Native American descendant sharing her journey as an Author & Museum Curator

A Day in my Moccasins

"We are not bound by our moccasins; we merely walk gracefully in them."


Topic: Carving out a Legacy

Oleana will share her journey from living a private life tucked away in anonymity to becoming an independent published author, a decision that, for most, would seem unlikely. A single decision encouraged by a longtime friend catapulted her into the public speaking arena.

Carving out your legacy is determined by how carefully you can navigate the proverbial waters that will ultimately sustain you. Planning, developing, and finally executing that single idea from your burning desire into reality can be an efficient and seamless process when your talents, experiences, fortitude, and abilities align. Passion can lead us to uncover our life's purpose.

Attendees will be introduced to an introductory reading from her book of poems, Reflections of a Whispering Dove; Entangled in a Simmons Serenade (a volume of poems gifted by Def Poetry Jam Co-Founder Danny Simmons & permanently archived in the Schomberg Center for Research and the renowned Poets House), followed by an open dialogue uncovering women's embodiment of their inherited roles as daughters, sisters, wives, and mothers.

"We have all inherited a legacy upon our birth, and it’s our choice whether we live with the one we are born into, or embark upon a new, higher vision of ourselves, one that will leave a memorable mark for future generations."

Topic: Historic Native American Female Saunk Squas (Chieftains)

On new land, before the founding of America, European immigrants were greeted by Indigenous female Sachems/Chieftains long before the Suffragette Movement and Women's Liberation. Native American Saunk Squa's prevailed in governing their communities and ultimately tactically negotiating with early Europeans.

Attendees will be introduced to historically documented Native American leading women known as Saunksqua's who were Chiefs, Military leaders, Doctor's and Treaty signers. These legendary women in Native American culture were the norm, not the exception, and worthy of further exploration.

Unknown to our awareness today, these gallant women, often young girls, were positioned in the highest ranking among tribes as the sum of Indigenous communities revered and aligned to the principle practice of matriarchal societies.

Topic: Traditional Indigenous Herbal Medicine

Indigenous plant medicine for most tribes has a cyclical foundation represented by the 4 directions of life: east, south, west, north. As Europeans migrated to Turtle Island, aka America, they relied on the natural plant-life remedies offered by local indigenous communities. The knowledge shared from precolonial times to the present has been preserved and is generally accepted by nonindigenous communities that respect the inherent value of plant life. 

Each direction aligns to the rhythm of earth's natural cycle, and whether from your garden, local farmers market, or grocery store, the herbs we know and use for cooking and flavor profiles are nutrient dense and have healing properties adopted from indigenous and traditional applications by grandmothers and pharmacies alike.

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