Martin High Bear Biography

The biography of the late Lakota medicine man and spiritual leader Martin High Bear is titled The Seven Commandments of the Sacred Buffalo Calf Maiden:  Martin High Bear (1919-1995)

The biography project came from a vision to Elderberry Farm’s founder, Rose High Bear in 1988 and has been a primary commitment since 1996. When published, this biography will share the rich traditional cultural values of Lakota peoples which are being restored among Lakota people after generations of hardship and decline.


The teachings were given to Martin in a vision shortly after he became a medicine man and spiritual leader in the 1970’s. For 25 years, he traveled sharing them with his own peoples as they began to restore their cultural identity and ceremonies. He was also instructed by the Spirit World to share his teachings with everyone – all colors of mankind - whom he met during his travels. He worked to strengthen race reconciliation and bring healing between Indian and non-Indian people which continues to this day between his people and the spiritual peoples of the world.


The biography is in its last stages of editing. Once we have reached agreement with an editor, we will finalize the biography and prepare it for submitting to a publisher. It is expected to be published in 2023 or 2024. His followers have waited decades for this to be completed and we look forward to providing it to them.


Traditional Ecological Knowledge Workforce Development Project

Strengthening Native American career success

Elderberry Wisdom Farm is providing Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander adults with an opportunity to strengthen their career pathway planning into horticultural and agricultural fields. Our social and economic development project is designed to strengthen academic and experiential learning for those seeking meaningful opportunities to develop careers or microenterprises in local ecosystems that can provide families with multigenerational prosperity.


Every fall, we provide internships in Traditional Ecological Knowledge Workforce Development in partnership with Chemeketa Community College. Our educators provide culturally-tailored multimedia TEK curriculum; and workforce readiness training that includes leadership and cohort mentoring training. Chemeketa Community College will also provide students with academic horticultural and irrigation coursework and additional externships.


We also provide training in Native American health and wellness as part of our classroom materials. Our learning model is designed to increase Native American student success by helping interns strengthen resiliency, including cultural identity, self-esteem and sense of belongingness while working in a Native setting with Native educators and mentors.


This internship will be held at our 19.7-acre Blue Elderberry Farm in rural Marion County south of Salem, Oregon. Service learning activities will include the new Native American plant nursery located at Blue Elderberry Farm, and the organic farm located near Aurora, Oregon. Our experiential learning activities are held at the Native Plant Nursery where the Blue Elderberry Farm is located.


Native American Habitat Restoration Internship

Training Native American adults in habitat restoration.

In the spring of 2022, and again in the spring of 2023, Elderberry Wisdom Farm is offering a Habitat Restoration Internship in partnership with Marion Soil and Water Conservation and other organizations and institutions in the mid-Willamette Valley. Classes will be offered to Native American, Alaskan Native, Native Hawaiian and Pacific Islander adults who are interested in conservation careers.


Classroom training will be held during spring term 2022 two days a week. Morning classroom education will be held at our 19.7-acre Blue Elderberry Farm in rural Marion County south of Salem, Oregon. Service learning activities in the afternoons will be held at three locations:

  • The new Native American plant nursery located at Blue Elderberry Farm

  • The organic farm located near Aurora, Oregon

  • North Santiam Canyon properties that burned in the historic 2020 Labor Day Wildfires.

We are grateful for funding generously provided by Meyer Memorial Trust and The Collins Foundation.


For additional information, you can subscribe to our monthly e-newsletter. You can also review our website for updates on progress of this project, or contact us through our Contact Us page.


Chemawa Journey of Transformation

Bringing health and wellness resiliency to Indian boarding school students

University of Washington’s Indigenous Wellness Research Institute is partnering with Elderberry Wisdom Farm to develop the Chemawa Journey of Transformation. This five-year research project will document the success of health and ecology curriculum being created for freshmen students.


Located in Salem, Oregon, Chemawa Indian School is the oldest, continuously operated boarding school for AIAN students in the US. The school has a national draw and serves approximately 400 students from over 100 tribes. During the Indian Boarding School era, generations of AIAN students attended Chemawa as part of a governmental policy to assimilate AIAN youth and eradicate cultural connectedness, language, and spirituality. Over the past several decades, the School has embraced an indigenous-centric mission directed at supporting academic achievement, tribal identity, as well as student health and wellness. The School curriculum includes classes on Native history, culture, language, literature, and art.


While we conduct this five-year health and wellness research project, our multimedia team will produce a documentary film in cooperation with Chemawa Indian School, the Chemawa Student Council, the Chemawa Elders Council and Chemawa Indian Health Service. Our team has three decades of experience recording Native American elders and community leaders, and has produced documentary films, radio programs and community television programs since 2002.


Native American Microenterprise Development

Training Native American adults in agricultural and horticultural microenterprises.

Our most recent project is emerging as a social and economic development project designed to provide microenterprise business training for Native American adults interested in pursuing conservation, horticultural, or organic sustainable farming businesses. Elderberry Wisdom Farm is forming several Native American LLCs that will provide opportunities for self-employment and future prosperity


One business being created in 2022 is the Native American Habitat Restoration LLC. We are training a crew that, once trained in habitat restoration and native plant nursery development, will work at a living wage restoring mid-Willamette Valley ecosystems. Elderberry Wisdom Farm educators will provide training and experiential learning activities at its Native Plant Nursery where the native elderberry farm is located. They will also have opportunities to complete academic coursework at Chemeketa Community College. We are developing this initiative as a microenterprise and will include training over three years. After joining the crew, the interns will develop over three years to administer and run their own LLC as owner-operators.


Our intentional Native American farm coop community is also being planned for rural Marion County near our 11-acre organic farm. One business is Blue Elderberry Farm which is developing an organic locally-sourced elderberry syrup using the native plant species, Sambucus nigra ssp. Cerulea, commonly called Blue Elderberry. This business is serving as a model to Native farmers on how to plan, form and operate their own organic and sustainable farm operation. Interns will begin by developing a feasibility study followed by their own business and marketing plan. They will also be able to take advantage of training and a savings opportunity through an IDA (Individual Development Account) at Mercy Corps NW, located in Portland OR.