Michael Yellow Bird, MSW, PhD
"To the mind that is still, the whole universe surrenders" - Lao Tzu
“We are shaped by our thoughts; we become what we think. When the mind is pure, joy follows like a shadow that never leaves” - Buddha
"We live, we die, and like the grass and trees, renew ourselves from the soft earth of the grave. Stones crumble and decay, faiths grow old and they are forgotten, but new beliefs are born. The faith of the villages is dust now... but it will grow again... like the trees" Chief Joseph, Nez Perce
Indigenous and Tribal Peoples have a long and important history of engaging in contemplative and mindfulness practices in daily and ceremonial life. However, doing different periods of European and American colonization many of the sacred and secular practices were deliberately destroyed, leaving many communities without the cultural approaches they had used for millennia to heal and restore well being. The consequences of these disruptions are evident today. Indigenous Peoples have many serious health disparities resulting in high rates of disease and disability: suicide, obesity, substance abuse, diabetes, post-traumatic stress disorder, and depression and anxiety disorders.
I am committed to bringing mindfulness approaches and practices to Tribal and Indigenous Peoples communities, organizations, and programs to help build healing and improving wellness. My goal is to implement neurodecolonization strategies that call upon, or provide a means for tribal communities to engage in traditional indigenous contemplative practices and understand how these practices improve well-being.