Indigenous Goddess Gang creates a space for sharing medicine through poetry, food & seed knowledge, herbalism, music and more. This is a space for reclaiming knowledge from an indigenous femme lens. Each month we will honor a different tribe of matriarchs in our fashion shoots. Each month we will continue to grow and share the knowledge of our matriarchs and share that medicine.
Indigenous Goddess Gang is a space intended for INDIGENOUS people. We've had our land taken from us, we've had our cultures taken from us, we've had our languages taken from us. This is a step towards reclaiming our knowledge, identity and medicine. This site is not intended for exploiting or appropriating. Tread lightly and respectfully.
"As a project which centers indigenous women, we also recognize the crucial work of our queer, trans, two-spirit and non-binary communities, and we acknowledge that we have a lot of work to do; to walk together, to reclaim our knowledge together and to move forward together."
Amber Morningstar Byars - Amber is a Choctaw/Chickasaw artist, writer, and organizer from Santa Fe, NM where she recently graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts with an AFA in Studio Art and a BA in Indigenous Liberal Studies.
Amber uses her art and writing as a therapeutic outlet to enhance and balance her academic work. Through her art, Amber tries to call awareness to specific issues caused by colonialism, such as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, environmental racism, and boarding school trauma.
Through her academic and legal work, she hopes to help restore justice to Indigenous communities around the world. Currently in the application process, Amber will be attending law school in the fall of 2019.
Raye Zaragoza is an award-winning singer-songwriter & activist whose multinational heritage (Native American (O'odham), Mexican, Taiwanese and Japanese) deeply informs her music. Her viral protest song “In The River,” a response to the construction of the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock Sioux reservation in North Dakota, garnered half a million views, national media coverage, and a Global Music Award and Honesty Oscar. The song was named the #2 Protest Song by Paste Magazine in 2017, and one of the Top 25 Protest Songs of the 21st Century by WhatCulture. Tracks from Raye’s debut album Fight For You have been featured on numerous Spotify playlists including ‘Feminist Friday,’ ‘Invisible No More,’ and Cyndi Lauper’s Protest Songs Playlist. Raye has captured hearts around the USA and Europe with her activist anthems, political commentaries, and love songs. This summer, she will be joining Dispatch and Nahko and Medicine for the People on their Summer Tour, which includes dates at Red Rocks and two nights at Central Park Summerstage.
Jennifer Marley is from the San Ildefonso Pueblo and is a student at the University of New Mexico pursuing her bachelor’s degree In Native American Studies. She is a political organizer and presently the President Of UNM’s Kiva Club and a lead organizer with The Red Nation.
Christine Means, Arikara, Dine and Iyanktowan Dakota, lives in the beautiful Southwest. She is from Gallup, New Mexico. Christine graduated from Fort Lewis College in Durango, CO with her BA in Psychology. While at Fort Lewis she played Women's Volleyball. Sports, health and wellness have always been an important part of her life. Sports offered her many opportunities to travel and attend college. Sports and fitness have always been a positive outlet for her. Christine is a mother to a five year old daughter. She is a certified Yoga teacher. Her passions for family, culture, food, and good living keep her strong.
Tanaya Winder is a poet, vocalist, writer, educator, and motivational speaker from the Southern Ute, Duckwater Shoshone, and Pyramid Lake Paiute Nations. She received a BA in English from Stanford University and after completing her MFA in creative writing from the University of New Mexico, she co-founded As/Us: A Space for Women of the World, a literary magazine publishing works by Indigenous women and women of color. In 2015, she co-founded the Sing Our Rivers Red traveling earring exhibit to raise awareness about murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. Her advocacy also includes working with Native youth and reservation communities as the Director of the University of Colorado at Boulder’s Upward Bound program, which serves approximately 103 Native youth from across the country. She is a 2016 National Center for American Indian Enterprise Development “40 Under 40” list of emerging American Indian leaders recipient and a 2017 First Peoples Fund Artists in Business Leadership fellows. Her debut poetry collection Words Like Love was published in 2015 and her chapbook Why Storms are Named After People and Bullets Remain Nameless was released in 2017. She believes in creating the spaces that are needed in this world and so she founded an Indigenous artists management company and collective called Dream Warriors, where they can uplift and empower others. Learn more about her work at www.tanayawinder.com or follow her on IG/Twitter @tanayawinder
Dina Devore- Dina grew up in a family of traditional and contemporary potters, sculptors, jewelers and painters. Art was embedded in her soul at a very young age. She was raised in California as a 2nd generation daughter of the Indian Relocation Act of 1956. In 2008 she made her back to Jemez Pueblo. Dina is an accomplished senior freelance self taught makeup artist. She works with a select group of established photographers and designers in the southwest region. Her work has been featured in a number of editorial publications and highlights.
In 2015 she started her native owned business "Boogie Bones" Art Dolls inspired by her three children and Pueblo culture. Her goal has been to make an indigenous doll that appealed to the imagination of a child while connecting them to culture and tradition. She is currently working with Albuquerque Non-profit Native American Professional Parent Resources Inc. to expand on the production of her fiber-works.
Jade Begay, Diné and Tesuque, is a multimedia artist, digital storyteller, and media strategist. Jade has journeyed across the world to work with Indigenous Peoples and communities to amplify their voices and stories. Jade is a producer at Indigenous Rising Media and partners with groups like the Indigenous Environmental Network, Bioneers, AJ+, and Google to create media that educates the audiences on Indigenous Issues.
Alana Bluebird- Alanna is a Blackfoot Dene writer, poet, and a performing artist who uses her creativity to empower youth. She is from Tsuut’ina Nation and expresses herself through poetry, photography, film & Quillwork. She has travelled to multiple countries and communities to share her spoken word poetry, and facilitates Native Wellness Institute workshops. Alanna gets inspiration for her poetry from her traditional and spiritual way of life. 2015 was the first time she shared her spoken word to the public. Since then she brought this talent to several diverse audiences. She received an award scholarship from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts where she was recognized as a “ 2017 Emerging Artist”. One highlight of this journey was when Alanna went to New Zealand and was apart of the “2016 Uplift Spoken Word Poetry Tour”. Recent projects that she is very proud of is a tour in southern Alberta of 50 elementary schools, with the theatre production, “We are all Treaty People”. A powerful 45 minute play that told the dynamic story of Treaty 7 people and its beginning. Alanna had the wonderful opportunity to work as Artistic Director for the Calgary Stampede Show Band 2017 production of “Mosaic”. She worked alongside with the Directors to create a production that addressed Indigenous peoples history in Canada. Alanna currently resides in New Mexico where she continues to create multifaceted art.
Sunny Red Bear aka “Luta”
Wasu Hla Mani Win
Lakota Sioux- Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe, South Dakota.
Sunny is a sexual abuse survivor/advocate, speaker, & writer. She uses writing & spoken word to teach, heal & educate people on the power of their stories.
Writing has always been her form of activism on many of the issues women deal with including sexual abuse, MMIW, reclaiming our power as indigenous women
& most importantly empowerment. She promotes wellness through words & is founding a new project coming soon to empower survivors of abuse through writing.
Demian DinéYazhi's artwork is materialized through the lens of curatorial inquiry, site-specific installation(s), poetic expression, social engagement, and art production. DinéYazhi' was raised in a matrilineal household and his maternal grandfather served in the U.S. Marine Corps as a Navajo Code Talker. Therefore, the undercurrents of DinéYazhi's work include a reverence toward traditional Diné practices, storytelling, traditional ceremonies, and acknowledging the criticality and sacredness of land, while simultaneously challenging contemporary archetypes of authenticity and jurisdiction. DinéYazhi' creates artwork that challenges hierarchal structures and re-utilizes conceptual art as a tool for truthtelling, sovereignty, uprising, and reclamation of language, culture, and self.
Tazbah Rose Chavez is a Los Angeles based multi-media artist working in the disciplines of film, music, performance poetry, and artistic direction. She is Nüümü (Paiute), Diné (Navajo), and San Carlos Apache, raised in the High Sierras of California in Payahüünadü (Bishop, Ca) on the Bishop Paiute Reservation. Tazbah has been writing poetry since childhood and performing since the age of 14. At 16 she wrote and directed her first film, Composure, a short experimental documentary combining film, music, and spoken word which went on to be showcased at film festivals internationally, winning Best First Time Director and Best Experimental Short Film on the festival circuit. This film set the foundation for her signature style to combine different artistic mediums in story telling. She achieved her Bachelor’s Degree from the University of California Los Angeles in American Indian Studies, and interned for Sundance Institute’s Native and Indigenous Film Program. Her poetry has been featured in online publications such as Indigenous Goddess Gang, an indigenous femme magazine, and Bastard Fanzine Magazine, which chronicles the creativity of those willing to give birth to their passions. Her most recent work as a writer and poet includes writing the script for Nike N7’s Dare to Rise for Equality commercial, and as the on-going artistic director, writer, and producer for the B. Yellowtail fashion brand’s video marketing campaigns. She is most passionately a live performance poet, weaving music and spoken word together for audiences, as one half of Seattle based music group, Synonyms IV Air. She has performed in acclaimed spaces such as the Smithsonian - National Museum of the American Indian, The Main Museum, Meow Wolf, Santa Fe Indian Market, World of Wonder, and The Underground Museum. The content of her writing, be it for film, performance, or literature, is sensory detailed, visually imaginative, and introspective around themes of love, loss, land, and the multi-faceted aspects of female and indigenous identities.
Bianca is a 24 year old Huron-Wendat woman from Wendake, Quebec. She lives in the city of Hamilton, in Ontario, Canada with her fiancee and their son, Ogichida. Together they are working hard to learn both his Ojibway and her Huron-Wendat, culture, traditions and language so that they can teach their son the ways of his people and ancestors.
Bianca is the founder of the website A Tribe Called Beauty. She created this website to help bring forth two of her biggest passions, which are natural beauty as well as supporting and encouraging Indigenous Women to feel confident, strong, beautiful, proud to be who they are, and to help them embrace their culture and traditions. Her life is dedicated to helping Indigenous Women thrive and reach their goals, while living healthy, traditional lives. She’s extremely passionate about keeping our traditions and culture alive, by learning and teaching about them as much as possible.
After changing her life around after many years of struggling with drug addiction, she’s working hard to help make a change to fight back against the stigma that surrounds our people. She’s determined to change the cycle that our people seem to be stuck in. She wouldn’t be where she is today if it wasn’t for her culture, and the medicines that the Creator and Mother Earth provide. She is now sharing the power of our medicines and traditions in hopes that anyone that is suffering will find healing in our traditional ways.
Bianca can be reached through email, as well as either her personal instagram or the instagram for her website.
Instagram : @atribecalledbeauty
Carrie Wood (Naakaii Dine'é nishłį́) is a member of the Navajo Nation. She lives in Santa Fe, NM with her husband and two children. Carrie works from home as a software engineer, she holds a BS in Engineering Management and an MS in Systems Engineering. When she is not debugging code, she enjoys spending time with friends and family and traveling as much as possible. To balance all the analytical thinking required in her day job, Carrie satisfies her creative side by writing in her blog, chizhii.com, as well as sewing and playing stylist to any and all friends that will let her. She is passionate about doing outreach to introducing children to programming and other STEM fields.
Katarina Yazzie. Todichiini, Tabaaha, Tlogi, Taneezahnii. I'm from Da'a'k'ehalani. I'm a 20 year old Electrician who decided to quit her job and chase my dreams. As a high schooler my mother pushed me to enroll in college. Therefore, I attended high school and college at the same time in Phoenix, Az. I give my father credit for all my brains. I didn't live a "normal" high school life. I don't have many friends and I use my camera as a midway between people and I. I also turned to social media to make and meet new people. I never had an interest in photography until I was out of high school. I had loved music and playing music. Piano, Native American Flute, and Guitar were my main interests. I have a strong will to travel. I realized my love for being wild at the crisp age of 18. I had a 2014 Jeep Wrangler that I loaded all my belonging with. I hit the road all alone with ambition and the will to learn as many things I could from as many people as I could. My first stop was in Orla Texas. Being with out my parents and sisters was definitely hard but I managed. I lived in Texas for almost two years, coming home to the rez occasionally. There I bought my first camera. My hobby as a photographer started there. At the time I was working as a full time Electrician at Natural Gas power plants and coal mines. I then high tailed it to California. In California I met tons of new people that convinced me quit my job and follow my photog dreams. I left my gypsy trail and came home August of 2016. I then decided to started my blog. I give all the credit for photography style and blog to my family. If they didn't live the cowboy lifestyle I wouldn't have anything to photograph. My blog is all about good photos and "creative natives" as I like to call them. I am very passionate about my Dine culture. Our Navajo language is VERY VERY precious! I occasionally do Navajo words of the day on my Snapchat to help other natives learn simple words and phrases. I support as many Native American artist as I can through my blog. I didn't think I would be nearly as successful as I am today. I owe it all to my followers. Throughout the past year I've had the opportunity to work many wonderful companies. Being hired by companies I never thought would ever give me a chance really boosted my confidence. All in all I think my story is very relate-able. I'm so glad I decided to take this huge risk with my career. I personally think that my story will help any other aspiring photographers who aren't too sure about what to do with their lives. My struggles are what made me the business woman I am today.
Cara Romero (Chemehuevi)
Born in Inglewood, CA in 1977, Cara was raised on the Chemehuevi Valley Indian reservation along the California shoreline of Havasu Lake in the heart of the Mojave Desert. Cara currently lives and works in Santa Fe, New Mexico and is married to Cochiti potter Diego Romero.
Cara’s work reflects her diverse training in film, digital, fine art, journalism, editorial portraiture and commercial photography. She shows at both the Santa Fe Indian Market and the Heard Museum Indian Market. She has won several awards including ribbons at both major markets and the “Visions for the Future “ award from the Native American Rights Fund.
Cara uses her photography to broaden perceptions and introduce ideas outside of the mainstream perception of indigenous art. Through her photography Cara captures beautifully composed stories layered with symbolism that can evoke emotion from anyone of any background.
Leah Rose, Eagle Clan, Keweenaw Bay Ojibwa Anishinaabekwe. Leah has spent the past several years living nomadically, retracing her roots and reconnecting with her family and tribe. She shares her visions of sacred landscapes, portraits, stories, and ceremony through her camera lens. Due to the boarding school system, Leah's mother was separated from her parents, and this journey has been healing of multi-generational trauma. Leah currently resides in New Mexico, where she has an apprenticeship under photographer Cara Romero. Leah strives to bring awareness to issues in Indian country as well as empowering Indigenous women through her photography.
Talavai Lakai Denipah-Cook
My name is Talavai Lakai Denipah-Cook (pronounced də-ˈləv-ˈī) and I come from tribes of Ohkay Owingeh Pueblo, Hopi, and Diné. I am a graduate of Fort Lewis College, class of 2016 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental and Organismic Biology. I currently work at Santa Clara Pueblo Forestry Department as the Reserved Treaty Rights Lands Program Coordinator to co-manage projects in assistance of preventing encroachment of fires, diseases, floods, and other threats coming off of United States Forest Service (USFS), National Park Service (NPS), Bureau Land Management (BLM), and other State/Private landowners which are adjacent to the reservation boundary. I am also an artist who practices dancing (Traditional and Contemporary), singing, painting, jewelry, and am learning more along my life journey. My hobbies consist of outdoor adventuring, hiking (backpacking), rafting, rock climbing, traveling, planting, and anything that involves with food and laughter.
Winston Paul is a Diné owned and operated business out of Many Farms, AZ. My name is Calandra Etsitty owner and designer for Winston Paul. Ever since I can remember I have always loved anything fashion related. I knew I wanted to pursue fashion, so I went to school for it but did not finish due to financial issues. I decide to start my business back in February 2017 and it has been amazing ever since. The name derives from the youngest of seven siblings,Winston Paul Etsitty. Born with Down syndrome, Winston Paul inspires people to see how beautiful they are inside and out. Winston has always been a sharp dresser and I feel I had some influence on his wardrobe. It is pretty safe to say that Winston influence my choice to start my retail business so it is only right to name my business after him. That is just a little history on how I started.
Winston Paul creates traditional and contemporary clothing for women. Winston Paul is popular for their pleated skirts. We use nothing but the finest fabrics down to the materials that are used to construct these garments. We do custom and specialty order such as wedding ,graduation ,ceremonies and any events that require traditional attire we do not stick to the norm we like to use all types of fabrics and notions to create an outfit that is simply amazing. Every order that is made we ensure that our client is involved through the whole process form the style of the outfit to picking the fabric of their choice. As we are a small business we build relationships with each of our clients so we can create a friendly vibe and a unique experience.
Alexis Wade-I’m from the Pueblo of Laguna. My clans are Big Parrot & Little Sun. I’m currently in my fifth year at NMSU majoring in Microbiology. When I graduate I plan to work with forensics in a forensic lab.
My name is Kaylynn Begay. I live in Many Farms, az. My husbands name is Denton Begay and we have 2 beautiful little boys. I love doing makeup and i am a self taught makeup artist. I also went to school for fashion/modeling/acting at John Casa Blanca Model and Career and recieved my certificate. I have done makeup from prom to weddings and down to photo shoots. I don't have every little thing known big to the makeup industry but i do what i can with what i have and i know in my heart i will get..somewhere with it. Makeup is not something to make myself feel better about myself but a way of self expresion and beautiful art. Every person is beautiful in their own way and i encourage anyone that loves makeup to keep practicing and you'll imprive day by day . Thank you for this opportunity to show my skills. Facebook is Kay Begay and instagram is @kay.begay. These are ways to get ahold of me.
Rowen White is a Seed Keeper and farmer from the Mohawk community of Akwesasne and a passionate activist for indigenous seed and food sovereignty. She is the director and founder of the Sierra Seeds, an innovative organic seed stewardship organization focusing on local seed and education, based in Nevada City CA. Rowen is the current National Project Coordinator and advisor for the Indigenous Seed Keeper Network, which is an initiative of the Native American Food Sovereignty Alliance, a non-profit organization aimed at leveraging resources to support tribal food sovereignty projects. The mission of the Indigenous Seed Keepers Network is to nourish and assist the growing Seed Sovereignty Movement across Turtle Island. Rowen's passion is in teaching and mentoring, and has developed many curricula which focus on holistic, indigenous permaculture based approach to seed stewardship which honors the many layers of seed culture; from practical hands on skills, cultural context and memory with guiding principles that are rooted in an indigenous ecology of relations. She teaches and facilitates creative seed stewardship immersions around the country within tribal and small farming communities. She weaves stories of seeds, food, culture and sacred Earth stewardship on her blog, Seed Songs. Follow her seed journeys at www.sierraseeds.org
In Beauty, In Honor.
Neeko, a third generation Navajo Silversmith, creates modern Navajo Jewelry out of her studio in Shiprock,Nm. Born and raised in Texas, Neeko's love of silver and turquoise jewelry started when she was a little girl but little did she know that she would end up being a female Navajo silversmith.
After graduating high school, Neeko attended the University of Texas at Austin and graduated with a B.S. in Communications: Radio-Tv-Film with her main focus in Cinematography. She moved to Los Angeles in the Fall of 2010 where she ended up landing a job as a DI Colorist and was a full time Colorist for 4 years until life led her onto a different path, silversmithing.
With no tools but a heart full of hope, Neeko used some money she had saved up to buy the tools that would get the job done and set up shop in her apartment bedroom. Working out of her LA apartment for the past four years, Neeko recently moved to Shiprock,Nm where she is currently building up her new studio.
Neeko sees the world from her own perspective and she has her own style, this is reflected in her designs. Each piece she hand makes, she strives to push her work to the next level and continues to create pieces that are timeless. She has recently learned how to sand cast and tufa cast, new things are upon the horizon.
Marquel Musgrave (Thamu Tsan), former Tribal Council Secretary from Nanbé Owingeh (Nambe Pueblo) has BA in Business Administration. She has a background in journalism, grant writing and grant administration. Currently, she works in experiential education and adventure therapy with the Santa Fe Mountain Center under the Native American Emergence Program focusing on resilience building and decolonization serving the indigenous communities of New Mexico. Marquel is passionate about cultural and language preservation. She is a member of the Tewa Language Committee in Nanbé Owingeh with the intent of increasing language acquisition tools for youth. Marquel is a mother to four year old daughter Kai, a Pueblo Hoop Dancer with the Lightning Boy Foundation.
Jazmin Arquero-As a Pueblo woman from Zuni Pueblo as well as Cochiti Pueblo I feel I’m twice as empowered with the diversity of each Pueblo I am a part of. Growing up my mother often took us to visit Zuni. I grew up developing a close relationship with my great grandparents who fluently spoke the Zuni language. Spending time watching kachina dances and participating in the preparation of bread baking and cooking. I saw first hand how the the uniqueness of the Zuni Pueblo’s language and cultural practices differed with the language and cultural practices within Cochiti Pueblo. Which also led me to see similarities between the two pueblos. The importance of retaining our language, cultural practices and the most important, respect for elders and their role within the family as well as community. Through generations of hardships and resilience we’ve survived and thrived. I am able to carry on the traditional values instilled within me and I am proud to be able to participate in cultural activities that show me that through all the hardships previous generations endured, with their resistance, I’m able to be a part of my own history and evolvement.
Ginger Dunnill works in community organizing, audio composition, sound installation and performance based art. Dunnill collaborates with artists globally, creating and performing work that inspires human connection and speaks on social justice. Her most recent social engagement project, Broken Boxes Podcast, highlights monthly interviews with indigenous and activism based artists, creating a connection point between artists from across the world. Dunnill is also a founding member of Winter Count, a collective of artists cultivating awareness, respect, honor and protection for land and water, and Dunnill is co-organizer of Dear Patriarchy, a multi-disciplinary platform which provides recognition and space for Resistance Art and Action led by Indigenous women and femme identifying communities. www.brokenboxespodcast.com
Nicolle L. Gonzales, Diné Midwife
My clan is Tl’aashchi’I, Red Bottom clan, born for Tachii’nii, Red Running into the Water clan. Hashk’aa hadzohi, Yucca fruit-strung-out-in-a line clan, and Naasht’ezhi dine’e, Zuni clan. Growing up on and off the Navajo reservation near Farmington, New Mexico our traditional healing practices have always been apart of my life. I attribute my accomplishments to the many prayers and ceremonies done on my behalf as I was growing into the asdzání I am today. My work as a midwife is to support women through their transformation through puberty, motherhood, and beyond while applying and integrating traditional knowledge.
Ooljéé Bideezhíké or little sisters of the moon is a collective of mindful moon bleeders. We appreciate all sacred cycles of our bodies and land. It is important to us to practice self healing. When we heal our wombs we heal the land. We believe in the restoration of sacred anatomy to creat our sacred self. It has been a mission to bring awareness to alternative reusable mynstrual products. The goal is to honor our sacred cycles and start loving our moontime.
Kim Smith- hails from the Diné Nation in the southwestern part of the U.S. She has dedicated her life to fighting for indigenous human rights, water & land at a local, national and international level. In her Diné community her work includes advocacy work in environmental justice, food sovereignty, art & indigenous based knowledge. When she is not home Kim curates a national traveling exhibition called, “The Art of Indigenous Resistance” which highlights graffiti and indigenous art as a platform to raise awareness about indigenous resistance. Kim also travels to indigenous resistance communities around the world to reconnect intertribal relationships and build solidarity. This year alone Kim has helped raise over $20,000 for the frontline communities she has visited. Kim is the founder for the online collective indigenous feminist magazine, "Indigenous Goddess Gang". Kim works along side Winona Laduke as a board member for Honor the Earth & Diné Citizens Against Ruining our Environment, she is considered an expert on Climate Change for the United Nations and is a registered International Front line Defender.
Other contributors: Shondina Lee, Maize White, Raina Silver