Pualani Case, born and raised on the Island of Hawai’i surrounded by the high mountains of Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Hualalai and Kohala, the fresh waters of Kohakohau and Waikoloa and the plains of Waimea. Pua’s life path and purpose has led her to become a Kumu Hula, a teacher of traditional dance and chant, and a teacher of the ways, culture and traditions of the kanaka maoli or native peoples of Hawai’i. With a degree in Hawaiian Language and culture, and a teaching degree in Social Studies, interwoven with the traditional teachings, philosophies and expectations from her kupuna or elders, Pua has integrated ‘Ike Hawai’i or Hawaiian knowledge and lessons into the public school system for over 30 years.
Pua and her ‘ohana, her family are active as spiritual and cultural leaders in and beyond their community. They are an integral part of the protocol and ceremonies for Na Kalaiwa’a, Moku o Keawe Makali’i Voyaging Canoe, as well as for Hokule’a and other Pacific Island Voyages. Pua sits on various educational and cultural boards including the Waimea Hawaiian Civic Club, Waimea Community Education Hui, and MKEA, Mauna Kea Education and Awareness. Pua and her family are petitioners in the Contested Case hearing filed on behalf of Mauna Kea Mountain. As a representative of the Mauna Kea ‘Ohana Na Kia’I Mauna, Idle No More Hawai’i Warriors Rising and Idle No More Mauna, Kea she and her family have traveled throughout the continent, to Europe and various places across the Pacific to network, support and address the issues and challenges facing sacred places and life ways of the people of HawaiʻI and beyond Hawaii. In the past two years, Pua has represented the Mauna Kea Movement in Aotearoa as a keynote speaker at the He Manawa Whenua Conference at Waikato, and in California in support of the Winnemem Wintuʻs efforts to bring back the salmon to the McCloud. She has stood on the frontlines in North Dakota at Standing Rock and Sacred Stone Camps with fellow Mauna Kea Protectors in support of the Native Americans stance on keeping pipelines out of their rivers. In October, Pua was featured at Indigenous Day Celebrations in New York City and was a guest speaker at the University of New York on Movements and Alliance Building between Native Peoples. This work is a one of commitment, dedication, passion and a mission to weave the relationships and strengthen the alliances with peoples everywhere for the highest good for the earth.
Tara Evonne is an artist who is passionate about combining poetry and film to create a visual art form of her own. Her art focuses on being socially aware and conscious of the injustices that plague our society. Social conscious is a top priority as a she rediscovers her own word in a world that only attempts to silence the Indigenous spirit. Her goal is to illuminate the Indigenous spirit through performance art. She is of Mexican, Spanish, and Santee Sioux descent and cultivates a vision which includes representation of her ancestors and earth. She is a student of the Media Arts with a concentration in Film and Audio.
TARA EVONNE TRUDELL
POET • VISUAL ARTIST • PHOTOGRAPHER
TARA EVONNE TRUDELL
As a multimedia artist, I weave poetry, photography, film, and audio components into my work in order to express creative visions that address social issues. It is vital my role as an artist that I represent and advocate for earth and humanity in an effort to stimulate action. As a photographer, I approach photography with a humanistic sensibility in order to discuss and address important social issues especially dealing with the border between the USA and Mexico.
I write poetry to address these troubling issues and to bring a vocal element to my views. I then roll the poem into paper beads, which allows me to transfer the words on paper into energy and action.
Each bead becomes a prayer to honor the word and the subject of the poem. This process provides me an opportunity to connect with my purpose as an artist and to further the changes that I hope will take place in the world.
Madonna Thunder Hawk co-founded Women of All Red Nations (WARN) in 1978, organizing a health study of the drinking water on the Pine Ridge reservation. (WARN found the water to be highly radioactive, which led to the establishment of rural water supply system.) Thunder Hawk also helped organize the Black Hills Protection Committee (later the He Sapa Institute) whose goal is to protect the many sacred sites within the region’s treaty lands.
Madonna Thunder Hawk is a member of the Oohenumpa band of the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe. Her life’s work has been guided by the goals of winning justice for Native Americans. Madonna is the embodiment of courage. She was an original member of the American Indian Movement, a co-founder of Women of All Red Nations (WARN), and is currently the Lakota People’s Law Project’s principal organizer and Tribal Liaison. Madonna has been featured in several documentary films including the recent PBS series We Shall Remain. She is a grandmother, both literally and figuratively, to a generation of Native American activists. Through her work, Madonna builds alliances and support for Child Welfare among South Dakota’s tribal leaders and communities.
She is a veteran of every modern Native American struggle, including the 1969 to 1971 occupation of Alcatraz to the 1973 siege at Wounded Knee. Hailing from the Feather Necklace Tiospaye, which extends across the Lakota reservations of South Dakota, Thunder Hawk is also a long-time community organizer with a range of experience in American Indian rights protection, cultural preservation, economic development, environmental justice and Lakota social reclamation.
Born and raised on a number of South Dakota reservations, she first became active in the late 1960s as a member and leader in the American Indian Movement (AIM). In addition to involvement in the national and international arena for Native sovereignty, she anchored much of her organizing at the community level. While on the federal relocation program in San Francisco she joined the occupation of Alcatraz and has since been forever consumed by the indigenous struggle for self-determination. Once drawn into activism, Thunder Hawk has been a voice of resistance ever since.
She established the “We Will Remember Survival School” for Indian youth whose parents were facing federal charges or who had been drop-outs or “push-outs” from the educational system. This alternative home/school was part of the National Federation of Native-Controlled Survival Schools that was established during the movement as many alternative schools developed. Thunder Hawk was a co-founder and spokesperson for the Black Hills Alliance, which blocked Union Carbide from mining uranium on sacred Lakota land.
An eloquent voice for Native America, Thunder Hawk has spoken throughout the United States, Central America, Europe, and the Middle East. She was an International Indian Treaty Council delegate to the United Nations Human Rights Commission in Geneva. She also was a delegate to the U.N. Decade of Women Conference in Mexico City and in 2001 to the World Conference against Racism in Durban, South Africa.
Ink Nash Wanikshaash( my name is), Sayyepum Ah-toot-wy Stacey Speedis. I am a 43 year young Native woman who has raised 2 children; who are now young teenagers. I am from Toppenish, Washington. I have been an Artist all my life; had to switch from my right- hand to my left- hand at the age of 17 due to a horse- wreck I was in in 1992 that left me with a whole right- side paralysis. I just did not want to let my artistic side die, even tho I had a coma to come out of that lasted 9 days. I come from the Horse Family of these parts here in the Lower Yakama Valley. There are many types of Artwork I do: draw, paint in oil, water color and acrylic, sculpt and write. Plus, my auntie’s have taught me more about how to make moccasins, dresses an skirts and ribbon shirts. We are a very traditional family who were raised going to Longhouse. We go for a lot of different kind of ceremonies. We are food gatherers for our people.
What, or how I do Art… it will depend on how I am feelin’; I just sit down n draw whatever my heart feels like n take my anger out on the pencil, on however I am feelin’. I am also an Author who has 2 books published thru Authorhouse; Bibliographies.
If you would like to know more, just ask me,
Payu Kwaxla(thank you),
Sayyepum Ah-toot-wy Stacey Speedis
“Solana promotes Native American and Alaska Native traditional teachings using her own healing modalities, one is positive interconnectedness model. Solana is enrolled into the Nooksack Nation of the Chief Dan George Family and Mohawk from Bay Quinte, White Owl House of the Wolf Clan. Her Paternal association is Tsymsyan of the Violet Booth Family, Raven Clan. She is a mother of four and Grandmother of a baby girl. Her children are also members of the Tlingit, Haida, Pawnee, Lakota and Dakota Nations. Solana’s first degree was in Early Childhood Special Education; naturally she then studied perinatal, prenatal, post- natal and historical trauma(s) with certifications next. Solana is an Advocate of Sacred Storyteacher. Her work includes: Health and Human Services work for local IHS Providers, Solana also consults by providing technical assistance, training/teaching adult learners of equity practices, traditional and contemporary storytelling, Innovative Technology Program writing, Documentary film making, teaches art, and creating community gardens in local food deserts and speaking to First Foods. She currently serves in a Leadership role in The Russel Family Foundation’s Puyallup Watershed Initiative’s Board of Directors, and is a Just and Healthy Food System Community of Interest Equity Team member while finishing her Documentary, “Native American and Alaska Native Birth Stories” and enrolled in an Intensive Historical Trauma Masters Certification: where she’ll soon be a practicing Somatic Archeologist and Brain-spotting.
NAAN Birth Stories
Posted in Make No Bones Shows
Tagged Alaska Native, Connecting with Spirit, Historical Trauma, Honoring, KAOS 89.3 FM, Native Birth, Native Storyteller, Native Woman, Protect the Sacred, Raven Redbone, Solana Booth
Photo by StrongHearts Native Helpline.
Senior Native Affairs Policy Advisor
Caroline LaPorte is the first Native Affairs Senior Policy Advisor for the StrongHearts Native Helpline and is an immediate descendant of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. In her policy work, LaPorte, a licensed attorney in the State of Texas and who concurrently serves on the NIWRC’s Policy Team, will focus on specialized issues including criminal justice, children and youth, firearms, housing and human rights relating to domestic violence in tribal communities. Before joining StrongHearts, she worked as a family law attorney and at Dallas CASA (Court Appointed Special Advocates), an organization that represents children in foster care.
LaPorte brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise in Indian law and federal, tribal and state jurisdiction to StrongHearts, having held a clerk position with the Office of Tribal Justice within the Department of Justice and the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians criminal justice system. She has a Juris Doctor degree from the University of Miami School of Law in Florida and a bachelor’s degree in philosophy from Baylor University in Texas.