Rose High Bear
Founder and Project Director
Rose High Bear, Deg Hit’an Dine/Inupiat, was born and raised in a remote subarctic Athabascan village of McGrath on Alaska’s Kuskoquim River. Following graduation from Oregon State University, she co-founded Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. (Wisdom) in Portland, Oregon in 1993. For 26 years, she dedicated herself as Executive Director to Wisdom’s mission while developing many programs and multimedia learning models dedicated to Native cultural sustainability, health and wellness, and habitat restoration. Rose retired in 2019 to rural Marion County where she founded Elderberry Wisdom Farm. She upholds its mission by providing an abundance of resources for Native community development in the greater Salem area and far beyond. Rose is the current Board President.
Traditional Ecological Knowledge Educator
Trish Haugen (Blackfeet, Seneca, Sami) is the Traditional Ecological Knowledge Educator for our initiative which integrates traditional knowledges of local ecosystems with academic Western science to serve Native Americans interested in pursuing agricultural or horticultural careers. Haugen believes it is her ethical responsibility to protect the planet, plants and natural resources for future generations. This deep commitment brought her to Wisdom of the Elders in 2018 where she supported Wisdom’s vision of Native American cultural sustainability, multimedia education and race reconciliation. Haugen provided administrative support while we recruited and trained emerging Native American interns learning diverse conservation and other career readiness skills.
Earlier in her career, she worked at The Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest and The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde as an Internationally Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor (ICADCII), Chemical Dependency Professional (CDP), Certified Alcohol and Drug Counselor level 2 (CDACII), Chemical Dependency Specialist level 3 (CDSIII). Trish attended Marylhurst University, Clark College and College of Marin and is committed to freely sharing her knowledge as she provides experiential lifelong learning designed to empower others.
TEK Crew Leader
Autumn HighDesertWolf is a descendant of the Sitsika, Pikuni, Piegan, (Blackfeet Confederacy), Seneca, Shawnee, and Saami Indigenous peoples. Autumn has a deep commitment to her ancestors' teachings and spiritual traditions. She has reflected that in her past experience in sacred landscapes while interning and then serving as Assistant Crew Leader at Wisdom Workforce Development LLC between 2015-2018.
Autumn found a meaningful career pathway into environmental conservation work using a “Traditional Ecological Knowledge” systems foundation. She successfully integrated diverse teachings from Western Science which she learned experientially working with multiple collaborative partners in the greater Portland (Oregon) area. She continues to apply this habitat restoration experience with the traditional teachings of indigenous elders as Elderberry Wisdom Farm’s TEK Crew Leader. Due to the needs expressed by today’s conservation community and the hunger for TEK to be applied in local landscapes, she is also is exploring developing a native plant nursery microenterprise as her career pursuit.