Don Standing Bear Forest Metis/Mi’kmaq/Abenaki/Huron

Don was born in Northeast US, taught of his Native heritage by his paternal Grandmother, but not until age 22 did he return to his Native roots, when he heard the beat of the drum at the University of Alaska, where he was attending school. It gripped him, and his Grandmothers teachings came back to him, and he and his father rekindled the journey to embrace their cultural heritage, and were welcomed back by their Tribal Council and elders, and obtained tribal membership. Don has been an Alaska resident since 1975, and continues to carry this passion for Native peoples and traditional ways of healing.

Relevant Experience:

UAF Bachelors Degree in Criminal Justice/Indian Law, and Bachelors in Sociology: Deans List; Criminal Justice National Honor Society/ wrote 2 chapters of Alaska Tribal Court Judges’ Handbook/Research paper: “Alcohol-Related Criminal Behavior amongst Alaska Natives.”

Technical Advisor for PBS Documentary: “Why We Dance”/ featured as traditional Native teacher in 2014 PBS film: “A Small Good Thing.”

Upon suggestion by Richard Frank, Athabaskan Elder, Don researched, established planning/advisory Board, obtained financial sponsorship, and started the Midnight Sun Intertribal Powwow, Fairbanks, Alaska, with the Mission Statement: “To bring Alaska Natives, American Indians, and First Nations Peoples of Canada, together, to share our similarities and diversities, in a powwow setting; to honor our Elders and our children; and to educate the general public about our heritage.”

Drum Keeper for Walks the Nations Traditional Drum: taught Culture Club: Drum, dance, and Native Art, for Fairbanks North Star Borough at two Rivers Elementary School, Alaska. Former member and lead singer of Walking Hawk Drum.

Talking Circle Facilitator: FNA Graff House Recovery Center; Ralph Purdue Center; Howard Luke Academy

Lecturer: The Gate House (Recovery) Academy; The Meadows Recovery Center (Arizona) / South West Indian Art and Culture Seminars (Arizona) / Native Culture, Townsend Elementary School (Massachusetts) / Holistic Wellness Show: “Healing through the Medicine Wheel” (Alaska) / Featured Speaker at The Gathering “Looking Back Forward” International indigenous gathering of Native pastors and ministers (California) / Covenant Y0uth of Alaska (CYAK) workshop leader and speaker (Alaska).

Award winning Native Artist specializing in his traditional art form of Wampum weaving/work published in Native Peoples Magazine, and various other publications/participates in events in lower 48, as well as AFN, WEIO, NCAI.

Member and former Board member of Indian Arts and Crafts Association: promoting authenticity of Native Art/testified to US Congress regarding Native Art Authenticity, leading to strengthening of Indian Arts and Crafts Act laws/ promoted introduction of Alaska Native artists into wholesale art shows in Lower 48.

Talents: Passionate about Native Culture and Spirituality/Ability to translate vision into reality/Organizational skills/ Leadership/ Conflict resolution/ Mediation/ Inspirational public speaking/ Counseling/ Teaching.