About the Intergenerational Indigenous Women’s Fellowship

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Elevating the lives, voices, and dreams of Indigenous Women

Restoring the balance of the world especially during a pandemic requires transformative thinking that centers Indigenous Peoples and our ancestral knowledge.The United States and Canada have long histories of Indigenous erasure, including the attempted destruction of Indigenous ways of knowing, doing, and being. Yet, we are witnessing a resurgence of our ways across the Indigenous world as younger generations seek out traditional knowledge and wisdom for contemporary challenges. Indigenous Peoples are reclaiming their ancestral knowledge to heal, protect, and plan for a better future. Indigenous communities are embracing the need to bridge intergenerational knowledge for future impact. They are rallying to protect and sustain elders, knowledge keepers, and the intergenerational transfer of wisdom to sustain strong Indigenous futures.


Our goal is to honor and support elder indigenous women who desire to intentionally transfer their knowledge and experience to younger women. Together, we identify collective wisdom and integrate solutions to help address the challenges of our times. Through our fellowship program, we will select eight intergenerational partnerships consisting of a Legacy Leader and a Future Legacy Leader to support the implementation of a knowledge transfer project. 


  • Open to indigenous women only
  • Legacy Leader must be 65 years or older
  • Future Legacy Leader must be between the ages 18-40 years
  • Membership in a Federally Recognized Tribe/Nation, Native Hawaiian, First Nations of Canada, Inuit, or Metis for each of the Legacy Leader and the Future Legacy Leader
  • Have basic knowledge of and access to a computer with email and internet
  • If individuals are urban-based, must demonstrate active ties and relationship to an ancestral indigenous community and homeland


The Spirit Aligned Leadership Program remains committed to indigenous women elders, who we name as Legacy Leaders. They are connected knowers, empowered by living their values and experiences in self-determined ways for their people, their communities, and the sustainability of the worlds they hold up.


Legacy Leaders and younger women, who are “Future Legacy Leaders”, have much to offer each other. The Future Legacy Leader is a young woman who is committed and holds deep in her heart the belief that indigenous ways really matter and must not be lost. She understands the challenges of younger indigenous women from her own lived experiences. She knows that this unique opportunity is not “all about her”. She can prioritize aspects of her Legacy Leader’s knowledge and experiences and adapt it to solutions for today’s contemporary challenges. Most importantly, she can envision and strategically implement a bold collaborative path forward.The relationship between the Legacy Leader and the Future Legacy Leader must be strong and based upon learning from each other for collective impact and mutual support.


Each Legacy Leader and Future Legacy Leader agrees to dedicate themselves to their project and to the SALP program activities and collective wisdom transfer methods. This includes participating in interviews via Zoom to share cultural knowledge and lived experiences that hold potential to inspire, encourage and transform.

  1. Participate and engage in regular communications with staff, consultants, other Legacy Leaders and Future Legacy Leaders via phone, email, virtual meetings.
  2. Share your stories, experience, and knowledge for the benefit of other women and communities, with a particular focus as to what will help younger indigenous women.
  3. Implement and report on the status of your intergenerational knowledge transfer project
  4. Provide project documentation materials: videos; podcasts; letters to the editor; photos; songs; writings; transcripts; newsletter articles, etc.
  5. Participate with Spirit Aligned in our efforts to identify and share collective wisdom. Engage with the program and your circle of Legacy Leaders and Future Legacy Leaders to share knowledge, stories, and actions relevant to needs and across Indian Country.
  6. Work closely with each other in a trusting and collaborative manner, including documenting weekly check-ins with each other.
  7. Big picture thinking: Strategically identify how to implement your knowledge and experiences to improve your community. This can include utilizing existing community programs and frameworks or developing new ones.
  8. Identify, learn and use technology to communicate.

We look forward to welcoming our next Circle in 2022. In the meantime, we encourage you to get to know the incredible women of Circle 1, 2, and 3.

Need some inspiration? Or wondering if you are a Legacy Leader?

Read these words from our Executive Director, Katsi Cook: The Possible Bag