SOS (SERVING OUR SPIRITS)
Serving Our Spirits supports Indigenous communities and wisdom keepers’ efforts to preserve and carry out the ceremonies and rituals that feed the Spirits and deepen personal and cultural connection to the Spirits. In doing so, S.O.S. strives to help preserve and revitalize animistic traditions and beliefs, shamanic and related medicine practices, traditional Indigenous language, lore and knowledge, and to help protect, maintain and invigorate the numinous sacred places where Spirits dwell.
WISN (WORLDWIDE INDIGENOUS SCIENCE NETWORK)
WISDOM WEAVERS OF THE WORLD
COMMUNITY PARTNERS REVIEW COMMITTEE
We are incredibly thankful to our Community Partners Review Committee members for their efforts and dedication to making sure we implement a robust, fair and thoughtful review process and in assisting to make funding for the Protecting the Sacred Partnerships program a success.
2022 REVIEW COMMITTEE
MARY WILSON, NEW ZEALAND
Māori of the Ngāti Kahungunu tribe on the East Coast of the North Island, Aotearoa (New Zealand).
Mary has over 30 years experience across government, business, philanthropic and not-for-profit sectors.
For the last 10 years Mary has worked alongside community groups (including Māori / Pacific / Ethnic communities) and assisted them to achieve their goals and aspirations. More so, she has worked with many Māori Iwi (tribes) and Hapū (sub-tribes) in the development of their Marae (tribal reservations) and cultural projects where mātauranga (indigenous knowledge and wisdom) is paramount.
Like all indigenous cultures, Māori base their world view upon the relationship with the natural (and spiritual) world where each generation continues their role as guardians to care and protect the environment for present and future generations.
International travel and work abroad have provided Mary with a greater appreciation and respect for all cultures and communities. She recognises that for many generations, indigenous wisdom has been either extinguished or dampened to small embers and sparks. She believes Seeds of Wisdom is part of the greater consciousness movement to gently blow the ‘breath of life’ on those embers to re-ignite the flame and restore the sacred fires around the world.
BREIDY QUISPE VILACAHUAMAN, CENTRAL PERUVIAN ANDES
Quechua scholar from the Central Peruvian Andes. He has a Bachelor’s Degree in Anthropology from the Universidad Nacional del Centro del Peru (Huancayo, Peru) and a Master’s degree in anthropology from Georgia State University (Georgia, USA).
Breidy’s research interest centers on the reconstruction of dietary patterns and residential mobility of prehispanic Andean populations who inhabited the Mantaro valley during the Late Intermediate period (AD 1000-1400) and the Late Horizon period (AD 1400-1532). As a Quechua bioarchaeologist, Breidy’s research incorporates Western anthropological methods and Andean knowledge and he aims for the participation and inclusion of living Andean populations in his research. For the last five years, Breidy attended and presented his research at multiple scientific meetings in the United States and Peru. Recently, Breidy has been working as an archaeologist for multiple archaeological firms in California and Oregon. His daily fieldwork includes excavation, pedestrian surveys, testing, data recovery, lab analysis, and consultations with local Native American tribes.
HARTMAN DEETZ, TURTLE ISLAND
Hartman Deetz is a Mashpee Wampanoag who has been active in Native and environmental movements for over 20 years. This activism is based on his spiritual foundation in his Native traditions that value the earth as a living being. Deetz has been participating in ceremony from age 12 and has joined in Native ceremony across the Americas over the past 30 years. He has worked with Mashpee Coalition for Native Action, 2008’s national Longest Walk 2 campaign, Idle No More SF Bay, and traveled to Standing Rock North Dakota as well as Indian Bayou Louisiana to fight Energy Transfer Partners massive intertwined pipeline projects that run the length of the Mississippi. Deetz is currently engaged with advocating for the hunting and fishing rights of Wampanoag people in Massachusetts.
Deetz says he is excited to work with Seeds of Wisdom to support the efforts of cultural renewal and self determination for Indigenous people the world over. Indigenous cultures live with the land and are the antithesis of the destructive, disposable culture of commodification and extraction commonly known as colonialism. As we are living today we see the massive heat waves, burning oceans and the terrible outcomes on the world we all live in after centuries of prioritizing short term profits over the health and well being of life on this planet. It is so important , now more than ever, to seek out and uplift alternative ways to exist that might offer us a future that we can live with.
PAUL S KATO, NIGERIA
Paul Sanom Kato is a native of Nigeria. A passionate educator, Paul holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business/Economics, a Post Baccalaureate Certificate with an RX and NR endorsement in Social Studies and Computer Science. Paul also holds a Masters of Arts Degree in Education.
Paul brings a wealth of experience from 25 years in the education sector. Paul was inducted into the 2018 Spring Arbor University Hall of Fame for his accomplishments in soccer and his humanitarian work in Africa. A former professional soccer player Paul has used his platform to establish a 501(c) non-profit organization dedicated to raising awareness and funding for a boarding school in his native Nigeria. A proponent for social justice and equal opportunity especially for the disadvantaged, Paul has dedicated his life to a better future for humanity.
Paul lives in Michigan with his wife, Gwen. They have 2 children, Celete and Ian.
CHANDA THAPA, NEPAL
Jhorley (Indigenous Greetings), I am Chanda Thapa from Nepal and belong to Magar Indigenous Peoples. I have been working on Indigenous People’s rights, gender equality, and peacebuilding in Nepal and Asia for more a decade. I have recently joined International Funders for Indigenous Peoples (IFIP) as Program Director. Before joining IFIP, I worked with Asia Indigenous Peoples Pact (AIPP) based in Thailand as Deputy Secretary-General (DSG) from 2017-2020 and Regional Indigenous Women Program Coordinator 2014-2016. While working with AIPP, my focus was on institutional strengthening and movement building of the organization and its 47 members, and was able to contribute towards establishing and strengthening Indigenous Women and Youth Networks in Asia. Prior to that, I worked with Sankalpa– an alliance of 10 issue-based women’s organizations in Nepal– as Program Manager.
I have been serving as a Mama Cash Advisor for their Grant making programme since 2017 and a Technical Advisor for National Indigenous Women’s Forum (NIWF), Nepal since 2020. Besides, I am engaged with grassroots and national Indigenous Women’s and Women with Disability’s organizations and provide capacity building, institutional strengthen and policy advocacy support. I hold Master’s Degrees in Rural Development and Development Studies from Tribhuvan University, Nepal, and the Erasmus University of Rotterdam, the Netherlands, respectively. I love to travel and cook in my leisure time.
PHOTOGRAPY & VIDEO CREDITS
We are blessed to be connected with photographers and videographers who are happy to share their work and expertise with us. Our gratitude and thanks to the following individuals for making our website come alive with personality, color, voice, and depth.
Sebastian Suki Belaustegui