Our Team of Writers:
Mental Health Curriculum Writer Roger Fernandes (University of Washington) is from the Lower Elwah S’Klallam reservation located on the Olympic Peninsula. Fernandes moved to Seattle with his S’Klallam mother and her sister when she was a young woman looking for work. Living in the city, he became disconnected from his reservation culture. He has since stepped back into his culture through traditional art and storytelling and become dedicated to Indian Education. An educator for 30 years, Fernandes has developed the structural model for our curriculum project which is using Hero’s Journey stories to teach people health and wellness. He especially acknowledges elders as that primary source of guidance saying, “It’s a very important aspect of the journey. You need an elder to guide you – to help you to figure things out. In the story, Elder appears to help you. “And so that’s the hero’s journey of transformation – of transforming from one person who’s alone, confused and wandering into a person who has a place in their culture and has an understanding of who they are.”
Addictions Curriculum Writer Karleen Wolfe (M.Ed., University of Washington / B.Ed., Seattle University) is an enrolled member of the White Earth Band of Chippewa Indians and is affiliated with the Sisseton-Wahpeton Sioux Tribe of South Dakota. Her background includes working with both public and independent schools, non-profit organizations, and with several media groups. Her work has appeared on the Web sites of the Newspapers in Education programs of both The Seattle Times and Seattle Post-Intelligencer, and on the Discovery Channel Web site, Discovery Education. She also served as a writer for Casey Family Programs, The REACH Center, and OSPI. Karleen currently teaches part-time as a faculty member at Seattle Community College and works as a freelance writer, trainer, and educator.
Domestic Violence Curriculum Writer Two Foxes Singing (Nunpa) (Masters, Education and Occupational Therapy, University of Missouri, Columbia, Missouri; Bachelors, Psychology and Education, Westminster College, Fulton, Missouri)
Two Foxes Singing (Nunpa) is an Occupational Therapist with over 25 years of experience in the mental health profession. He has developed and operated treatment programs for people with addictions, anger, and domestic violence and has also taught at the University level mental health curriculum for Occupational Therapy.
He founded Woape in 1999 which has the vision to support individuals, families, and communities in developing health and happiness through the discovery of hope. Woape’s programs include community based service learning, work skills development, occupational therapy, life skills development and training, and therapy in a nature setting. Currently, as the Executive Director of Woape, Nunpa manages the operations of the organization as well as works directly with youth and adults seeking health.
Type 2 Diabetes Curriculum Writer Nellie McConville (BS Public Health Education and BS in Anthropology, Portland State University) is a Nez Perce tribal member and traditional fisher person. She wrote T2D curriculum as Coordinator at Native American Rehabilitation Association’s Diabetes Program. She volunteers with several youth groups including the Troutdale YMCA. She is training with her daughter, C.J., to become a videographer for the Discovering Our Story Television Program team, assisting WISDOM’s Video Production Team to develop video shorts for this curriculum project.
Our Web, Video Production and Strategic Communications Team:
Webmaster and audio engineer/producer Clark Salisbury has produced public radio programming, music libraries, demos, and music for award-winning radio and video projects for over 20 years, including the PBS documentary Kids In Crisis – Robert’s Story. His engineering credits include Wisdom of the Elders Radio, the Peabody-award winning series Crossing East, and Destination DIY. His technical articles have appeared in Electronic Musician and Keyboard magazine, among others. Salisbury is an accomplished guitarist and has performed with a varitey of ensembles in his hometown of Portland, Oregon, as well as in tours of the US and England. He is currently studying the Arabic oud and performs and tours regularly with the Middle Eastern/world music ensemble, Brothers of the Baladi.
Web designer Tiffany Wakeham has over 15 years of experience working as a technologist in the non-profit and private sectors. Tiffany became involved with WISDOM in 2009 to develop websites for their K12 Curriculum and Discovering Our Story project.
WISDOM’s producer, William Ward has worked since 1989 as a sound professional for Oregon Public Broadcasting in their Television Division. He has worked with WISDOM since 1993, first as a volunteer, then as audio professional for Wisdom of the Elders Radio Program that helped us to achieve an award winning program. He has served on a number of productions with Oregon Public Broadcasting, and won a regional Emmy award for his work on the 1997 documentary, Rose City Remembered.
WISDOM’s videographer and producer, Myron A. Lameman, from Beaver Lake Cree Nation, is an experienced film script writer, director, and director of photography. After graduating from the Indigenous Independent Digital Filmmaking program at Capilano College in North Vancouver, British Columbia, he was chosen as one of five filmmakers awarded the 2008 Good Medicine Grant for Kipohtenaw, an experimental documentary exploring health and wellness in First Nation communities in Alberta. His short films Minkoh and Nipiwin explore an alternative indigenous future in a political light. He was a delegate to the International Indian Treaty Council (2002-2007), a Youth Intern at Beaver Lake Cree Nation (2004-2006) and is a member of Aboriginal Territories in Cyberspace, 2007-present. He partners with his wife, Beth Dillon Lameman, to produce and direct video shorts for this project.
WISDOM’s producer, videographer and Final Cut Pro editor Toby Joseph (Apache, Navajo, Seneca and Ute) grew up living and playing in the caves around Garden Of The Gods in Manitou Springs Colorado at the base of Tava, sun mtn (Pikes Peak) with his parents and grandmother. During the late 1970′s, in the last of the Indian relocation efforts of the U.S. Government, they were relocated to Tacoma, Washington where he Continued his cultural education with Jim Agawa, Director of the Tacoma Indian Education program and Phil Lucas, the Native baha’i filmmaker who produced the well-known recovery documentary, Alkalai Lake. In 2008, he graduated from Bates Technical College with certification in video production training, and fulfilled internships with Full Focus, the Emmy award winning program at KBTC Public Television, and as Program Director for the Tacoma Rainier baseball Team at Cheney Stadium. He formed S.A.V.A.G.E UP Productions and has developed “IT’S TWULSHOOTSEED TIME” a 30-minute childrens series for the Language Program at the Puyallup Indian Tribe, as well as music videos for HGS Savage Family and other independent audio and video production work such as the west coast native american music awards and DOS TV that documents the stories of Native people.
Strategic Communications Director Peta Mni works to develop and implement WISDOM’s messaging in order to effectively utilize new media to best communicate our mission and curriculum to our audiences. Additionally he oversees and refines our workflow in the pre-production, production and post-production process and provides hands-on instruction, training and mentorship in both field and studio production for our project volunteers. He’s a key member of Wisdom Productions our fee-for-service production unit and works locally as an independent contractor with a great number of nonprofit and educational organizations including project partners NAYA, Portland Community Media and Film Action Oregon.
WISDOM’s photographer, Joe Cantrell (Cherokee) Joe Cantrell has been shooting and processing large format photography since the age of 14. After two volunteer tours in Vietnam/Cambodia as a Naval Diving Officer, he stayed in Asia another 15 years as a photojournalist, living like an urban peasant among people who spoke little English, teaching himself to think through his cameras. He was soon shooting for UPI, “The New York Times,” “Time,” and “Newsweek,” and hundreds of clients. His photographs of his fellow Native Americans have been exhibited around the world, including the US State Department which sponsored a lecture tour of Germany in 1996, and The Smithsonian Museum of the American Indian, and other museums and collections around the country. He has taught photography at Oregon School of Arts and Crafts, the Pacific Northwest College of Art, Mt. Hood Community College, and workshops around the region.
Discovering Our Story Staff:
Executive Producer Rose High Bear (Deg Hit’an Dine) is responsible for project management; youth prevention and career pathway curricula development; focus group/pilot project planning and coordination; and strategic marketing planning. High Bear has successfully gained funding for and administered over two dozen local, statewide and national projects since 1998. She is Co-founder of WISDOM and Executive Producer of the Wisdom of the Elders Radio Program, Wisdom of the Elders Curriculum Project, and Discovering Our Story Project. She formed the Northwest Indian Storytellers Association in 2005, organized NISA’s Advisory Council and sponsored four series of tribal storytelling festivals, symposiums and emerging storytellers workshops. She developed Turtle Island Storytellers Network, the web-based American Indian speakers bureau; coordinated WISDOM’s Oral History Projects which recorded 300+ Native Americans since 1999; and coordinated 15 multi-cultural celebrations.
Project Coordinator, Candice Brings Plenty, MPAc (Oglala Lakota Sioux) is responsible for project management for Discovering Our Story for Schools; youth prevention and youth curricula development; pilot project implementation and grant managing/writing. Brings Plenty is responsible for research and evaluation composition as well as modifying curricula to the needs of in school/out of school settings. She manages the production of our writing teams as well as the Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. advisory council and interns. She conducts the coordination between the administrative office team, field partners, community coalitions, subcontractors and works closely with our Portland School Systems, Northwest tribal schools and surrounding Oregon, Washington, and California Universities.