Northwest Indian Storytelling Gathering
was held Friday, February 17, 2017


Friday, February 17, 2017 at Portland Community College – Cascade

Symposium is 2:30 – 5:00 PM

Storytelling Gathering 7:00 – 9:30 PM

Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. and the Northwest Indian Storytellers Association held two cultural events on Friday, February 17, 2017 at Portland Community College Cascade’s Moriarty Auditorium (705 North Killingsworth, Portland,  OR 97217). Map below.

Cascade Campus Map | PCC - ca-campus-map.pdf

Tribal storytellers and song carriers have acknowledged the link between their stories and songs to traditional First Foods and other Native species, and are increasingly communicating the critical importance of restoring Pacific Northwest ecosystems to support declining species.

The Traditional First Foods Symposium was held on Friday afternoon 2:30 – 5:00 pm featuring many guest speakers that discussed the impact of a changing environment on salmon, lamprey eel, camas and other threatened or endangered traditional First Foods species.  Speakers: Samantha Chisholm Hatfield, PhD (Siletz and Cherokee), Valerie Goodness (Tsalagi and Ojibwe), Ciarra Greene (Nez Perce or Nimiipuu) and Maiya Osife (Kaibab Paiute). Their bios are included below.

The evening of Native American storytelling was held Friday evening at 7:00 pm, we celebrated our eleventh season of tribal storytelling.  The Advisory Council members of the Northwest Indian Storytellers Association shared traditional stories about traditional First Foods. Presenters: Ed Edmo (Shoshone‐Bannock and Nez Perce), Esther Stutzman (Komemma Kalapuya and Coos), Roger Fernandes (Lower Elwha S’Klallam), Raven Heavy Runner (Blackfoot), and Toby Joseph (Apache and Ute)

Both events integrated Native American cultural arts with traditional ecological knowledge and other STEAM* elements integral to indigenous science and raise awareness of the intersection of Native American cultural arts with subsistence practices in a changing climate. (*STEAM stands for science, technology, engineering, ARTS, and mathematics)

Events were funded by National Endowment for the Arts. Sponsors include the Northwest Indian Storytellers Association, Portland Community College’s Native Nations Club and Multicultural Program, and Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. Special thanks to Roger Fernandes (Lower Elwha S’Klallam) for the poster art; and Wieden + Kennedy’s Paul Levy, Senior Designer and Dez Ramirez for the poster design.

Contact Miranda Mishan at Wisdom of the Elders (  or (503) 775-4014) for more information or continue to check the Wisdom website for updates at We look forward to seeing you to our next storytelling event.



Traditional First Foods Symposium Presenters:

Dr. Samantha Chisholm Hatfield is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz Indians. She is from the Tututni Band and is also Cherokee. She earned her Doctorate from Oregon State University in Environmental Sciences focusing on Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of Siletz tribal members. Her dissertation has been heralded nationally by scholars as a template for TEK research, and remains a staple conversation item for academics and at workshops.

Dr. Chisholm Hatfield’s specializations include: Indigenous TEK, tribal adaptations due to climate change, and Native culture issues. She’s worked with Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, and successfully completed a Post-Doctoral Research position with Northwest Climate Science Center. She speaks on the national level including at the First Stewards Symposium, National Congress of American Indians, Northwest Climate Conferences; and helped coordinate tribal participation for Northwest Climate Science Center and Oregon State’s Climate Boot Camp workshops; and is a Native American Longhouse Advisory Board member at Oregon State. She was selected as an H.J. Andrews Forest Visiting Scholar, is featured blogger for Union of Concerned Scientists, is actively learning Tolowa and Korean languages, and continues her traditional cultural practices.

Samantha is featured in Wisdom’s upcoming Climate and Native Wisdom Documentary Film Series. Our film festival launches at the Portland Art Museum’s Northwest Film Center Auditorium on Sunday, April 16, 2017. A series of Film Screenings and Community Consultations will be scheduled throughout Oregon in the spring and summer of 2017.

Valerie Goodness has received advanced degrees from Oregon State University and is preparing to defend her PhD dissertation on Traditional Ecological Knowledge at State University of New York (Buffalo) later this year. She was a National Science Foundation IGERT Fellow, the NSF’s flagship interdisciplinary training program, educating U.S. Ph.D. scientists and engineers by building on the foundations of their disciplinary knowledge with interdisciplinary training.

She served on a team of indigenous scientists working with the Tuscarora Environmental Program focused on restoration of wetlands and fisheries. Her job was to ascertain which fish species followed Haudenosaunee Traditional Environmental Knowledge and their connection to the Thanksgiving Address. She has worked with Haudenosaunee tribal elders and representatives of the Haudenosaunee Environmental Task Force. A portion of her work is based on the importance of clanology and elder oral traditions as well as documenting traditional knowledge components within environmental land stewardship management and restoration.

Val has taught at Oregon State University in partnership with her mentor Gail Woodside focused on agricultural and natural resources methodologies of indigenous people located in the Pacific Northwest; and worked with 6th to 8th graders at the Native American Magnet School (Buffalo, NY) developing history, social science, and science based learning studies that integrate local issues in the Buffalo area, including industrial issues in the environment and how these issues affect the Haudenosaunee people. She is currently working for Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. as a Native Youth Specialist at Chemawa Indian School where she mentors 350 Native American high school students.  She is one of the original founding members of the Traditional Environmental Knowledge Symposiums at Oregon State University focused on indigenous ways of knowing in the Pacific Northwest and abroad.

Ciarra Greene is an enrolled member of the Nez Perce Tribe. Nimiipuu (Nez Perce) culture and traditions emphasize environmental stewardship and drives Ciarra’s academic, professional, and personal endeavors. She received her BS in Chemistry from Northern Arizona University in 2012, where she researched environmental transport and stabilization of uranium on the Navajo Reservation, and completed internships with the Nez Perce Tribe, Dept. of Energy (Hanford), EPA, and Institute of Tribal Environmental Professionals.

Ciarra previously worked at the Arizona Science Center as a STEM instructor, at the Nez Perce Tribe Water Resources Division (Wetland Program Field Assistant and Water Resources Specialist) and at Wisdom of the Elders. Currently Ciarra is pursuing her MS degree in Science Teaching at Portland State University, and is the recipient of a National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship. Her research focuses on traditional ecological knowledge integration into science curriculum to advance students’ understanding of the nature of science. She actively participates in the Portland Parks and Recreation Native American Community Advisory Council, and in the American Indian Science and Engineering Society.

Ciarra worked at Wisdom of the Elders in 2015 and 2016 as Discovering Yidong Xinag and Wisdom Workforce Development Coordinator. She helped to establish Wisdom’s first Wisdom Workforce internship program and Wisdom’s social and economic venture, Wisdom Workforce Development LLC which provides living wage jobs for Native Americans pursuing environmental careers. She is currently being considered as a member of the Wisdom Board of Directors where her focus will be placed upon advancing research of Wisdom’s culturally tailored multimedia curriculum.

Maiya Osife (Kaivaviits’ingw) is Kaibab Paiute and an undergraduate student at Portland State University, graduating the first in her family with a Bachelor of Science in social sciences with an emphasis on Indigenous community health and a minor in Indigenous Nations Studies.

Maiya studies the well-being of Indigenous communities in relation to access to First Foods with an emphasis on the lack of First Foods access in urban areas like Portland, Oregon. Maiya currently serves as the Intertribal Cultural Resource Specialist for Oregon’s regional government Metro, where she works to connect the region’s Indigenous community to First Foods and cultural resources on ceded tribal lands now managed by Metro on behalf of the public.

Metro’s intertribal cultural resources program has been able to connect Native community members to regional first foods like camas, cattail and wapato in regional parks and natural areas. The program has particularly conducted First Foods research at Quamash Prairie, a prairie located within the ancestral territories of the Kalapuya people in what is now named Scholls, Oregon. The program is currently working on a community based co-management plan between the Native American community and Quamash Prairie.