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Warrior Women Panel Discussion

This event took place on Monday, February 4, 2019 at 12:00pm
The Pit at Ayamdigut Campus, Yukon College

Panelists: Marcella Gilbert, Lakota/Dakota Activist and Educator Dr. Elizabeth A. Castle, Executive Director of The Warrior Women Oral History Project Lianne Charlie, Instructor, Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Governance, Yukon College Moderator: Melaina Sheldon, Inland Tlingit performer and producer based in Teslin, YT Marcella Gilbert, Guest, Warrior Women Marcella Gilbert is the daughter of Madonna Thunder Hawk and a Lakota and Dakota community organizer with a focus on food sovereignty and cultural revitalization. She earned a Master’s Degree in Nutrition and currently works for Simply Smiles, a cultural revitalization non-profit on the Cheyenne River Sioux Reservation where she directs the community garden programming. Gilbert was a 2014 Cohort of the Bush Foundation’s Native Nations Rebuilders Program. Her formative years were influenced by the activism of her extended family’s leadership in the American Indian Movement. She was a seventeen-year old delegate to the newly established International Indian Treaty Council to Geneva in 1977 and a graduate of the We Will Remember Survival Group. This alternative school run by and for Native people, was a remarkable tool for decolonizing and healing the intergenerational damage caused by boarding school. Her goal is to reintroduce sustainable traditional foods and organic farming to her reservation as an expression of the most fundamental form of survival and empowerment. Her current work is the launching of the pilot project of her own survival school Waniyetu Iyawapi (Winter Count) Mobile learning experience. Elizabeth A. Castle, Co-Director, Warrior Women Dr. Castle brings almost 20 years of experience as a scholar, activist, and media maker working in collaboration with Native Nations and underrepresented communities. Warrior Women is based on the research done for her book “Women were the Backbone, Men were the Jawbone: Native Women’s Activism in the Red Power Movement.” While completing her Ph.D. at Cambridge University, she worked as a policy associate for President Clinton’s Initiative on Race and in 2001 she served as a delegate for the Indigenous World Association at the United Nations World Conference Against Racism in Durban, South Africa. While working as an academic specialist for UC Berkeley’s Oral History Office, she received the University of California President’s Postdoctoral Fellowship at UC Santa Cruz under the supervision of Professors Angela Davis and Bettina Aptheker. Dr. Castle was a professor in the Native Studies Department at the University of South Dakota and is the founder and Executive Director of The Warrior Women Oral History Project. She is of Pekowi Shawnee heritage and Warrior Women is Castle’s directorial debut. Lianne Marie Leda Charlie, Instructor, Bachelor of Arts in Indigenous Governance, Yukon College is a descendant of the Tagé Cho Hudän (Big River People), Northern Tutchone-speaking people of the Yukon. Lianne is a political science instructor at Yukon College in Whitehorse, and she is pursuing a PhD in Indigenous politics at the University of Hawai`i at Mānoa. Lianne Charlie recently contributed artworks to the Yukon Arts Centre Gallery exhibition" To Talk with Others." Melaina Sheldon is an Inland Tlingit woman of the Deisheetaan Clan hailing from Teslin, Yukon Territory. She sits as the president of Gwaandak Theatre and is also a costume designer and performer. She achieved her first acting and design debut in 2010 with Patti Flather’s one woman show, Me and the Girls and continued on with design, producing costumes for Leonard Linklater’s play Justice (2012). She has apprenticed under actress PJ Prudat and director Yvette Nolan on Kenneth T. Williams’ Cafe Daughter (2013)and in 2014 Melaina returned to the stage in Keith Barker’s The Hours That Remain. Melaina is very passionate about First Nation culture, heritage, governance and art and she looks forward to a lifetime of working for and on behalf of Indigenous peoples nationally & internationally.

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