Olympia is honored to host a stellar line-up of indigenous women who will kick off Indigenous Peoples’ Day on the north steps of the Legislative (Capitol) building from 10AM-2PM. Don’t miss it!
Scroll down for speaker names & bios.
Keynote speaker: Pearl Means, biography coming soon!
Deb Abrahamson, Spokane Tribe, Sovereignty Health Air Water & Land (SHAWL) founder and director. Daughter Twa-le Abrahamson-Swan, Spokane, Tribal Natural Resources. (Biography Coming Soon).
Connie McCloud, Puyallup, Culture Director, the Legacy Preserver continues to maintain the heritage of her people in the South Sound, while understanding the significance women have in protecting the earth and each other.
Elaine Sutterlict-McCloud, Chehalis, Heritage Coordinator, her parents are Bennie and Hattie (Hayden) Pikutark, Her grandparents are Bessie and John (Walker) Hayden, her great-grandparents are Lucy (Heck) and Tom Hayden. Her other great-grandparents are Clara (Jacobs) and Joseph Walker. Elaine enjoys passing on her culture and traditions to her people and 16 grandchildren, through stories, art, song, and dance.
Yvonne Swan (was Wanrow), Sinixt Arrow Lakes of the Colville Confederated Tribes is known for the “Wanrow Instruction”, a 1977 case law in Washington state stemming from a 1972 shooting death of a known Caucasian child molester. When her case reached the Washington State Supreme Court the ruling changed the law regarding women and self defense across the United States. Since then countless defendants have been helped when their defense was self-defense. The precedent also made it illegal to record a person without her/or his knowledge or consent and emergency police tapes are not to be used as evidence to convict.
Yvonne also worked for the International Indian Treaty Council, the diplomatic arm of the American Indian Movement (AIM) where they continue to bring violations of Indigenous human rights to the attention of the world through the United Nations. Yvonne continues to advocate for Native Rights and continues to organize grassroots movements. She was successful in helping her people get their ancient ancestral remains returned to them and reburied.
Yvonne will also display her art during our Indigenous Art display.
Ixtlixochitl (Obsidian Flower) Salinas-White Hawk is an Indigenous Artist and Cultural Educator/Consultant. Ixtli is born into the Pochteca society, within the Nahua-Mexika culture. She is from the communities of Iztacalco and Tlacopan, now part of Mexico City. Her family had remained in Iztacalco, their original family land since ancient times; harvesting on chinanpas (floating gardens). However, they were relocated in the 1930s to Tlacopan when the government drained the waterways to make way for urbanization. To date, the Salinas family has been pivotal in maint
aining a cultural identity through Aztec dancing for so many families and individuals near and far. Often referred to simply as the “Salinas of Tacuba”.
As the oldest daughter of Juan Salinas, she is the spokesperson for TLOKE-NAHUAKE Traditional Aztec Fire Dancers, the family dance circle. Ixtli was born into the traditional dance circle in Mexico City, and has dedicated her whole life to traveling throughout the North American Continent reconnecting with other Indigenous communities. As a cultural consultant, educator, and artist, she has traveled the world to serve as an ambassador of her people.
She is currently residing in Washington State with her family, growing a new branch of Tloke Nahuake, the Tlayolohtli (Heart of the Earth) dance circle. She is a fulltime student at North Seattle College, and working on an Oregon State University Permaculture Certification as a member of the Yahowt Permaculture Indigenous Women Cohort. Ixtli is a member of Circle of Indigenous People and Folklife’s Cultural Focus Committee. Art and culture have always been at the heart of her soul.
Her artistic work and community involvement is an expression of her Nahua-Mexika roots; as she lives and thrives in two worlds. She is often a part of community and environmental efforts to ensure Indigenous identity and natural resources will still be a reality for our children and children’s children.
Roxann Murray, Assiniboine, is an award¬ winning artist in Tacoma, WA. She received her B.A. in Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences with a certificate of high scholarship from the University of Washington Tacoma in 2009. She helped efforts to drive a methanol refinery project out of Tacoma and currently she is working on the movement against the fracked gas facility proposed to be built on Tacoma’s tideflats and she has been on the frontlines of this fight for 1 ½ years. Roxann grew up in the backwoods of Graham, WA and has had a strong bond with the natural world since she was a child which encouraged her to fight for environmental justice and all living beings.
When Roxann is not documenting and engaging in community-based activism, she takes photographs while traveling. She has visited various places while road tripping in the United States and spends a lot of her time in the national parks. Her international travels include the Philippines, the Marshall Islands, Costa Rica, Thailand, and Bali. She has documented several issues in these countries having to do with colonization, over-development, and climate change.
Lennee Reid, poet, is a geeky veganish poet activist mystic survivor mama goddess aka The Queen who is is on the spectrum and uses punctuation when she damn well pleases.
Sweetwater Nannauck, Alaska-(Tlingit, Haida, Tsimshian), Director of Idle No More Washington. Sweetwater is an Idle No More activist who advocates for the protection of the fragile environment of the Northwest Coast, for tribal sovereignty rights, and the traditional way of life of Native people. She conducts Idle No More ‘Decolonizing Our Activism’ workshops in a respectful way that is both healing and empowering.
November 10, 2016 is the 4th anniversary of Idle No More. Since then Idle No More Washington has had over 80 events and nonviolent direct actions that address local and global issues. Sweetwater went to Washington, DC to lobby to protect the Arctic, she was involved in the ‘Shell No’ actions in Seattle and Anchorage when President Obama was there, and she helped organize ‘The Paddle to Standing Rock’ in September 2016. Sweetwater was featured in the annual Seattle Weekly ‘Best of Seattle’ (2015) ‘Best Activism Idea’.
JoAnne SpottedBear, Lakota, Sioux, Descendant of Wounded Knee and the Battle of Little Bighorn. Four-time United Nations (U.N.) Speaker.
“Corporations have No Sovereignty over Treaties,”-JoAnne SpottedBear
Women of Color Speak Out is a collective of direct action activists that formed during the ShellNo campaign. Shifting the dominant environmental narrative in policy and science, we speak out on how systems of oppression have led to worldwide ecological disaster. We speak on capitalism, colonialism, racism and the prison industrial complex and how these systems lead into climate change. WoCSO consists of grassroots organizers with Black Lives Matter Seattle, Indie Hit Designs, Seattle Bhakti Yoga, Rainier Beach Restorative Justice Project and Peacemaking Circle Initiative.
Elizabeth Satiacum, Quileute Nation,
Native American Indian Lobby Day (Biography Coming Soon).
Rachel Heaton, Muckleshoot, Divest Movement (Biography Coming Soon).
Roxanne White, Yakama Nation, (Biography Coming Soon).
Nancy Shipentower, biography coming soon!
Suzette Mills, biography coming soon!
Maiselle Bridges, biography coming soon!
Cecile Hanson, biography coming soon!
Janet McCloud. biography coming soon!