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  • Writer's pictureRose High Bear

Returning from the Elderberry Wisdom Farm weekend retreat

We have just returned from our annual Elderberry Wisdom Farm Board Retreat. This year we rented a guest house in Lincoln City over an extended weekend. Our staff, elders and several other support people joined our board of directors for portions of the meeting.

We shared results and research from the first of five Traditional Ecological Knowledge Workforce Development project which we accomplished last Fall and discussed our plans to continue the trainings over the next four years in partnership with Chemeketa Community College and funding from USDA.

We shared in-depth information about the Habitat Restoration internships project we are launching this spring. We will train Native Americans interested in a career and microenterprises in habitat restoration. This initiative is funded by generous multi-year grants from Meyer Memorial Trust and The Collins Foundation.

We consulted with a tribe in California that is requesting our assistance to start their own habitat restoration project. They want to use the Native model we created to develop their plans. We would be honored to share our model with them and have agreed to help them acquire funding so we can launch the partnership.

We held a consultation session with our new Chemawa Elders Council and discussed plans to produce a short documentary film with the film team being formed. This will be produced in conjunction with the health and wellness curriculum we are producing for Chemawa Journey of Transformation. It will be conducted over five years in partnership with the Indigenous Wellness Research Institute at University of Washington School of Social Work with funding from National Institute of Health.

Sara DeHoff, our social media partner joined us a couple of times over the weekend and commented afterwards:

This was my first opportunity to attend an Elderberry Wisdom Farm board meeting. I was so impressed with the spirit in this team and the atmosphere of respect and honor for each other and for every guest who participated. No matter who the board met with, funding partners, the film crew and even representatives of a potential client, there was always the same genuine interest and respect so that every voice was heard. It was a beautiful example of how great work gets done with grace.

Our board of directors along with our staff came home from the retreat refreshed and excited for the ongoing activities and the opportunities to serve that are awaiting us.

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