Cultural Atlas – Circle Three

Meet Our Circle 3 Legacy Leaders and Future Legacy Leaders!

These remarkable women leaders will participate in a sisterhood program that will strengthen their relationship over the trajectory of their lives and is designed to support the sharing of cultural knowledge between Indigenous women elders and younger Indigenous women. 

Together, they will work on self-determined cultural leadership priorities in their communities, ranging from: intergenerational knowledge transfer; healing & wellness; solutions to contemporary challenges; Indigenous women’s roles and leadership; homeland recovery; language & ceremony renewal; Indigeous food sovereignty; sky world knowledge.

Get to know them and walk with us this year, as we present their stories and share their lessons. 

Pauline Waterfall


“I am in the last trimester of life and have been blessed to have been given so much Heiltsuk knowledge to guard, keep safe, and pass on.”

Kylie Gladstone


“I will document what my grandmother teaches me so that I can support her in writing a Heiltsuk culture and history book to ensure that our knowledge isn’t lost.”

Mary Mabel Joseph


“I’ve organized my house group to strengthen Cas yikh and supported other members to step into Chief names.”

Molly Ann Wickham


“I believe that bringing our laws and governance into practice in a modern context shows younger people that our laws, language, lands, and culture are relevant to the lives of young women.”

Norma Rendon

Oglala Lakota

“If you live by the Pipe or your cultural ways you will naturally walk in a gentle manner, without anger and always have compassion for the People, helping the People.”

Jessie Taken Alive-Rencountre

Hunkpapa Lakota

“The ceremonies, medicinal plants, traditional foods, and sacred areas can help bring healing to our minds, bodies, and spirits”

Mililani Trask

Native Hawaiian

“My life work is best understood as a commitment I undertook in law school, to establish and protect Hawaiian Human Rights so that we, as a People, would not pass.”

Lihau Enriquez Rosehill

Native Hawaiian

“My priorities and life work is preserving traditional practices, protecting sacred areas, and passing on the knowledge that I carry to our younger generation.”

Lorna Williams

Lil’wat Nation

“My life’s work has been to restore, protect, celebrate, hold precious my Lil’wat heritage – language, understandings, stories, songs, knowledge, relationships and to pass them on to the next generation, and to help others do the same.”

chuutsqa L. Rorick


“All those who are learning to speak our languages, therefore, need to speak often, and speak our language everywhere to heal and restore the hope and confidence we feel when our languages are living. “

Serena Francis


“Some of our stories were intended to entertain, others to teach, but all our stories contain important aspect of Mi’kmaq ways of being, knowing, and doing.”

Susan Bernard


“I am working on research for Mi’kmaq star stories to help create a Mi’kmaq star map.”

Olive Elm

Oneida Nation of the Thames

“Even though I was punished in school for speaking the language—I was made to scrub the floor when they heard me speaking my language—I never gave it up.”

Erica Elijah

Oneida Nation of the Thames

“I know how our language and ways awaken the spirit and reignite purpose and truth.”

Abby Abinanti


“I’ve tried to take responsibility like our ancestors would want us to, to try to be a member of this community.”

Blythe George


“I have spent years honing my craft as an empirical scholar, but these credentials are secondary to what I know in my heart as an indigenous woman.”

Jessica Carter


“My parents instilled a deep commitment for service to our community, and this is the grounding foundation for my work as a Court Director.”

Levina Wilkins

Yakama Nation

“To speak the language is: to love yourself; to acknowledge who you are; and to be able to carry on in a good way.”

Leslie Swan

Yakama Nation

“I want to help our people heal from colonization so that future generations will live healthy lifestyles for years to come.”

Virginia Gregoire


“I have been fortunate to be able to work with the little ones six months to six years old, from 1998, sharing and teaching the language.”

Ashley Gregoire


“I was lost and did not know or love who I was until I embraced my language.”