Sacred Instructions: A Conversation With Sherri Mitchell

We’re so grateful to be able to share this inspired conversation with the amazing Sherri Mitchell, Weh’na Ha’mu Kwasset. We absolutely love her book, Sacred Instructions, and highly recommend it!

While we only touched on a fraction of the questions we wanted to ask Sherri, we did explore many rich topics together, including

  • Her beautiful perspective on embodiment
  • How we come to recognize our power and how this can get confused in a capitalist culture (and what the Law of Attraction gets right and wrong)
  • on living in a time of prophecy and what that entails
  • The sources of her strength
  • The need to examine and change the stories we’re telling- for example, the celebration of St. Patrick’s Day in the U.S. which celebrates colonizing and killing indigenous pagans in Ireland
  • Indigenous values as compared to Euro-centric values and the resulting differences in culture and experience.
  • Her incredible, visionary, 21-year ceremony dedicated toward Healing Turtle Island, and more.
  • And wondering together: Will we exit the planet or change our course??

What a powerful conversation with a wise visionary for our times. We’re so grateful to Sherri for this conversation and her work and way in the world. Please explore more at her websites:

Home

https://www.healingturtleisland.org/

Sherri was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian reservation (Penawahpskek).  She speaks and teaches around the world on issues of Indigenous rights, environmental justice, and spiritual change. Her broad base of knowledge allows her to synthesize many subjects into a cohesive whole, weaving together a multitude of complex issues and articulating them in a way that both satisfies the mind and heals the heart.

Sherri received her Juris Doctorate and a certificate in Indigenous People’s Law and Policy from the University of Arizona’s James E. Rogers College of Law. She is an alumna of the American Indian Ambassador program, and the Udall Native American Congressional Internship program.

Sherri is the Founding Director of the Land Peace Foundation, an organization dedicated to the global protection of Indigenous land and water rights and the preservation of the Indigenous way of life. Prior to forming the Land Peace Foundation, Sherri served as a law clerk to the Solicitor of the United States Department of Interior; as an Associate with Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan Law Firm; as a civil rights educator for the Maine Attorney General’s Office, and; as the Staff Attorney for the Native American Unit of Pine Tree Legal.

She has been actively involved with Indigenous rights and environmental justice work for more than 25 years. In 2010, she received the Mahoney Dunn International Human Rights and Humanitarian Award, for research into Human Rights violations against Indigenous Peoples. In 2015, she received the Spirit of Maine Award, for commitment and excellence in the field of International Human Rights. In 2016, Sherri’s portrait was added to the esteemed portrait series, Americans Who Tell the Truth, by artist Robert Shetterly. And, she is the recipient of the 2017 Hands of Hope Award from the Peace and Justice Center.

Sherri has been deeply committed to cultivating and renewing the traditional and ceremonial practices of her people. She has worked in many capacities over the past 30 years helping to highlight and advance the position of Wabanaki peoples.  In addition to helping her own people, Sherri has been a longtime advisor to the American Indian Institute’s Traditional Circle of Indian Elders and Youth and was a program coordinator for their Healing the Future Program. She also served as an advisor to the Indigenous Elders and Medicine People’s Council of North and South America for the past 20 years. In this role, she has worked with Indigenous spiritual leaders from across the Americas, helping to ensure that their voices are heard within the larger society. This has included bringing their messages to political leaders in the U.S., and Canada and the Indigenous Peoples Forum at the United Nations.

Sherri is the visionary behind “Healing the Wounds of Turtle Island,” a global healing ceremony that has brought people together from all corners of the world. The ceremony is designed to heal our relationships with one another as human beings, and then to heal the relationship between human beings and the rest of Creation.  It has been attended by people from every continent (except Antarctica), who have come together to pray with one heart and one mind for the healing of all life on Mother Earth.

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Erin

By training and profession, I am a somatic educator. Over the past 25+ years I have trained in and taught modern dance, tai chi, Indian and Tibetan yoga, yoga therapy (specializing in back pain). I completed a 4-year professional Feldenkrais training in 2007 and a 3-year Embodied Life training in 2014. I also study and work with somatic meditation and the profound practice of embodied inner listening known as Focusing.