Standing Strong & Speaking Up



The White Buffalo Woman Council team may speak on a variety of topics within the spheres of Native American culture and issues. We design custom presentations on topics and issues that lift the visibility of Indigenous Peoples.

Previous Speaking Engagements:

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19th Annual Trina Grillo Social Justice and Public Interest Law Retreat, UC Berkeley School of Law, Plenary: Environmental Justice and Native American Communities; Water is Life-Standing Rock

College of Marin Environmental Action Club and 350 Marin, Presentation: Inspiration from Standing Rock; Getting Active in a New Political Era

Marin County Human Rights Commission, Presentation on Native American Mascots and Request for Support to Eliminate Mascots in Marin, Marin Human Rights Commission, Marin County Civic Center, May 9,  2017. WBWC spoke against Little Leagues in Marin using Native American images as mascots. A motion to draft a support letter of opposing the usage of Native American mascots was requested. The letter would be sent approval and edits and then sent to the local support group, the White Buffalo Society. Motion made. Suggested that letters of support should be sent to Feinstein, Pelosi, Leno along with the definition of “RedSkins” to have a larger impact.

•Sonoma State University; Standing Rock

Engaging Schools:


In 2018 members of the White Buffalo Woman Council; Barbara Clifton Zarate (Patawomeck, Blackfoot) and Kerby Ann Gleeson (Hunkpapa Lakota) provided guidance and support to Mark Day School in San Rafael to organize an all-day gathering Honoring the Indigenous Peoples of North America. The entire school; staff, students and families engaged in workshops and activities to learn about Native American culture, traditions, history and contemporary issues.

The morning school assembly opened with a welcome by the Head of School, Joe Harvey, and a blessing and song by Henry Frank (Yurok/Pomo). David Escobar (Maya Lenca Poton) shared words and offered a beautiful hand drum song. Fernanda Pernambuco, Director of Cross-Cultural Partnerships and Community Engagement, explained the background for the day and shared a video by Frank Waln (Sicangu Lakota)

Barbara Clifton Zarate worked with a select group of students to make hand drums and learn songs. The students honored the Miwok people, whose land they were on, and all Indigenous Peoples.  They shared about the drum as a living being and honored the tree and the deer who gave so they could make the drum. They explained that the drum beat connects us to Mother Earth. It is the heartbeat of Mother Earth and of the People and it reminds us we are all connected

After assembly, students and staff immersed in various workshops that included: Eddie Madril  (Pasqua Yaqui)  who shared beautiful traditional dances and their meaning. David Escobar and Henry Frank discussed Native American history, culture and engaged the students in thinking about their own ancestry. Staff from the Museum of the American Indian  taught the students to make abalone necklaces. Alicia Retes (Mayo, Yaqui, & Cherokee) shared her mesmerizing stories that pulled us into the tales she told. The Cultural Conservancy staff; Maya Harjo (Quapaw, Shawnee, Muscogee Creek, Seminole) and Sara Madril (Yaqui) worked with students and staff in the garden and taught about Native Foodways and plants. Lunch was prepared by Chef Crystal Wahpepah (Kickapoo)

123_1_3The day ended with a final assembly with words of gratitude from the Head of School, song by Sky Road Webb (Coast Miwok), dance by Eddie Madril, then David Escobar led the group out around the Big Drum with the American Indian Movement song, and the day ended with a closing song by Sky Road Webb and Henry Frank.

It was a beautiful and blessed day!

123_1_10(Left to right: Alicia Retes, Barbara Clifton Zarate, Kerby Ann Gleeson, Eddie Madrid, Maya Harjo, Henry Frank, David Escobar and Sky Road Webb)