Elder Advisory Circle
Carla Whitefeather, BS
Carla Whitefeather, Menominee/Oneida, Namegos dodem, is a traditional Mide Kwe, helper of traditional ceremonies, cultural workshops, Elder videos, and land-based trainings. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Social Science and is retired after 28 years in the social services profession. Helping people to learn our ways is important to Niigaabii-onokwe, who has said, “I am very proud and honored to help people, especially the youth. I want them to learn and hold onto these sacred ceremonies and traditional teachings.”
Jeanette Skead, Makwa Dodem, is a mother, sister, auntie, grandmother, and great grandmother living the Anishinaabe traditional way of life in Wauzhushk Onigum First Nation near Kenora, Ontario. Netawaashik is four times Mide. She is the loving wife of the late Kwekigiizhego’nini (Clifford Skead), Na’me Dodem, and continues to honor the Anishinaabe teachings they lived during their 49 years together. Growing up in the Lake of the Woods area, her parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, and grandparents were the heart of her life in her early years. She attended residential school for 13 years and is still fluent in Anishinaabemowin. Netaawaashiik still lives, learns, and openly shares her life experiences and teachings.
Gaagige Munitou Binesi Kwe
Traci Thompson, MSW, LICSW
Traci has a Master of Social Work (MSW) in Clinical Social Work and did her Clinical Thesis on the Therapeutic Value of the Human Animal Bond. She has a Bachelor of Art degree in Social Work (BSW) and Psychology. Traci works in the Twin Cities Metro Area (Minnesota), providing mental health and adult protection services. Traci grew up in a small rural community. She has kept her love for the land and nature close and continues to respect all that the Earth has to offer. She is always listening to Mother Earth for answers and guidance, and always seeking to learn more about traditional cultural teachings.
Debra Appleby, LSW, BSW
Debra is an enrolled member of the Echota Cherokee Tribe of Alabama and a licensed social worker with a Bachelor of Art degree in Social Work. She is currently working as a hospice social worker in Minnesota. Debra is an Elder and a lifelong knowledge seeker of the traditional cultural teachings. She is a kokum, sister, auntie, and knowledge keeper and teacher of traditional sacred ceremonies.
Larry Keewatin Sr.
Larry, Pehchinigoneh nidoodem, is a member of Ki’eshgitabaaning Midewiin Lodge. He is a residential school survivor and has lived in Grassy Narrows First Nation all his life. He retired as a water and sewer plant operator then became a traditional herbalist healer under the direction of well-known Elder Moses Land.
Ileen Indian, Pizhew nidoodem, is a resident of Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation. She is a Mide Kwe, helper, and a lifelong jingle dress dancer. In her younger years, she was a native language teacher. The old ways are important for Ileen to share with the younger generation.
Lucille Kelly Davis
Lucille Kelly Davis, Pizhew nidoodem, is an Elder from Ojibways of Onigaming First Nation in Treaty #3. As a Kokum and Mide Kwe, Lucille is a knowledge keeper of women’s traditional teachings and has said: “I can still to this day remember my mother’s words and teachings on how to conduct myself as a woman.” Lucille is a survivor of the residential school system. She is a fluent speaker and Anishinaabe language teacher and has danced in her sacred jingle dress all her life. Sharing the original teachings of the healing jingle dress is important to her.
Susan Jefferson, BS
Susan is an enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe and a lifelong learner of the traditional Anishanaabe culture and cultural traditions. She is a knowledge keeper, Elder, kokum, auntie, and sister. Susan has a Bachelor of Science degree in Family Social Science and is retired after many years working in the social services profession.
Bryan was born in the U.K. in 1953. He is happily married to his wife of 19 years, Lucille Kelly Davis. Bryan lives on the reserve Ojibways of Onigaming First Nations. He is currently employed at Onigaming Child Care Centre as a janitor/maintenance. Bryan is always interested in the the culture, traditions and language of the Ojibway people and history. He is a fire keeper for the Midewiin Lodge.
Ruthie, Nameii nidoodem, is a mother and Grandmother and Mide Kwe. She lives the traditional way of Anishinaabe life. She is a residential school survivor from the 1960s scoop era. She is retired from social services work and follows in traditional and cultural values.
Sandra Copenace is an Elder and kookum from Ojibway’s of Onigaming First Nation in Treaty #3. She is a sacred pipe carrier and knowledge keeper of women’s teachings and protocols, passed down intergenerationally from her family. She has worked and has been a teacher at Onigaming Child Care Centre for over 40 years. Sandra has said, “My late mother always taught me the traditional ways and I listened to my father’s teachings”. Along with being a traditional singer and helper of ceremonies. Sandra has danced the sacred jingle dress dance all of her life and lives the traditional way with her husband, Tom.
Preserving Anishinaabe Elders stories through video and podcasts for future generations.
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