United Indians of All Tribes (2014 - present)
As a young person, I was fortunate to be introduced to traditional Native American culture and ceremony. Although, I have very little Native American blood, that part of my ancestry felt more like home to me. I continued this path throughout my life, which has led me all around the United States and Canada, and enabled me to evenbtually meet with indigenous leaders, and spiritual persons from all over the world. I was adopted by my Grandfather, Hank Bainbridge and honored with the Din'e (Navajo) family name of Nagethligai (White Shield). Two of my original mentors Phil Lucas (Choctaw) and Lee Brown (Cherokee) were strong supporters and employees of Daybreak Star and United Indians of All Tribes, and often spoke fondly and its importance to the local indigenous community.
I heard through social media that the organization was struggling with programming and funding. I Immediately approached the organization to offer my services. Together, we initiated a few community events that helped to reinvigorate the spirit of the organization and since has attracted additional funding. I was asked to be on the committee to help change Columbus Day to Indigenous Peoples Day for the City of Seattle, and to assist in the planning of the subsequent celebration. The resolution was passed with support from City Council member Kshama Sawant and signed by Mayor Ed Murray in 2014, and we enjoyed a tremendous celebration, which I hope will be a stepping stone to healing and empowerment for the greater Northwest Native and surrounding communities. The third year celebration is coming up here in October and looking forward to it!
As the news of the success of the programs and organizations I was affiliated with spread, many cities and organizations expressed to me an interest in either developing similar programs to that which I had created or restructuring their current programs to better meet the needs of their community. My consulting business started and over the years, as my tool box grew in size, I have had the honor of supporting many non-profits, business and municipalities achieve their goals. I have worked as a consultant for the City of Issaquah, the City of Bellevue, the City of Kirkland, the Lower Elwah Klallam Tribe, What is Art/ What is Sound, Folklife Festival, Rocketown, Alder Publishing Company, Tree of Life Guardianship and Solid Ground Houseless resources as well as United Indians of All Tribes and Rochester Youth Outreach, which are featured below.
Rochester Youth Outreach (2012 - present)
Shortly after moving to Rochester, New York to support my wife while she studied for her Masters in Fine Arts, I was approached by communty organizers who wanted to start an inner-city youth program. I learned that the economy and communty had become depressed after Kodak and Xerox collapsed, which were the main economic card holders in the city of Rochester. Additionally, the community had been segregated for years by an outdated urban planning layout with additional institutionalized racism, which created an area of town where drug use and violence were common place, and 40% of young people did not graduate from high school, and many didn't go on to college. I had no choice, but to help. Rochester Youth Outreach was born and her new sister program "The World is Still Young" or "TWISY". I helped them build the basic structure using the same model of leveraging the arts as a catalyst for youth empowerment because of its proven success. Immediately, we received the support of teachers and the school district. We attracted a group of extremely talented young people that had been waiting for something just like this to engage with. Murals were painted, an arts venue was created, and regular arts and music workshops became commonplace. The police department immediately got on board, because of the obvious benefits to the young people and the need for youth leadership programs in the area. Even though I have moved back to Seattle, this program still continues to grow an thrive and I still work with them on a regular basis to provide guidance.