eNewsletter from Wisdom of the Elders
February 21st, 2019



Greetings to all,

I hope everyone is well and looking forward to a beautiful spring.

Once again, we at Wisdom of the Elders would like to thank everyone who attended and/or supported Wisdom’s 25-year celebration in November 2018. We appreciate you walking through the years with us. We are grateful for the opportunity to continue growing and improving our projects and programming into the next 25 years!

We would like to welcome Trish Haugen to our Wisdom staff. Trish will be the Coordinator for Wisdom Workforce Development. Trish is also our Discovering Yidong Xinag (DYX) Youth Leadership Program co-coordinator, along with Kunu Beachum, who is our Multimedia Assistant. Together Trish and Kunu will work with Indigenous communities and schools to expand Wisdom’s multimedia projects and environmental science curriculum for our Native communities in Oregon and Washington.

In addition, we would like to thank Lora Price for her many years of dedication and leadership in helping to build lasting partnerships for Wisdom Workforce Development, LLC with the many restoration and conservation organizations and individuals throughout the greater Portland Metro Area. As Lora plans for her long-awaited retirement, we wish her success, joy, and much peace in her new journeys. Your presence and influence will surely be missed! Alas, we remain hopeful to meet you around the bend sometime, somewhere!

We send out a big thank you to our partners, Portland Parks and Recreation, Johnson Creek Watershed Council, Columbia Slough Watershed Council, Bureau of Environmental Services, Rose CDC, Friends of Trees, Metro,  West Multnomah Water, and Soil Conservation District, and Columbia Land Trust, to name a few, for the opportunities for our Wisdom Workforce Development crew to work alongside you in many important projects throughout the city and surrounding areas. I personally would like to thank Wisdom’s WWD LLC ace team, Alvey Seeyouma, Autumn Highdesertwolf, Bruce Amick II, and Dave Eyster for their hard work and dedication regardless of rain and cold or sun and heat, to accomplish the missions. Well done!

Next, we would like to welcome back Marissa Sprang, who is our Coordinator for Wisdom Workforce Development Rural Agricultural Business Incubator (aka WABI) in Marion County, Oregon. This new adventure is Wisdom’s Micro-Business enterprise that will offer families and/or individuals training and opportunities to grow their own Indigenous First Foods business.

To prepare and further develop our staff, Wisdom will engage with educational institutions to develop workforce opportunities to enhance professional skills training. Wisdom’s Executive Management Team will continue to enhance and strengthen collaborative partnerships, develop our leadership outreach strategies, and increase fundraising capacity. By supporting our coordinators of the primary initiatives over the next three years, they will be ready to be promoted from Project Coordinator in year one to Program Officer by year three.

Therein, we can and will be better prepared to accomplish our primary initiatives designed to help under-represented Native American youth and adults in our communities accomplish their own educational goals and/or help connect them to employment opportunities. This will build and strengthen our Indigenous communities, assist in attaining health and wellness goals and acquire opportunities for financial prosperity while engaging in diverse environmental or other career pathways.

We would like to recognize and send out a tremendous THANK YOU to our funders for helping us to accomplish our goals to build a better and more prosperous Indigenous community. We at Wisdom are very much appreciative of your continued financial support and encouragement!

Prosper Portland Film Grant, Collins Foundation, Meyer Memorial Trust, OregonMade-Creative Foundation, Prosper Portland and the City of Portland Media Grant, Running Strong For American Indian Youth- Dream Starter, National Endowment of the Arts, National Endowment for Humanities, USDA, Oregon Community Foundation, Social Justice Fund, Oregon Cultural Trust, Oregon Arts Commission, NoVo Foundation, Metro, EMSWCD, Eco-Trust, and The James F. and Marion L. Miller Foundation.

To the many individuals who made charitable contributions, we are very grateful for your continued support of our mission to encourage, educate and provide workforce development for our Indigenous community and our community at large.

We look forward to continued growth while accomplishing our mission and sharing the vision!

My best regards,
Teresa Montana,
Executive Director



Discovering Our Story Television Program Airs Sunday, March 3rd, 1 pm on channel 11 and re-airs March 5that 10 pm on channel 22 and again on March 8that At 9 am on channel 23.

This month, our two distinguished guests on Discovering our Story will be Woodrow F. (Woody) Morrison, Jr., and Jedd Schrock.

unnamedWoodrow F. (Woody) Morrison, Jr., began his training as a History Keeper for the Haida people at the age of three (his last teacher died when Woody was 67 yrs. old). He attended and graduated from Indian boarding schools – Mt. Edgecumbe High School and Haskell Institute. He enlisted and served four years in the US Navy as an Electronics Technician. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Economics and Sociology from the University of Minnesota, Morris, and a Juris Doctor Degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law. He is past President of Wisdom of the Elders, Inc and the Vancouver Society of Storytelling. From 1993 to 2010 he worked as a Cultural/Story Consultant on twenty Hollywood film productions and served as part of film crews (150+ productions). He co-hosted a cultural radio talk show for 15 years on Co-Op Radio and had his own radio show at the University of British Columbia, called “Language to Language”. He taught a Haida Language and Culture Class between 2002 to 2007 and presently is a Client Support Elder at the Child and Family Services Society, Vancouver B.C. and co-facilitates three programs: Strengthening Fathers (5 yrs.), Strengthening Families (12 yrs.), and Circle of Boys (ages 10 to 12).

Jedd Schrock is a linguist living in Portland, OR. He has been an avid language learner and teacher throughout his life. His early life was spent largely in Nigeria and Sudan where he functioned daily in languages such as Arabic and Nuer. The study of European Languages happened later in high school and at the undergraduate level (German BA).  One year of college was spent at the Phillips-Universität Marburg, and one year was spent in Ilmenau, Germany as a teacher’s assistant at a German high school. He became an ESL teacher at DePaul University in Chicago, IL.  He earned an M.A. in Linguistics from Northeastern Illinois University in 2002.  Shortly thereafter, he moved to Portland where his interests have centered primarily on the languages of Western Oregon and Washington. He has been very active in the efforts to revitalize and maintain Chinuk Wawa in the communities at Grand Ronde, in Portland, and throughout the greater Lower Columbia. He has worked to create databases of moribund languages such as Tualatin Kalapuya, Clackamas Chinook, and Lower Chehalis. Areas of interest include Native Mythology of Western Oregon and Washington, Writing Systems, German Studies, Salish Studies, Folkloristics, and Music.



Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. is pleased to announce the recruitment of 6-8 Native American Adults to participate in the Wisdom Agricultural Business Incubator!!

The Wisdom Agricultural Business Incubator (WABI) will support the startup and development of 6-8 businesses by Native American (American Indian, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian, and Pacific Islander) adult interns to plan and create an agricultural/horticultural microenterprise business in rural Marion County, Oregon. WABI will provide support services, including entrepreneur business development training, strategic planning, business plan development, and financial planning.

Interns will achieve training and create a business plan over the course of a 3-month PAID internship from March 13 to May 31, 2019. Training will be provided through weekly seminars in our Portland classroom, a plant nursery south of Portland, and other field visits in Marion County. Even more, interns will be provided 1:1 matching funds from a local CDFI for business start-up costs! Though the internship is only 3 months, interns will receive ongoing support for at least three years from the Wisdom Agricultural Coop as they continue growing their business!

This is a unique opportunity to grow Native-owned businesses and jobs and intentionally cultivate First Food/Native species in a nursery/horticultural setting! By focusing on first foods, WABI will provide participants with opportunities to become skilled leaders in native plant production for multiple applications, with the unique capacity to additionally share the cultural relevance of the plants they propagate.

Applicants must be 18 years or older, be willing to start a native plant micro-business, and have:

  • High school diploma, GED, or higher education
  • Interest in Indigenous knowledge & land stewardship
  • Enthusiasm for engaging in the community and outdoors (in all weather conditions)
  • Ability to work with a professional demeanor and complete the entire internship
  • Ability to work independently & as part of a team

This opportunity is available until all positions are filled. For info or to apply, please visit our website at www.wisdomoftheelders.org or email  wabi@wisdomoftheelders.org


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