that will assist in supporting families of the missing or murdered, provide a network system, offer social support or "tree" of support. Prevention folders featuring a picture, fingerprints, identifying physical components and what to do when reporting someone missing. We’ll utilize materials that have been designed across Indian Country to serve as a guide for building a folder to reference to friends or family members of people who are missing. A collaboration with MMIR survivors and families will also occur to learn how to best support each other. This project will give family members support throughout their process of healing or searching for missing relatives. Participation in a round dance and MMIR event on May 5 will also help disseminate important information into the Omaha Urban community.

“It is important to believe survivors and let them know that there is support.” - Lestina S.M.

Lisa Gali

Tribe: Pit River Nation - Ajumawi Band

Project: Native Nutrition Now

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in central California, Lisa is passionate about organic, Indigenous and local-grown foods as medicine. She is working to gather Indigenous women to engage with local Indigenous food systems in a hands-on approach taught by Native women who hold the traditional cultural knowledge.

“My vision is to see our people return to cultural ways and traditions through Indigenous food and plant medicines. We see so much diabetes and health issues due to lack of healthy food access and nutritional training.” - Lisa G.

Lorna Martinez

Tribe: Taos Pueblo

Project: Aspen Song Kids

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Taos Pueblo area, Lorna is teaching children how to identify traditional plants used for healing and how to harvest herbs respectfully. The children who are practicing and preserving these Pueblo traditions are referred to as Aspen Song Kids.

“As a mother of nine children, I want to teach the youth traditional ways of healing with sage and cedar. Our children now are going to be the future leaders and as parents we need to make sure the youth are on the right path to help the community heal.” - Lorna M.

Lorna Martinez

Tribe: Taos Pueblo

Project: Aspen Song Kids

2023–2024 Grantee

Coming soon...

Malory Simpson

Tribe: Tulalip Tribes of Washington

Project: Together We’re Better

2022–2023, 2023–2024 Grantee

Helping and Healing around the Tulalip Indian Reservation, Malory is creating a Community Culture Night. She provides a safe space for members of her community to share a cultural meal and practice traditional arts such as weaving, traditional singing, drumming, traditional dancing and a coastal jam.

“My vision is bringing the community together like we used to do in the old days. Providing a space for members to be together and share a meal, meet their relatives, do crafts and learn about canning, harvesting, processing medicines, etc. By gathering together, we learn what community is, we learn who our community is, and that in itself is healing as you learn what a support system is.” - Malory S.

Marian Naranjo

Tribe: Santa Clara Pueblo

Project: Protect Our Pueblos from Nuclear Colonialism

2022–2023, 2023–2024 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Santa Fe area, Marian advocates on behalf of Mother Earth and her people. She provides information to help educate communities about contaminated sites and illnesses caused by exposure to toxic chemicals or radioactive materials. She also networks with stakeholders to emphasize the need for accountability for the cleanup of contaminated sites, renewable energy and climate change.

“My vision is to honor our Pueblo Existence and embrace the Pueblo teachings of love, respect and care. We are working together to improve the lifeways of our people in order to provide an enhanced and sustainable environment for generations to come.” - Marian N.

Marissa Naranjo

Tribe: Santa Clara Pueblo

Project: Traditional Food Rematriation

2023–2024 Grantee

We are restoring and uplifting the legacy roles and societies of our Tewa and Pueblo Kwi (women) to advance food sovereignty through remembering, learning and teaching traditional methods of seed saving, planting, harvesting and food preparation. We can share this with our families, community and in ceremonial gatherings. Healing comes from being surrounded and celebrated by an intergenerational community of Tewa women who share knowledge, guidance and encouragement to embrace our collective inheritance and roles of cultivating, preparing and sharing food, prayer and power.

“The power of Women and Girls in our communities has been diminished by the systems and structures of colonization. We all have sacred responsibilities to contribute to our communities-the sacred role of Women and Girls must be uplifted and restored.” - Marissa N.

Marlene Marion

Tribe: Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone

Project: Sweat Bath Ceremony

2023–2024 Grantee

The Sweat Bath Ceremony is a spiritual healing for women and girls to experience. It helps them open up to the natural elements that are used in the ceremony, such as the grandfather lava rocks and doza medicine. Water, the most precious compound on Mother Earth, is also used in this ceremony. The elements in the sweat bath help in healing participants emotionally, physically, mentally and spiritually. The healing takes place from within and is extracted through the pores of the skin.

“Native Women and Girls are seen as reflections of Mother Earth and should be treated kindly by all people. They are also the givers of life. As women, we must take care of one another.” - Marlene M.

Meek Watchman

Tribe: Diné

Project: Dine Aerial Arts

2023–2024 Grantee

This project will host free aerial dance classes and introduce more Native Women to social circus concepts through a curriculum created based on K'e that promotes a safe space, allowing individuals to learn movement and self-expression. After nearly a decade of aerial dance study, Meek has witnessed the direct impact of learning body sovereignty through social circus and aerial dance in Native youth. Meek teaches lifelong values that naturally transpire in real time—introducing Native Women and youth to circus concepts that help them strengthen their minds, bodies and spirits.

“It is vital to support our Native Women and Girls because when our women are supported, our communities thrive.” - Meek W.

Michelle Schenandoah

Tribe: Oneida Nation

Project: Indigenous Auntie & Niece Empowerment Project

2022–2023, 2023–2024 Grantee

Helping and Healing in central New York State, Michelle is the founder of Rematriation and Rematriation Magazine. She has decades of experience in building direct support and mentorship opportunities at a grassroots level to provide effective, long-lasting, positive changes that will uplift Indigenous women and girls to their rightful place of honor, value and respect.

“By uplifting Indigenous women, we ultimately uplift the men, boys, humans and all living beings in our communities.” - Michelle S.

Misti Toineeta

Tribe: Crow

Project: Blessed Beginnings Drop-In Center

2023–2024 Grantee

The project provides a safe place to share and encourage each other on the road to recovery. Parenting classes, called NAFFA Native American Fatherhood and Family’s Association, are also available. The Center is based around Peer Support and Substance Use Disorder. Warm meals and incentives are provided to those who engage in Recovery Workbooks and are striving to exceed in life. The Center helps find resources as needed and provide clothing to those in need, based on donations. The Center overall aims to help people live healthy lives.

“It is important to support Native Women and Girls so we can be healthy mothers to our children and wives.” - Misti T.

Monica "Meek" Watchman

Tribe: Dine'-Navajo

Project: Indigenous Movement

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in Arizona and New Mexico, Monica had the unique opportunity to work at ART123 in Gallup, New Mexico as the Creative-in-Residence for Gallup Arts. Through the residency, she developed a youth-focused Indigenous Social Circus curriculum that brings together aerial dance, creative writing and the principles of K'e (family) to help pre-teens and teens build self-esteem, develop trust and establish a sense of belonging through learning body sovereignty.

“I believe this can be accomplished through teaching body sovereignty to our Native youth. To achieve this fully, we must first provide the tools for spiritual, physical and emotional well-being rooted in our Native philosophies. By providing these tools and a safe outlet for dance and self-expression, we allow our Native youth to embrace their own uniqueness, identity and healing through our bodies. When we heal our bodies we welcome our inherent strengths, allowing future generations to prosper and thrive.” - Monica W.

Morning Star Gali

Tribe: Pit River Tribe

Project: Ihacammu uyuma - We choose health/we choose to heal

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Sacramento area, Morning Star is a passionate advocate for MMIP and provides emotional support to her community to cope and heal from trauma. She helps coordinate trauma-informed, survivor-centered talking circles that provide traditional foods and a safe space for families in need of healing.

“My vision is to end mass criminalization and state violence, and heal the community in order to achieve Indigenous justice.” - Morning Star G.

Natosha Gobin

Tribe: The Tulalip Tribes

Project: Sober is Sacred “Empowering Youth in Self-Identity”

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing around the Tulalip Indian Reservation, Natosha is investing in local fishermen, harvesters and hunters to gather traditional materials. These materials will be available to high school students in a classroom setting, promoting interactive learning and walking the Red Road (sober living).

“My vision is empowering our youth to gain the tools for healing through self-identity. Through teaching our language, history, genealogy, traditional teachings and ways of life, we will give our youth the tools to heal generational trauma. By providing access to cultural materials and promotional items that empower identity, our youth will feel sacred in their walk at a younger age than some of us were able to.” - Natosha G.

Nellie Davis

Tribe: Walker River Paiute Tribe

Project: Community Care Clinics

2023–2024 Grantee

Every third Friday of the month, we offer traditional wellness services at no cost or pay what you can. Our vision is to teach the community about herbalism in a good way, what plants we have available to us regionally for medicine - many that can be found in our garden, and offer accessible, holistic, earth-connected care for our body, mind, heart and spirit. We believe that having culturally relevant teachings and care in an urban environment resonates more for Native communities. We provide plants to work with in Smudge, teas and medicine making to reclaim body sovereignty and for well-being, to be continued at home and with families.

"Native Women are the heart, soul and backbone of our people. When we are empowered to heal, we can turn the wounds we carry into the wisdom of our Ancestors. By leading in this example, our girls can bring hope for our future to be strong and worthy of care.” - Nellie D.

Nichole DeRoin-Davidson

Tribe: Otoe-Missouria

Project: Powwow Wellness

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Albuquerque area, Nichole uses a spirited wellness curriculum that promotes physical movement centered around indigenous powwow culture, ancestral knowledge of foods and traditional medicines. She is a talented member of the powwow community and uses her gifts to empower her people.

“My vision for healing is teaching relatives to reconnect with the kinds of teachings and movement that have always been a part of who we are. Helping our bodies and minds remember ancestral memory.” - Nichole D.D.

Nicolle Gonzales

Tribe: Navajo

Project: Heart of Her Nation

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Albuquerque area, Nicolle is uplifting the next generation of Native women leaders by offering support, knowledge, coaching and wisdom of becoming. She knows that Indigenous women are at the frontlines of creating systems of change and healing in their communities. She emphasizes the importance of having self-aware leaders working towards collective healing.

“My vision is supporting up-and-coming female leaders through coaching, counseling and mentoring to support their innovation and healing, as those women are the heart of their nations.” - Nicolle G.

Otaka Redhawk

Tribe: Yuki/Wylacki/Little Lake of the Round Valley Indian Tribes

Project: Indigenous Women’s Healing Retreats

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing on the west coast, Otaka is working with Xa Kako Dile, an Indigenous women-led nonprofit organization on ancestral Pomo land in Northern California. Her efforts include coordinating Intergenerational training by and for Pomo women to revive traditional ecological knowledge, create Native Women Peer Trainers and revitalize the roots of Pomo women’s customary stewardship and cultural healing.

“We see women in our native community struggling with intergenerational trauma cycles that manifest into mental, physical and spiritual illnesses. These traumas stem from colonial systems that have taken our traditional food, medicine and healing practices. To heal the fabric of the land or world we must start with healing the women because WE bring in life. The farm Xa Kako Dile is a healing place for growing herbal medicines, walking trails and across the beach of the ocean, which is traditionally where we would go to heal and it is what connects us all.” - Otaka R.

Otaka Redhawk

Tribe: Yuki/Wylacki/Little Lake of the Round Valley Indian Tribes

Project: Indigenous Women’s Healing Retreats

2023–2024 Grantee

Coming soon…

Rebecca Cesspooch

Tribe: Ute White River Band, Uintah & Ouray

Project: Resilience - It Comes in Phases

2023–2024 Grantee

Coming soon…

Rebecca Kirk

Tribe: Klamath

Project: Creating to the Beat of the Drum - Indigenous Arts are Healing

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing along the Columbia River in Oregon, Rebecca is a singer, songwriter, designer and founder of Resting Warrior Face apparel and accessories. She is organizing a social healing circle that incorporates the sounds of traditional music into creating original pieces of wearable art.

“I wholeheartedly believe that meaningful, positive and culturally relevant mentorship to our young people is highly impactful and necessary towards the efforts of healing in our Indigenous communities. Singing, composing traditional drum songs, bead working and designing original jewelry creations have been essential in my own healing journey, and that’s exactly how I intend to be a part of creating a ripple effect that will bring healing to the younger Indigenous women in my urban Native community setting.”- Rebecca K.

Sarah Altiman

Tribe: Red Cliff Band Chippewa

Project: Asema Promise

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Milwaukee area, Sarah has facilitated traditional ceremonies for more than 15 years. She has a passion to connect Native women of all ages by re-establishing elder women at the core of community healing ceremonies. She works to fill the need for childcare to enable mothers to reclaim traditional healing practices.

“...A return to traditional healing practices is imperative to mental, spiritual and physical health of our communities. One group that has the most difficult time accessing that form of healing and learning are urban Indigenous women.” - Sarah A.

Sateiokwen Bucktooth

Tribe: Akwesasne Mohawk

Project: Planting Seeds of Knowledge

2023–2024 Grantee

This project works to increase education with young girls and women on the benefits of our medicinal plants and how to use them. It helps build connections between plants and people, grounding participants and creating a healing environment.

“Young Native women and girls are the leaders of our families and our communities. It is important for them to be equipped with traditional teachings in order to have a great positive impact on our people.” - Sateiokwen B.

Shawna Shandiin Sunrise

Tribe: Dine-Navajo

Project: Drink Our Ancestor's Wealth to Heal Our Hearts

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in New Mexico, Shawana’s work focuses on sharing the importance of Ch’ił Dééh/Diné Tea to heal our communities. During the pandemic many people reached out to her for traditional tea to help them recover from the illness’s effects. Her project will educate youth about traditional Dine tea, its healing properties, how to properly harvest it and how to process each bundle they collect for their own families. She is working with a group of young women to collect this vital medicine.

“We are reconnecting across the world to all our Indigenous sisters and brothers that are survivors of colonialism and its damage on our communities. It is a time of healing, to help each other move forward with a healthy mind, body and spirit that our ancestors have prayed for us to be. My role is teaching/sharing my way of healing through the collection of medicinal herbs that I learned about at home through generations of Spiderwoman. I show the ways our ancestors cultivated and processed these medicines so all of us can become healthy for our community’s hearts to heal for our future!” - Shawna S.

Shayna Gurtler Rowe

Tribe: Curyung Tribal Council

Project: Naa’aa Deyen

2023–2024 Grantee

This project will create a safe, sacred space for Tribal Women and Girls to gather in a circle to restore balance. We’ll gather bi-weekly on the new and full moon for traditional practices and to restore resting customs. Gathering in a sacred way will allow for personal, collective healing, and the results will ripple out into the community. This project promotes healing by restoring resting customs and will bring women and girls together in a sacred way.

“It is important to support Native Women and to work at restoring Traditional Matriarchal customs.” - Shayna G.R.

Sheila Goldtooth

Tribe: Diné

Project: ABQ Women's Healing Lodge

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing within the Navajo Nation, Sheila works to provide healing services to women that are dealing with many deep issues in all aspects of their lives. She helps Native women with cleansing and purification of mind, body and spirit, healing, protection, blessings and restoring positive balanced overall well-being.

“My vision is to empower urban Native women to heal and know themselves through traditional healing practices. I provide those without access to ceremonial support with a safe, inclusive female space to build confidence in self, their identities and capacity for resilience.” - Sheila G.

Shelly Valdez

Tribe: Pueblo of Laguna

Project: YAKANAL - Mother Moon project

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in Pueblo Indigenous communities and across the American Southwest, California, Mesoamerica and South America. Shelly’s goal is to create a shift in the foods we access and eat, towards reigniting local traditional farming practices that will begin impacting levels of health disparities, due to the consumption of processed foods and sedentary lifestyles.

“Our project vision is to reignite the relationship of the Pueblo females and our Mother Moon, through engaging in relationships with local medicinal plants. It’s our hope that the Pueblo females involved will gain a deeper understanding of the medicine plants, utilize them within their cooking activities and use them for holistic healing.” - Shelly V.

Shereena Baker

Tribe: Southern Ute & Karuk

Project: De-stressing Through the Trenches of Academia (2023) & Healing Threads (2024)

2022–2023, 2023–2024 Grantee

Healing Threads focuses on teaching Native women how to make ribbon skirts while discussing how to manage their mental health. Helping and Healing in central New Mexico, Shereena facilitates beading classes at University of Kansas, University of New Mexico and Southwest Indian Polytechnic Institute. She strives to create safe and sober spaces for Native Americans pursuing post-secondary education.

“The women that come to my ribbon skirt-making classes are the backbone of our communities. Whether they are working on their PhD or showing up on the frontlines of a protest, these women can come to relax by making a ribbon skirt and talk their stresses away.” - Sherena B. (2022) “These students often leave their families and homelands that they have ties to. Going from a reservation to an urban city can feel lonely at times. Developing cultural-focused and non-academic workshops or gatherings helps fill the void they’ve been missing being away from home. Some may not have homes or families they can learn from.” - Shereena B.

Sierra Buffalohead

Tribe: Ponca Tribe & Omaha Tribe

Project: Indigenous Voices Across Generations

2023–2024 Grantee

This project consists of interviewing and video recording our elders and their families to hear their stories. The project will expand beyond the elders to share the generational stories and how boarding schools and intergenerational trauma impacted them, as well as demonstrate their resilience and healing journeys. Sharing these stories helps acknowledge the historical trauma inflicted upon Native American communities through the boarding school system. Recognizing and acknowledging past injustices is a crucial step in the healing process.

“Telling the stories of Native American women and girls through film is a powerful means of promoting representation, empowerment, cultural preservation and social awareness. It contributes to a more inclusive and accurate portrayal of Native communities while offering opportunities for cultural exchange, education, and inspiration.” - Sierra B.

Skybird Woman Black Owl

Tribe: Sicangu Lakota/Rosebud Sioux

Project: Hesapa Birth Circle Womb Sovereignty Gathering

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing around the Sicangu “Rosebud” reservation area, Skybird Woman is using Traditional Birth work for Womb Sovereignty. She helps women access medicinal salves, teas, steams and traditional herbs with her practices focused on women's reproductive journeys. She places emphasis on food as medicine and also assembles reproductive womb care kits for Native women.

“My vision is healing our relationship with our bodies and the knowledge that is carried in them; honoring our connection with the land through our relationship with her and all she offers us; and being in relation with each other to cultivate experiences to remember our medicine.” - Skybird Woman B.O.

Susan Albright

Tribe: Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe

Project: Nummetu Tumasua Kwatu - Our Garden

2023–2024 Grantee

Our Native peoples deal with diabetes, as we don't eat as many fresh vegetables or fruits. This project is a way to help the next generations to be more aware of this disease by showing our people how to get back to a healthier way of eating and lifestyle. Specifically, by introducing our young children to seeds, herbs and fresh ingredients, we can teach them how they can use these for healthier meals to positively impact the health of our people for generations to come.

“I want our garden to be a place for people to walk and think, a safe place. Sometimes you just need a place to sit and reflect. Our Native women are the backbone of our families and are child bearing. Our women are strong and endure many obstacles in their lives.” - Susan A.

Thresa Stevens

Tribe: Menominee

Project: Healing Thru Tradition

2022–2023, 2023–2024 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Wisconsin area, Thresa is a mentor for young women in her community and emphasizes the importance of sober living. Through her project, “Daughters of Tradition,” she works on traditional arts with Native girls ages 5-18. She gives guidance, art supplies and food to participants.

“I teach beading and other traditional crafting as a form of healing. So many teachings that go along with the crafting of how to feel and be sober. What you create has a piece of you in it and you pass that on.” - Thresa S.

Tonya Louis

Tribe: Pueblo of Acoma

Project: Healing Horses Program

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing in the Acoma Pueblo area, Tonya aims to cultivate a space for relatives to heal alongside our horse relatives. She is using the healing support of horses in the therapeutic process for Native women and girls to be supported in a culturally therapeutic environment and share pandemic-related experiences and trauma.

“Women connect us to all that is sacred, we are grounded in Mother Earth. Elevating our Indigenous women and girls in spaces of reverence, honor and beauty is vital to our overall well-being. When healthy and supportive spaces are cultivated for us, we continue to thrive, persevere and preserve the sacred life-giving love which we carry within all of us.” - Tonya L.

Torah Zamora

Tribe: Ketchikan Indian Community

Project: Adaawx Sessions

2023–2024 Grantee

Adaawx Sessions is a project to give Tsimshian stories and history, as well as neighboring nations, more oxygen - events and platforms to provide the story’s space to be presently known and not just on the shelf. When we know our history, we know our presence; who we are and what we are about, which provides us with healing to know who we will be in the future.

“If you've ever met any Indigenous Woman, you know they are a force of nature, nurturing and fierce. A way of being that has faced resistance instead of support, which she deserves.” - Torah Z.

Trisha Etringer

Tribe: Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska

Project: Protect the Sacred

2022–2023 Grantee

Helping and Healing around the Sioux City area, Trisha uplifts Native women and girls as they build healthy self-esteem and learn to protect themselves. She recognizes the hardships associated with existing in dangerous and often hostile urban environments. She serves the “Protect the Sacred” workshop which focuses on healing justice, building power in communities, self-defense courses and human trafficking prevention.

“It is important to support Native women and girls because we are often left behind. We easily fall through the cracks and are susceptible to all forms of violence. It is important because traditionally, they were the decision-makers, the ones who will make nations strong. We need to uplift them.” - Trisha E.

Veronica Yepez

Tribe: Te-Moak Tribe of Western Shoshone

Project: YAHAW, Yoga & Healing Arts Wellness

2023–2024 Grantee

Veronica leads the YAHAW wellness project primarily based in Oregon and Nevada, but is committed to bringing healing to Indigenous communities throughout Turtle Island. Veronica offers yoga, meditation, breathwork, women’s circles and wellness knowledge to Indigenous communities from an Indigenous perspective. This project promotes healing by Indigenizing Wellness.

“Creating safe spaces where Native Women and Girls can gather to support and heal each other is important to the wellbeing of Indigenous communities. When Native Women and Girls are supported and doing well, then the Native community is doing well.” - Veronica Y.

Viola Waln

Tribe: Rosebud Sioux Tribe

Project: Sicangu Strong - Gardening For Health

2023–2024 Grantee

Sicangu Strong: Gardening for Health will support local Indigenous Women and Girls wanting to grow their own vegetables and teach how changes to our regular diet will improve our health. Starter plants and seeds will be available in season. The project will include hosting an end of summer fair - A special category of this fair will include clothing and art fashioned by Indigenous Women. Each entry will receive a ribbon. The contest will also feature garden produce, local honey, farm eggs, traditional or wild fruits, vegetables and herbs harvested locally. The contest will offer additional prizes for both youth and adult categories. This project also will help our Indigenous relatives in their battle with chronic illnesses to learn how to improve their own health by adding more fresh foods to their daily meals.

“It is important to support Native Women and Girls because we are the people who shape the next generation. Nurturing our young women, teens and girls will help them develop positive self-esteem and confidence in their ability to practice healthy lifestyles to raise thriving children. Encouraging our young Indigenous Women to grow their own food and market their artistic skills will help them to become independent adults.” - Viola W.

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