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  • Writer's pictureRose High Bear

Intern Jenna Wetzleben presents her work

Updated: Feb 9

Friends and relatives,

The Elderberry Wisdom Farm team has been reflecting on the unprecedented success of our 2023 Summer Internship. As the summer extends into our autumn harvest season, we want to acknowledge five Summer Interns who helped accelerate our Native American and Indigenous social and economic development work and expand our Native Agriculture Biodiversity Accelerator.

We are sharing five short films in weekly newsletters throughout October to acknowledge Elderberry Wisdom Farm's talented Summer Interns. Their final presentations were filmed at Chemeketa Community College at the conclusion of their Summer Internship and then produced by our filmmaker Sam Forencich in September. We are sharing these recordings with our community starting with our October newsletter, and sent over the next several weeks.

This first film clip features Jenna Witzleben (Mi'kmaq First Nations people of the Northeastern Woodlands in Nova Scotia, Canada).

Jenna Witzleben (Mi’kmaq, Irish, French, German) is a life-long student of human-plant relations and is working on repairing their familial ties with the Ugpi'Ganjig First Nations through their maternal grandmother. Jenna grew up near the waters of the Mahhicannituck in the Hudson Valley on Mohican lands (near Albany, NY).

This summer, Jenna contributed to the planning of EWF’s Indigenous Biodiversity Farm while learning about native plant restoration, nursery management, and traditional ecological knowledge. Jenna is continuously nourished by the wisdom of many thought leaders and earth stewards, including Robin Wall Kimmerer, Lyla June Johnston, Rowen White, Leah Penniman, adrienne maree brown, and Vandana Shiva, to name a few, and her bio would be incomplete without recognizing their role in her work. Her continually evolving path has been nourished by a lifelong dance practice, which feeds a commitment to bodily wellness as it shows up in growing and preparing food and plant medicine, mobilizing towards climate justice.

Over the next 4 weeks, we will share recordings of our other cohort members, including Chase Huntley (The Philippines), Olivia Pereyra (Latina), MJ Melanie Cavanagh (The Philippines), and Kaylynne Grigsby (Siuslaw). Chase, Olivia and MJ are continuing to be part of our Fall Habitat Restoration Internship, along with our newest interns, Gabriella Pena (Wintu from Lake Shasta) and Shannon Chinnock (Chickasaw).

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