Consultation, collaboration and training services specializing in indigenous earth-centered mentoring and outdoor education, to improve relations with and within First Nations communities, resulting in equitable, responsible change and decolonization initiatives.
We have the responsibility to heal the effects of colonialism, both past and ongoing, and the environmental destruction that we are a part of, willing or unwilling. During a time of extensive social and environmental challenges, the inclusion of Indigenous peoples is vital to heal our collective human spirit and to give respect to ancient wisdom that can help us to survive. We need to begin by acknowledging and making amends with Black, Indigenous and People of Color (BIPOC) and other often marginalized groups. Together we can create a paradigm for new leadership that is inclusive and culturally competent and relevant. Sassafras can help your organization on that journey with our experience from the past 20 years.
Sassafras is an indigenous-led organization, that operates on Wôpanâak land held in an unbroken lineage. Founding Executive Director and Director of Land, David Two Arrows Vanderhoop is a Wôpanâak elder, who was raised in a traditional family in Aquinnah. David has experienced the effects of historic trauma, racism, and cultural appropriation in his lifetime of 68 years. He brings a unique peacemaking way to address the ongoing effects colonialism truthfully and with empathy for all.
Depending on your organization's needs, outcomes can include the following; building relationships with or within Indigenous communities, understanding truth in history and contemporary experiences, supporting the visibility of indigenous people through Land Acknowledgments, LandBack and LandCulture projects. We mentor indigenous youth and adults in decolonization initiatives and we can assist you in developing policies for repair, and offer training for your staff, board members, volunteers, and participants.
Sassafras has been a forerunner in creating equity and right relations with First Peoples within a network of non-native nature connection mentoring organizations (NCN). We can assist your organization to make progress in the above areas and can design according to your organization's specific needs.
After a first free consultation, we proceed by engaging with you and your organization's team members through a series of (zoom) calls followed by in-person workshops and conversations, fitted to your needs. In-person training components can take place at your location or here on the Island of Noepe for a retreat gathering.
Bios (add link to About page)