Member Education Sessions: Equity Through Participatory Grantmaking featuring Native Voices Rising
Native Voices Rising serves as a mechanism for building broad-based philanthropic support for grassroots groups led by and for Native communities.
Our moderator, Stephine “Steph” Poston (Pueblo of Sandia) and four Native Voices Rising strategic change makers, Geneva Wiki (Yurok Tribe), Holly Masten (Yurok Tribe), LorenAshley Buford (Yamassee), and Joy Persall (Ojibwe Metis Descendant) discuss how philanthropy can lift up the lived experiences of Indigenous peoples working for change in their communities.
Watch the broadcast now on NAP’s YouTube Channel and be sure to subscribe to the NAP YouTube channel for more informative and important resources on Native communities.
ABOUT OUR SPEAKERS:
GENEVA WIKI (Yurok Tribe) (she/her)
Senior Program Manager, The California Endowment
Geneva Wiki is a Senior Program Manager at The California Endowment, a nearly $4 billion private health foundation committed to health and racial justice. At TCE, Geneva leads the Native investment strategy on the state-wide Power Infrastructure team. A citizen of the Yurok Tribe, her people still live at the ancient village of Rek-woi, at the mouth of the Klamath River in the heart of the redwood forest in northern California.
Yurok values and family history ground Geneva’s deep belief that our families, communities, and planet can be healed, peaceful and abundant and that we have a responsibility to create harmony in the world through the pursuit of justice.
Formerly the Deputy Executive Director of the Yurok Tribal government, Geneva founded and led a community-driven early college high school on the reservation; served as the Executive Director of the Wild Rivers Community Foundation, and has broad experience in human-centered design, philanthropy, and community organizing for social transformation.
Geneva is also a California 100 Initiative Commissioner, and co-owns The Historic Requa Inn, a small business on the Yurok reservation, with her family. Geneva earned a Master in Public Administration degree from the Evans School of Public Affairs at the University of Washington.
Geneva lives 20 miles north of the Klamath River with her spouse of nearly 20 years and three daughters.
HOLLY MASTEN (Yurok Tribe) (she/her)
Native Youth Grantmakers
Holly Masten is a Yurok tribal member and is a descendant of the Hupa, Yurok, and Karuk Tribes. She grew up on reserve in Northern California and off reserve in later years. She is inspired by the commitment of her family to improve the community and they have shown her the significance of having courage and finding your voice. Holly’s experience on and off reserve motivates her to create space and authenticity for Indigenous youth.
Holly is a university student in the Bachelor of Arts program and she hopes to study education or law that centers Indigenous perspectives. Creating voice in her studies and work is a priority.
She has experience in youth leadership roles and advocacy while working with Matsqui-Abbotsford Impact Society and she helped found her high school Indigenous Leadership program. She organized and led Orange Shirt Day and MMIWG2S advocacy projects and has participated in several panels with the education administration.
“I am excited to be part of this program and know I am making important contributions. Learning is a process of reciprocity and this opportunity allows me to give back more. I look forward to giving my voice and working with my peers as we restore our communities.”
LORENASHLEY BUFORD (Yamassee) (she/her)
Project Manager, Tribal Youth Development Initiative – UNITY, INC
LorenAshley Buford, Yamassee descendant, is the Project Manager for the Tribal Youth Development Initiative for UNITY, INC. Buford continues to be active in her home community while working abroad. Recently, LorenAshley has worked with the PBS “Secrets of Spanish Florida” documentary on Yamassee history and collaborated with the University of North Florida for The Yamasee Indians: From Florida to South Carolina book. She studied American Indian Studies at Arizona State University with an emphasis in Federal Indian policy, decolonization, and historical trauma. She has been a passionate advocate for prison ministries and cultural prevention LorenAshley’s former years as a Prevention Specialist, GONA facilitator, ASIST trainer, and grassroots organizer, have helped mobilize communities to address indigenous health disparities, the awareness of HIV/AIDs, substance abuse and suicide prevention. Prior to being named to her new position, Buford was a UNITY youth leader advisor and Project Manager for the UNITY Wellness Warrior Project funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation.
JOY PERSALL (Ojibwe Metis Descendant) (she/her)
Native Voices Rising Program Strategist, Common Counsel Foundation
Joy has served as a consultant and strategist for over a decade focusing on BIPOC and Native American leadership, engaging multicultural, multi-generational leaders in coaching and facilitation of transformational leadership in non-profit, philanthropic, faith-based and community organizations. Joy served in Executive leadership at Dream of Wild Health, Headwaters Foundation for Justice, and Native Americans in Philanthropy and following a Bush Leadership Fellowship continues to advocate for greater equity and inclusion. She holds an M.A. in Organization Development and Management and Evidence-Based Coaching Certification. As an Indigenous woman, mother, grandmother, gardener, and seed keeper, Joy is committed to a life supported by community and family and caring for Mother Earth. Primarily, Joy is a gardener of people, teams, and organizations, developing their ability to grow, learn and create new solutions in a grounded atmosphere of human dignity and deep respect.
MODERATOR: STEPHINE “STEPH” POSTON (Pueblo of Sandia) (she/her)
President & CEO, Poston & Associates, LLC
“Steph” was born and raised on the Sandia Pueblo Indian Reservation. She worked for her tribe for eleven years before launching Poston & Associates, a full-service communications firm.
Steph’s expertise includes strategic facilitation, capacity-building training, leadership development, strategic communication, and event planning. She has worked with numerous tribes and tribal entities in New Mexico and throughout Indian Country on public relations and marketing campaigns, sacred site protection, voter empowerment, water rights, tribal policy development, economic development, education, and healthcare.
She is a co-founder of Native Women Lead and is the current Chairwoman of the Southwestern Association for Indian Arts which hosts Indian Market.