9th International Indigenous Leadership Gathering

The Speakers

Lee Brown 

Dr Lee Brown

Dr. Lee Brown is the former Director of the Institute of Aboriginal Health in the College of Health Disciplines and the Indigenous Doctoral Program in the Department of Educational Studies at The University of British Columbia where he wrote his Doctoral Thesis entitled: Making the Classroom a Healthy Place: The Develop of Affective Competency in Aboriginal Pedagogy. He is the Co-author of The Sacred Tree, an educational curriculum based in Aboriginal values and epistemology. Lee has also contributed to the Round Lake Native Healing Centre in Vernon, BC during the last Thirty years in a number of capacities including clinical supervisor and currently as a cultural resource to the centre. He has been the keynote speaker at over one hundred Aboriginal conferences. He has been an invited to share his knowledge of culture and healing in over five hundred indigenous communities in North America. 

Dr. Brown has developed a theory of holistic emotional education that is predicated upon six principles of emotional competency that arise out of his research in the area of affective education and learning. Lee also facilitates the annual Emotional Education Conference and is a co-founder of the Global Emotional Education Association. Lee is published in Academic Journals on the subject of Emotional Education including the Canadian Journal of Native Education and AlterNative: A New Zealand International Journal of Indigenous Scholarship. Lee has also served as the guest editor of the UBC Educational Leadership Journal. 

Phil Lane Jr

Phil Lane Jr

Phil Lane Jr. is an enrolled member of the Yankton Dakota and Chickasaw First Nations and is an internationally recognized leader in human and community development. He was born at the Haskell Indian School in Lawrence, Kansas in 1944, where his mother and father met and attended school.

During the past 45 years, he has worked with Indigenous peoples in North, Central and South America, Micronesia, South East Asia, India, Hawaii and Africa. He served 16 years as an Associate Professor at the Faculty of Education at the University of Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada (1980-1996). With Elder’s from across North America Phil co-founded the Four Worlds International Institute (FWII) in 1982. FWII became an independent Institute in 1995. As well, Phil is a Director of the Four Directions Corporation, an Indigenous owned company, incorporated in 1996’ as Four World’s economic development arm.

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International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers

The Grandmothers are a group of women representing indigenous cultures from around the world, who are concerned with the destruction of the earth and indigenous ways of life.  The Grandmothers are featured in a wonderful collection of teachings and stories compiled in the book, “Grandmothers Counsel the World: Women Elder Offer Their Vision for Our Planet” (ed. Carol Schaefer).

You can learn more about the Grandmothers at http://www.grandmotherscouncil.com/


The International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers represents a global alliance of prayer, education, and healing for our Mother Earth, all Her inhabitants, all the children, and for the next seven generations to come. The Grandmothers are deeply concerned with the unprecedented destruction of our Mother Earth and the destruction of the indigenous way of life.

The Grandmothers believe the teachings of their ancestors will light the way through an uncertain future. They look to further their vision through the realization of projects that protect our diverse cultures: land, medicines, language, and ceremonial ways of prayer, and through projects that educate and nurture our children.

Grandmother Agnes Baker Pilgrim

Grandmother Agnes Pilgrim

“We grandmothers have come from far and wide to speak the knowledge we hold inside. In many languages we have been told it is time to make the right changes for our families, for the lands we love. We can be the voice for the voiceless. We are at the threshold. We are going to see change. If we can create the vision in our heart, it will spread. As bringers of the light, we have no choice but to join together. As women of wisdom we cannot be divided. When the condor meets the eagle – thunderbirds come home.”

Agnes Emma Baker Pilgrim is a Native American spiritual elder from Grants Pass, Oregon. She is the oldest member of the Takelma tribe. She is also the Granddaughter of Jack Harney, the first elected Chief of the Confederated Tribes of Siletz. Pilgrim was elected Chairperson of the International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers at its founding in 2004. She has been honored as a "Living Treasure" by the Confederated Tribes of Siletz, and as a "Living Cultural Legend" by the Oregon Council of the Arts.

Grandmother Agnes brought back the traditional Salmon Ceremony to her people, along with other traditional practices that were no longer practiced. She has been an outstanding “voice for the voiceless”, speaking out for animals, trees, water, and all beings.

Grandma Aggie has variously worked for the Indian Health Service as a physician's assistant, an alcohol and drug counselor, a scrub nurse, a logger, a singer, a bouncer, a barber in a jail and a stock car racing driver.

In 1982 Pilgrim was seriously ill with cancer. She asked the Creator to let her live as she had a lot left to do in the world and she had many friends and family who relied on her. Ever since that time she has transformed to a very spiritually oriented life – overcoming her initial doubts about her worthiness for this task.

Grandmother Mona Polacca

Mona Polacca

Grandmother Mona Polacca, M.S.W., is a founding member of The International Council of 13 Indigenous Grandmothers.  She is a Havasupai, Hopi, and Tewa Native American whose tribal affiliation is of the Colorado River Indian Tribes of Parker, Arizona.

Mona has been a featured conference speaker both nationally and internationally, themes focusing on Indigenous Peoples human rights, aging, mental health, addiction, and violence. In December 2008, Mona currently, is serving as the focal point of the of the Indigenous Peoples program of the World Water Forum 2018 and also served as the Indigenous Peoples representative of world religious leaders who drafted and signed a statement “Faith in Human Rights”, in commemoration of the 60th Year of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 

Unci Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance

Unci Rita Long Visitor

2017-Unci Rita Long Visitor Holy Dance, Oglala Lakota, was born on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, SW South Dakota, home of the Oglala Lakota people, where she lives today. Lakota is her first language and she is a lifelong home maker. She grew up on her home reservation during the time when Native American children by law were taken to Catholic boarding schools, some were sent to government boarding schools. She vividly remembers the day her parents took her to the Catholic boarding school. She said they took her to the door and knocked, the door opened and there stood a nun/sister who took her by the hand, that was the last time she saw her parents until May at the end of the school year. As the school years went by Unci Rita continued her education at the boarding school till she finished the 8th grade, and looked forward to high school. Unci Rita got married at the age of 21 to a veteran of WW2. She has many recollections of her parents, relatives and in-laws all of whom lived traditional Lakota ways. Eventually Unci Rita had her own family. Reservation life was a struggle for her, especially getting water which was a mile away. Today Unci Rita advocates and encourages the new generation of Lakota parents and grandparents to keep the Lakota language and traditional Lakota ways alive.

Chief Darrell Bob

Chief Darrell Bob

He is presently the Chief of the St’át’imc community of Xaxli’p. Many of you got to know Chief Darre;l by attending past International Indigenous Leadership Gatherings. He managed seven of the nine gatherings. He practices St’át’imc culture and spirituality. He also takes people up Swena7em Mountain for yearly vision quests. 

Kukwip7 Mike Leach