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.
Dr. Aaronda Mayo
Dr. Aaronda-Kay Mayo, Cherokee/ Seminole, grew up on a ranch in western Texas. She and her siblings were well taken care of at home using natural remedies. This is where her love of natural medicine and the love of nature began. Later, at the suggestion of her surgeon brother-in-law, she got her physical therapist degrees and license. She continued to suggest natural “home remedies” to patients and eventually decided to formalize her herbal education by completing her Master Herbalist certification from Dr. Christopher’s School of Natural Healing in 2006. She then set out to become a Naturopathic Doctor and graduated from Bastyr University in 2009. Dr. Mayo practiced as a primary care doctor in Washington State and as a family doctor in her own practice in Riverton Wyoming. She and her husband
started the Medicine-Bow Natural Health clinic after her graduation from Bastyr. After going through great loss of family and spouse, she decided to literally get back to nature and began working with Blue Elderberry Wisdom Farm in 2023. Dr. Mayo is currently working with Blue Elderberry Wisdom Farm with the native plant nursery and habitat restoration using Traditional Ecological Knowledge as the framework. Habitat restoration at Blue Elderberry Wisdom Farm involves site assessment, invasive plant removal, restoring soil biochemistry and reintroducing native plant species to restore the native functioning ecosystem.