Empowerment Workshops


In this session, you will learn about the significance of  “heartwork” and how that heartwork gives purpose to your passion. Through stories, you will delve into the importance of revisiting our pasts in order to ground ourselves so that we can navigate our futures. Reflective writing prompts will also be included to gift you tools for implementing self-care. As we approach the end of 2020, learn how to continue honoring your heartwork through empathy, compassion, respect, reciprocity, and love.


Where do our stories take root? Everything our ancestors have done had purpose and meaning; we can help that meaning live on in our continual practice of lessons we’ve been taught, ceremonies we’ve been gifted, and songs and stories we carry in our hearts. Indigenous women are the backbone to any community. Many of our matriarchs have endured IndustrialSchools, relocation, and the desolation of reservations and still created magic by making food, weaving baskets, and by storying our survival. Because of the strength ofIndigenous women in our lineage, there are songs we all still carry. Some songs have been passed down for generations through tradition or ceremony; blood memory. Other songs are landmarks in the map of my memory; the lyrics and melodies remind us who we are. Some songs and stories have yet to be written,but we are always one song away from the next destination. How can we translate this ancestral knowledge into an every day practice? This talk will discuss how stories, songs, and ceremonies can serve as seeds to create the food that nurtures and heals the flooding of our internal heartscapes. Poetry and performance will be used to explore how the art of remembering can allow us to re-member – put ourselves back together after rupture and hold our hearts together throughout our journeys on this earth. 


Imagine you have three lives. What would you do with those three separate lives? Are there ways to combine them? What fears are involved in following those dreams? How can you overcome them?


The same techniques, rules, and advice that apply to crafting a poem, story, or essay can also be implemented in your writing and creative life. Come check out Taking Control of Your Narrative to hear some discussions and tips on plot, story arc, the importance of a character driven story versus a plot driven one, the function of an image in these genres, and the power of voice. The talk will include a couple of writing prompts so bring your pen, paper, and creative brains. Tanaya will offer advice on becoming the protagonist and being a hero in your own creative writing life.


Each of us has a story to tell, gifts that we were born with, and a light to share with the world. Come listen to poet, performer, and motivational speaker Tanaya Winder talk about embracing all of these traits and more! She will discuss the importance of family and community support in the pursuit of higher education and following one’s dreams. She will share the successes and challenges encountered on her journey to self-discovery in becoming a published poet and educator who works with Native American youth.


Each of us has a story and it is a story only we can tell. The voice we each have is powerful and worth sharing. Come participate in some fun and interesting writing prompts to help rediscover and strength the inner passion and voice that you have. Using an Indigenous corn teaching metaphor you will learn that writing poetry is just like a corn plant growing – both begin with a seed of inspiration and grow into something beautiful. It doesn’t matter what level you’re at, if you’re just starting, curious, or have been writing for years, you’ll rediscover the power of poetry in this workshop.


As Indigenous peoples we have undergone much historical, ancestral, and personal trauma. At times it can be difficult to process these traumas or soul wounds, but one way to cope and help make sense of these events is through art, writing, and words. Learning how to render your heart on the page is one of the most helpful skills one can possess because you’ll always have that as a means of processing joys, hurts, or all that comes in between.This workshop will offer writing prompts to help you open up, but also teach some writing techniques to find light and a sense of belonging and acceptance in ourselves and communities in hopes of coming out with a better understanding of the human condition in regards to loving others and self-love.


Where do stories take root? How does poetry plant itself early on in our artistic beginnings? This workshop will discuss how stories can serve as seeds to create the food that nurtures and heals the flooding of our internal heartscapes. We’ll use poetry and performance to explore how the art of remembering can allow us to re-member – and put ourselves back together after rupture. 


Part of living a w(hole) life involves healing any past traumas that would otherwise inhibit you from finding your purpose which grows from your passions. Uncovering your passion can be a difficult process when there are so many competing narratives of “what it means to be successful” or “happy.” This is where the importance of higher education comes in because in learning more about the world and how you, your community, and your people function and operate within the world often helps you find the role you want to have in society. Creating your own definitions of success will allow you to step into the heartwork that was always destined for you. As you learn more about your path, your story will unfold before you and put your heart into it. This talk will share the importance of storytelling and how stepping into your story will lead you to finding your fire. 

The Healing of Heartwork

As educators we engage in heartwork, helping our students understand their gifts and passions are meant to build a better world; it’s the work they were born for. This talk will focus on the healing work of heartwork by discussing the privilege of helping students view the world in new and interesting ways.

Teaching others how to harness their gifts and powers is a delicate process. Whether we are aware of it or not, teaching our students by example means working on our own healing as well. Through storytelling, The Healing of Heartwork weaves together experience and lessons that built a person, and asks the listener to do the same: search for building blocks, and burst through barriers.

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