|Rose High Bear lost 20 years before she was able to embrace her Native American heritage because
her grandmother had been forbidden from teaching her the Alaskan Athabaskan ways.
devoting her time to make sure other youths don't live that trauma.
ways of our people are never lost; sometimes it's us people who get lost," High Bear told a crowd of more
than 110 people Saturday evening at Portland State University.
it's so important to nurture and create bonds from generation to generation and family to family, whether they're
Native American or not, she said.
singers, dancers, storytellers and spectators gathered Saturday for the kickoff of the second annual "Afternoon
with the Wisdom of the Elders" series. The four-part series, which runs through May, is designed to celebrate
the heritage and common experiences of Native Americans, African Americans, Asian Americans and Latinos.
co-founded Wisdom of the Elders, a Native American organization with a mission of preserving its elders' wisdom
and experience, in 1992 with her late husband Martin High Bear, a Lakota medicine man who lived in Portland.
program included Mary Louise Defender Wilson, a storyteller from North Dakota, and Arlie Neskahi, a musician. African
Americans were represented by the Buffalo Soldiers Color Guard and the Drama Queens Theater Company.
multiethnic performances were designed to show the connection and commonality between different groups. Rose High
Bear urged the audience to join in racial dialogues to heal the rifts between groups.
She also reminded
the crowd that the performances were more than entertainment.
not here to entertain you; we're here to educate you of the vibrancy, the beauty of our culture," High Bear
said. "So you can know what it is that we are."