Wisdom Staff Members

Wisdom staff have more than three decades of experience

Wisdom staff have more than three decades of educational, project management and oversight experience designing, developing, funding and managing multi-year, multi-partner, culturally-responsive education programs with Native American adults and youth. This includes Native American adult interns completing the Wisdom Workforce Development Internship. Wisdom has accomplished projects with federal agencies since 2002, including National Endowment for the Arts, National Endowment for the Humanities, and National Park Service. Established Wisdom staff who will coordinate this project include:

Teresa Montana

M. Teresa Montana

Executive Director (Eastern Cherokee- Paint Clan)

Executive Director for Wisdom of the Elders, Inc, & Manager for Wisdom Workforce Development, LLC. Joined Wisdom in July 2018-2019 as Executive Assistant. Previous engagement with Wisdom was in 2013-14, assisted in the development of the Discovering Our Stories- Historical Trauma Curriculum.

US Army Veteran/Medic – former Nurse.
Alumni include: Southern Oregon University, Ashland, OR.
University of Oregon, Eugene, OR.
Washington State University, Vancouver.
***Focus Areas- Anthropology, History, Social Sciences, Humanities.
Certifications in Professional Mediation & Conflict Management, Professional Development & Business Entrepreneurship.
Former Assistant Director/then Director for the Indian Education Title VII (now Title VI) Vancouver, Evergreen & Battleground, WA. School Districts
****Currently in collaboration with District Superintendents to reinstate Title VI program for the Education Service District 112 which now includes 30 school districts.

Current Board Memberships:
Washington State University, Vancouver- Native American Advisory Board
Center for Tribal Nations/OMSI- Advisory Committee
Kimi Wa Foundation- Board Member
ESD 112- Title VI- Advisory Committee
Previous- Vancouver Historical Museum

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Tim Keenan Burgess

Multimedia Program Director (Paiute, Shoshone) 

Tim has worked for Wisdom of the Elders since 2016 and is Co-Director/Producer of their ongoing documentary film series and provides training for emerging Native peer mentors. He is the writer/Producer of Wisdom’s TV show and received degrees in Multimedia and Video Production from Portland Community College. He’s served as Associate Producer for The Learning Channel; as well as a myriad of other positions on numerous short & feature films, commercials and TV shows. He was the official photographer for the Portland Or. Indigenous Film Festival “One Flaming Arrow”. He also serves as the Co-Grants Manager at Wisdom.

He co-directed and produced the documentary “Native Wisdom- the Peoples of Eastern Oregon” which won a Special Jury Award at the Bend Film Festival and was nominated for best documentary at the 45th annual American Indian Film Festival, as well as screening at numerous other film festivals and Tribal gatherings, and also has aired on OPB plus.

Tim is a multi-disciplined artist, working primarily in video/film, photography, painting and music. He has documented the underground music scene in Portland for many years and has directed music videos for Uada, Bewitcher, and Kunu Bearchum among others, and had his photography featured in numerous magazines and on many albums/CD’s/etc.

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Adrienne Moat

Workforce Development Coordinator (Quileute)

Workforce Development Coordinator, Adrienne Moat, is a descendant of the Quileute Nation with Scottish and Irish heritage. She is an urban Indigenous environmentalist from Portland, OR. Adrienne coordinates with various partners and the community in the Wisdom Workforce Development (WWD) internship program, as well as, contracting related-projects for our WWD, LLC environmental restoration contract firm. She brings with her a wealth of knowledge and experience related to non-profit work, environmental science, and Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (ITEK).

Her previous work experience varies from non-profit development and communications assistant at the Native American Youth and Family Center (NAYA) to workforce development and community science at the Johnson Creek Watershed Council. More recently she worked asa plant propagation and livestock specialist at Dusk to Dawn Farm and Harsh Farm located in Kitsap County, WA. She is a Wisdom Workforce Development Intern alumnus (2018), and is grateful to have also graduated from NAYA’s 2017-2018 Oregon LEAD program. Adrienne is inspired by the great leadership of Portland’s Indigenous communities and is passionate about working for the liberation, advancement, and leadership of Portland’s BIPOC environmentalists. In 2015 she graduated from Portland State University with a BA in Communication Studies.

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Wisdom Work Force

Bruce Amik II:

Workforce Crew Leader (Blackfoot Nation/Blood tribes Canada)

Bruce started out as an intern with Wisdom’s Workforce Development program, became a crew member with the LLC, and became the Workforce Crew leader in 2020. Bruce manages Wisdom’s work crews and worksites in the field and collaborates with a myriad of partners and Portland area organizations, overseeing projects and ensuring crew safety. He also conducts hands-on trainings.

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Dawn Lowe

Dawn Lowe

ITEK Education Coordinator (Hawaiian, Apache, Cherokee, and Mohawk) 

Dawn is the ITEK Instructor for Wisdom Workforce Development interns. She was an original member of the first Wisdom Workforce Development LLC team in 2015 which collected and processed Native seeds for Metro’s Native Plant Center. She provides environmental instruction and habitat restoration lesson plans which integrate Indigenous Traditional Ecological Knowledge (ITEK). She is a gifted herbalist with knowledge of the gifts of Native plant species as well as invasive species. She also strives to develop and share herbal remedies and traditional herbal arts using Native plants.

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Staff Member Damien Cross

Karina Ceron

Social Media Coordinator (Taíno)

Karina is Wisdom’s social media manager. She has been with Wisdom through several years of projects and internships, and assists Wisdom’s fundraising and Give Guide campaigns. She has a degree in Anthropology focused in Environmental Studies, and a passion for ethnobotany, ecology, paleontology. Currently she works with the New York Public Library while maintaining her finger on the pulse of Wisdom’s partnerships and goings-on in the Northwest.

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Sha Malla Tu

Sha Malla Tu Daugherty

Executive Assistant, Office Administrator, Co-Grants Manager (Choctaw,  Cherokee) 

ShaMallaTu was hired in August of this year (2022) to support Executive Director Teresa Montana in the role of Executive Assistant. She then came in as extra support to the Office Administrator until she then took over the role and responsibilities completely in October. Currently she is training with our previous Grant Manager Marcella Joshlin, the position of Grants Manager will be shared between ShaMallaTu and Tim Keenan Burgess. ShaMallaTu has management and administrative experience prior to working with Wisdom.

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Staff Member Damien Cross

Damien Cross

Director of Strategic Communications

Damien Cross started with Wisdom as a volunteer to help manage and redesign their website through a transitional period and in 2021 started working as the Web Department Coordinator. In 2022 Damien transitioned into Director of Strategic Communications where he currently works with a variety of departments on various projects including IT, Office Communications, Technology Training, Multimedia, Web Development, Grants, and Email Administration.

He recently participated in the Open Signal 2022 Summer Cohort and has graduated the program with skills in film editing, producing and cinematography and will help with Wisdoms new multimedia internship, productions and upcoming films. His passion for community, multimedia, storytelling and blogging lead him to the organization and has fueled his work at Wisdom of the Elders.

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