Episode 27 - Sherri Mitchell
Sherri Mitchell, Weh'na Ha'mu Kwasset is an Indigenous rights activist, spiritual teacher, and transformational change maker. She was born and raised on the Penobscot Indian reservation with a family of strong advocates and social justice activists. It was engrained in her from a very young age that, “not only do you not accept poor treatment of the ones that you love, but you also don’t participate in, or be complicit through silence in the mistreatment of others”.
Sherri Mitchells book, Sacred Instructions, Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change was released earlier this year.
Sherri is the Founding Director of the Land Peace Foundation, an organization dedicated to the global protection of Indigenous rights and the preservation of the Indigenous way of life. Prior to forming the Land Peace Foundation, She 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; and a civil rights educator for the Maine Attorney General’s Office, and she was the Staff Attorney for the Native American Unit of Pine Tree Legal. Sherri was a longtime advisor to the American Indian Institute’s Healing the Future Program and currently serves as an advisor to the Indigenous Elders and Medicine People’s Council of North and South America. She is an Advisor to We Are Nature Rising, who "helps next generation leaders awaken their ecological identify & foster the leadership skills necessary to act on behalf of the planet".
Sherri received her undergraduate degree from the University of Maine, and 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. Sherri is an alumna of the American Indian Ambassador program, and the Udall Native American Congressional Internship program. 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.
Her broad base of knowledge allows her to synthesize these many subjects into a cohesive whole, weaving together the legal, political, and spiritual aspects surrounding a multitude of complex issues. Sherri is the cohost, with Rivera Sun of Love (and Revolution) Radio, where they focus on stories of creative nonviolence, resilience and resistance and her work is featured in a documentary film on transformational change, by New Story Film.
I interviewed Sherri at the LOCALize IT conference, held in South Royalton, Vermont on October 21-22, 2017. The LOCALize IT Conference was a two-day solutions focused gathering for leaders and community members engaged in accelerating a localizing movement in our region.
The LOCALize IT conference was co-sponsored by Local Futures, Vermonters for a New Economy, the Sustainable Futures Fund of the The Vermont Community Foundation, the New Economy Law Center at The Vermont Law School and BALE, Building a Local Economy.