Warm Greetings Friends of Wisdom,

As we embrace the vibrant colors of autumn and the changing of seasons in our Fall 2023 newsletter, we also pause to reflect on the significance of Indigenous Peoples’ Day. This day serves as a reminder of our commitment to honoring and preserving the rich cultural heritage, wisdom, and traditions of Indigenous communities.

It is a time to celebrate the enduring contributions to our shared history, and we are grateful for the opportunity to pay tribute to their resilience and wisdom in every season of the year.

We are excited to welcome you to the latest edition of Wisdom of the Elders Fall Newsletter. With each passing season, our organization continues to grow and evolve, thanks to the unwavering support and dedication of our community, partnerships, and donations…Happy Fall Equinox

2023 Fall Oregon

Meet the Board of Directors

Let us extend our heartfelt gratitude to the exceptional members of the Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. Board of Directors—a remarkable assembly of individuals who bring boundless passion and unwavering dedication to the joyful pursuit of our mission: the preservation of Indigenous wisdom and the vibrant celebration of cultural awareness.

Don Motanic, our President of the Board brings a wealth of knowledge in forestry and has been a tireless advocate for Native youth through his involvement with the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

Charlene Holycross has made significant contributions to her community, mainly through her mentoring programs and cultural consulting work. Her dedication to education and cultural preservation is truly admirable.

We warmly welcome our new members, Jenn Cairo, Sean Britt, and Robbi Kumalo, to our esteemed Board of Directors.

Jenn Cairo‘s extensive experience in natural resources management and commitment to Indigenous culture align perfectly with our organization’s goals.

Sean Britt‘s expertise in traditional language, songs, and foods, along with his role as a Canoe Journey skipper, adds valuable cultural insight to our team.

Finally, Robbi Kumalo‘s multifaceted talents in the arts, from voice acting to artist management, are sure to bring fresh perspectives and creativity to our organization.

We look forward to their contributions as we continue our important work in preserving and sharing Wisdom of Indigenous Elders with the world.

Give and Donate during Give!Guide

Wisdom is in Give!Guide

Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. Joins the Willamette Week Give!Guide Campaign for the Next Three Years!

We are thrilled and deeply honored to share some exciting news with you. Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. has been selected to be a part of the prestigious Willamette Week Give!Guide campaign for the next three years!

The Willamette Week Give!Guide is an annual philanthropic extravaganza that brings together the vibrant community of Portland, Oregon, in a collective effort to support and uplift local nonprofits. This campaign has a remarkable track record of success, and we couldn’t be more thrilled to be a part of it.
What is the Willamette Week Give!Guide?

The Give!Guide is a season of giving, taking place annually from November 1st to December 31st. The campaign presents a diverse array of nonprofit organizations working tirelessly across various sectors, from animals and civil rights to education and the environment. It’s a powerful platform that encourages individuals like you to make a difference by contributing to causes close to your heart.

In 2022, the Give!Guide shattered its goal, raising an astonishing $8,185,256 from 16,847 donors, surpassing its target of $8,000,000 from 17,000 donors. This incredible achievement reflects the immense generosity and community spirit of Portland and its surrounding areas.
Supporting Wisdom of the Elders, Inc.

Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. is dedicated to preserving and sharing the traditional ecological knowledge of indigenous communities and promoting intergenerational learning. Our inclusion in the Give!Guide campaign allows us to reach a wider audience and secure vital resources for our programs.

By supporting us through the Give!Guide, you’re not just contributing to our organization; you’re investing in the preservation of indigenous wisdom, environmental stewardship, and cultural appreciation.

Incentives and Big Give Days

We are excited to announce that by donating to Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. through the Give!Guide, you’ll have the chance to receive special incentives from local businesses. These incentives include free yoga sessions, delicious treats, and discounts at local establishments, all as a token of our gratitude for your support.

Additionally, there are “Big Give Days” during the campaign where your donations could lead to exciting prizes. This year, you could win an e-bike, enjoy a shopping spree, or score some cool products. The Give!Guide truly knows how to make giving fun!
Join Us on This Journey

We believe that when the wisdom of the past meets the generosity of the present, incredible things happen. We invite you to join us in this inspiring journey during the Willamette Week Give!Guide campaign. Your contributions will not only make a difference in the lives of indigenous communities but also support the broader mission of preserving our planet and nurturing the cultural tapestry of our society.

Keep an eye on our social media channels and website for updates, stories, and opportunities to engage with Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. throughout the campaign. Together, we can make the next three years with the Give!Guide a transformative experience for our organization and the community we serve.

Thank you for your ongoing support, and let’s make this campaign an unforgettable chapter in our mission to honor and celebrate indigenous wisdom.


Wisdom Workforce, LLC

Wisdom Work Force, LLC, is a vital arm of Wisdom of the Elders, dedicated to habitat restoration and environmental conservation in the Portland area. Our team plays a crucial role in restoring the natural environment, and applying Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) to create sustainable landscapes. We also specialize in the removal of invasive species and collaborate closely with the Portland Parks and Recreation and Forestry Department to safeguard local ecosystems. If you’re passionate about making a positive impact on the environment, consider joining our team. To explore opportunities and be part of this meaningful work, please contact Adrienne at adrienne@wisdomoftheelders.org. Your contributions can help us further our mission of preserving the environment, removing invasive species, and honoring Indigenous wisdom for future generations.

ITEK Internships

Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (ITEK)

Wisdom of the Elders proudly offers paid internship opportunities for those interested in the environmental sector, focusing on environmental restoration and Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (ITEK). This 12-week program, held every Spring and Fall, combines online and in-person sessions with partner organizations on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, emphasizing safety measures in light of Covid-19.

Led by ITEK Instructor Dawn Lowe, the program delves into ITEK, STEAM-related concepts, and Native American cultural arts and plants. Participants are encouraged to use public transportation or secure rides to fieldwork sites and can access support for transportation and technology. Graduates of the program receive career pathway support, including assistance with future applications, employment opportunities, and positions with Wisdom of the Elders and partner organizations, all while respecting and preserving Indigenous knowledge and cultures.

For more information please contact dawn@wisdomoftheelders.org

WWD Summer Internship

Become an Environmental Instructor at Wisdom of the Elders, Inc

Are you passionate about the environment, Indigenous wisdom, and hands-on teaching? Join our team as an Environmental Instructor at Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. and play a pivotal role in connecting Native and BIPOC interns with (ITEK) Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge through immersive field experiences. In this rewarding role, you’ll receive competitive compensation and a health stipend, allowing for a balanced work-life schedule.

At Wisdom of the Elders, Inc., we are a community rooted in the traditions of the First Peoples of the Pacific Northwest, focusing on the relationships between humans and the Plant People. As an Environmental Instructor, you’ll lead and instruct interns in hands-on field learning experiences, applying (ITEK) Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge to environmental and First Foods Restoration projects, preserving native plant species, and honoring their cultural significance. Join us in bridging the gap between tradition and the environment, cultivating a sustainable future, and sowing the seeds of knowledge for generations to come. Reach out to Maz at maz@wisdomoftheelders.org or call (503) 775-4014 to learn more and be a part of something greater.

2024 Multimedia Internship Poster


Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. has been working diligently on our Multimedia Internship program for Native American & BIPOC students in our vibrant Portland area with a passion for multimedia and storytelling.

Become a part of an exciting and dynamic journey in the film and multimedia arts sector. Our paid internship opportunities are designed to provide aspiring multimedia creators with an enriching experience that not only enhances your portfolio but also certifies you as a producer.

At Wisdom Multimedia, we’ve been capturing and preserving the wisdom and knowledge of Native American Elders, cultural leaders, and Indigenous scientists since 1993. Our multimedia projects have given voice to these incredible stories, resulting in our acclaimed Wisdom of the Elders Radio Program series, Climate, and Native Wisdom Documentary Series, Discovering Our Story TV Program, and an ITEK tailored multimedia curriculum. Additionally, we have hosted numerous public cultural celebrations and film festivals.

Our multimedia interns will have the chance to contribute to various projects, gaining hands-on experience in film and video field production, post-production editing, photography, and archival work. Under our guidance, they will be able to explore both traditional and digital activities, with opportunities to learn about new media, social media, and television studio production.

The internship will also involve planning and coordinating public events, such as film festivals, screenings, and community consultations, all within a professional environment where networking opportunities abound. Interns will have the chance to enrich their portfolio while telling the stories of our Native Elders, youth, family members, partners, and volunteers.

What They Will Learn

  • Participate in creative projects from start to finish
  • Develop skills in film and video production
  • Contribute to the Wisdom Archive Initiative
  • Work on the Climate and Native Wisdom Documentary Series
  • Collaborate with Native school students on meaningful projects
  • Produce video content for Wisdom Workforce Developments assessment and habitat restoration lesson plans
  • Be part of the Discovering Our Story: Generations TV team
  • Explore new media projects and Native media blogging
  • Provide valuable support to fellow interns on various multimedia projects
  • Create their own unique creative project

Our internships typically span three to six months, with a flexible commitment of 8-12 hours per week, spread across 2-3 days. Most of your work will be at the Open Signal Studio in Portland but occasional field trips and fieldwork are also involved.

Position Requirements

  • High school diploma or GED certificate, with some higher education preferred
  • Strong interest in multimedia and Wisdom’s services and activities
  • Passion for collaborating with Native elders, youth, volunteers, and community members
  • Reliable transportation to and from the Wisdom office
  • Willingness submit to and pass a background check and criminal history background check

This incredible opportunity is made possible by the support of our community, partners, guest educators, and generous funding from MHCRC.

We kindly ask that you share the news of our Spring 2024 Internship with your network and help us in our mission to preserve Indigenous wisdom and promote cultural awareness through the captivating medium of multimedia storytelling.

Feel free to download our flier and pass it along to your friends and fellow storytellers! Your support is invaluable in spreading the word about this incredible opportunity.
This program is made possible thanks to the support of our community, partners, and guest educators, and generous funds and partnership from MHCRC.

Mt. Hood Cable Regulatory Commission
Open Signal PDX

Closing Thoughts

In this season of transformation, thank you for coming together as a community, embracing the spirit of giving, and continuing to sow the seeds of hope and compassion. Join us as we celebrate the beauty of fall and the opportunities it brings to create a brighter, more inclusive future.

Thank you for your ongoing support, which makes all of our work possible.

Together, we are making a difference, one leaf at a time.

Teresa Montana

Exec. Dir.

young Indigenous Perspectives on Its Board of Directors