2013 Conference



“Looking Back to our Ancestors to Step Into the Future”

This year’s conference will be held on the campus of Northern New Mexico College, at the Nick L. Salazar Center for Performing Arts, on October 25th & 26th, 2013


In order for us to properly plan for enough food and conference materials, it is suggested that you pre-register using the form below.  Admission prices are  listed on the registration form.

With all of the wonderful speakers we have lined up, we expect a complete sell out, so register early to ensure your participation in this year’s event!

Conference_Registration 2013

Registration forms can be faxed to 505-466-5879


This year’s host hotel is the Santa Claran.  For conference rates visit www.santaclaran.com .



Click here to view our tentative conference schedule!

Program Schedule 2013


Dr. Vandana Shiva, PhD

Dr. Vandana Shiva, PhD, a world-renowned environmental thinker, activist, physicist, feminist, philosopher of science, writer and science policy advocate, is the Director of The Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy. She serves as an ecology advisor to several organizations including the Third World Network and the Asia Pacific People’s Environment Network. A contributing editor to People-Centered Development Forum, she has also written several works including, “Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge,” Shiva participated in the nonviolent Chipko movement during the 1970s, whose main participants were women. She is one of the leaders of the International Forum on Globalization, and a figure of the global solidarity movement known as the anti-globalization movement. Shiva has fought for changes in the practice and paradigms of agriculture and food. Intellectual property rights, biodiversity, biotechnology, bioethics, genetic engineering are among the fields where Shiva has contributed intellectually and through activist campaigns.


View Vandana’s videotaped message to us at our 2011 Conference;





Agnes Baker-Pilgrim

We grandmothers have come from far and wide to speak the knowledge we hold inside. In many languages we have been told it is time to make the right changes for our families, for the lands we love. We can be the voice for the voiceless. We are at the threshold. We are going to see change. If we can create the vision in our heart, it will spread. As bringers of light, we have no choice but to join together. As women of wisdom we cannot be divided. When the condor meets the eagle—thunderbirds come home.

The oldest living member of her tribe, the Takelma Indians, originally from Southern Oregon. Agnes is a world renowned spiritual leader, member of the Historic Society and keeper of the Sacred Salmon Ceremony.

Beatrice Long-Visitor Holy Dance

We are here with a prayer for our generations, for our grandchildren who are suffering, for our children’s grandchildren. How are we going to survive? Our government is taking everything from us. Our people want our Black Hills back. The only way to survive is through prayer.

Lakota keeper of the traditional ways, great grandmother, Native American Church elder, sundancer, healthworker for people with diabetes. Beatrice is a member of the Council of Language Elders, focusing on Oglala Lakota language immersion and teaching their native tongue to children and to elders.


Born the youngest of 15 children in the highlands of Central America, Flordemayo was found at an early age – like others in her family – to have the gift of Sight. By age four, she was being trained in the art of curanderismo, which had been handed down from mother to daughter for many generations. Flordemayo’s mother was a midwife and healer and taught her daughters in the use of herbs, women’s medicine and how women are to honor and 
care for our Mother Earth.

Flordemayo now lives in New Mexico. She is a frequent presenter at national and international conferences and events, universities and colleges. Since 1999, she has been part of the Wisdom of the Grandmothers’ Foundation. She is the recipient of the Martin de La Cruz Award for Alternative Healing, a prestigious honor given by the International Congress of Traditional Medicine. Flordemayo is also a Founder of the Institute for Natural and Traditional Knowledge (intk.org). Currently, in addition to her independent work as a Universal Healer, featured speaker and woman of prayer, she is the Founder of The Path, a 501(c)3 (www.followthegoldenpath.org) dedicated to the preservation of traditional knowledge and heritage seeds. She is also a member of the International Council of Thirteen Indigenous Grandmothers (www.grandmotherscouncil.org). Flordemayo travels our beautiful Mother Earth to share her teachings and healing gifts, inspiring and fostering more spiritual understanding among people, so that all people may unite as one. Flordemayo is now formally recognized as the keeper of her family’s sacred staff which has been passed down for 12 generations.

Mona Polacca

Indigenous people have come through a time of great struggle, a time of darkness. The way I look at it is like the nature of a butterfly. In the cocoon, a place of darkness, the creature breaks down into a fluid and then a change, a transformation, takes place. When it is ready and in its own time, it begins to move and develop a form that stretches and breaks away from this cocoon and emerges into this world, into life, as a beautiful creature.

We grandmothers, we have emerged from that darkness, see this beauty, see each other and reach out to the world with open arms, with love, hope, compassion, faith and charity.

Mona, a Hopi/Havasupai /Tewa elder, has a Master of Social Work degree. She serves on several United Nations committees on indigenous people’s issues and is a featured author, speaker, and educator on indigenous people’s human rights, aging, mental health, addiction and violence. She is also the President/CEO and faculty of the Turtle Island Project, a non-profit program that promotes a vision of wellness by providing trans-cultural training to individuals, families, and healthcare professionals.

Rita Pitka Blumenstein

The past is not a burden; it is a scaffold which brought us to this day. We are free to be who we are—to create our own life out of our past and out of the present. We are our ancestors. When we can heal ourselves, we also heal our ancestors, our grandmothers, our grandfathers and our children. When we heal ourselves, we heal Mother Earth.

Yup’ik mother, grandmother, great grandmother, wife, aunt, sister,friend, tribal elder. Born on a fishing boat and raised in Tununak, Alaska, Rita attended a Montessori school in Seattle for four years. She raised two children and worked at many hospitals delivering babies as a doctor’s aide in Bethel and Nome. She has traveled and taught basket weaving, song, dance and cultural issue classes world-wide, earning money for Native American Colleges.

Rita has participated in many healing conferences where her teachings of the “Talking Circle” were recorded and published. Rita is currently employed with South Central Foundation as a tribal doctor using plant and energy medicine.

Rita Long-Visitor Holy Dance

Lakota keeper of the traditional ways, great grandmother, Native American Church elder, beadworker.

Rita is a member of the Council of Language Elders, focusing on Oglala Lakota language immersion and teaching their native tongue to children and to elders.

Clayton Thomas-Muller

 Clayton Thomas-Muller is a member of the Mathias Colomb Cree Nation also known as Pukatawagan in Northern Manitoba, Canada. Based out of Ottawa, Ontario, Canada. Clayton is a campaigner for the Defenders of the Land & Idle No More, as well as a co-director of the Indigenous Tar Sands (ITS) Campaign of the Polaris Institute.
Clayton is involved in many initiatives to support the building of an inclusive movement globally for energy and climate justice. He serves on the board of the Global Justice Ecology Project, Canadian based Raven Trust and Navajo Nation based, Black Mesa Water Coalition. Clayton has traveled extensively domestically and internationally having led Indigenous delegations to lobby United Nations bodies including the UN framework Convention on Climate Change, UN Earth Summit (Johannesburg, South Africa 2002 and Rio +20, Brazil 2012) and the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues. Clayton has coordinated and led delegations of First Nations, Native American and Alaska Native elected and grassroots leadership to lobby government in Washington DC, USA, Ottawa, Canada, and European Union (Strasbourg and Brussels.)
He has been recognized by Utne Magazine as one of the top 30 under 30 activists in the United States and as a “Climate Hero 2009” by Yes Magazine. For the last eleven years he has campaigned across Canada, Alaska and the lower 48 states organizing in hundreds of First Nations, Alaska Native and Native American communities in support of grassroots Indigenous Peoples to defend against the encroachment of the fossil fuel industry. This has included a special focus on the sprawling infrastructure of pipelines, refineries and extraction associated with the Canadian tar sands.
Clayton is an organizer, facilitator, public speaker and writer on environmental and economic justice. He has been published in multiple books, news papers and magazines and appeared countless times on local, regional, national and international television and radio as an expert advocate on Indigenous rights, environmental and economic justice . He has been a guest lecturer at universities, conferences and seminars around the world.

Dr. Greg Cajete, PhD

Dr. Greg Cajete, PhD, Native American educator whose work is dedicated to honoring the foundations of indigenous knowledge in education. Dr. Cajete is a Tewa Indian from Santa Clara Pueblo, New Mexico. He has served as a New Mexico Humanities scholar in ethno botany of Northern New Mexico and as a member of the New Mexico Arts Commission. In addition, he has lectured at colleges and universities in the U.S. , Canada, Mexico, New Zealand, England, Italy, Japan and Russia.


He worked at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 21 years. While at the Institute, he served as Dean of the Center for Research and Cultural Exchange, Chair of Native American Studies and Professor of  ethno science. He organized and directed the First and Second Annual National Native American Very Special Arts Festival held in respectively in Santa Fe, NM in 1991and Albuquerque, NM in 1992.  In 1995, he was offered a position in American Indian education in the University of New Mexico, College of Education

Currently, he is Director of Native American Studies and an Associate Professor in the Division of Language, Literacy and Socio cultural Studies in the College of Education at the University of New Mexico. Dr. Cajete earned his Bachelor of Arts degree from New Mexico Highlands University with majors in both Biology and Sociology and a minor in Secondary Education. He received his Masters of Arts degree from the University of New Mexico in Adult and Secondary Education. He received his Ph.D. from International College – Los Angeles New Philosophy Program in Social Science Education with an emphasis in Native American Studies.

Roberto Sahonero Gutiérrez & Los Masis

Roberto Sahonero Gutiérrez, one of the founders of Los Masis, Centro Cultural Masis promotes Andean culture through workshops in traditional folklore, music and art attended by thousands of enthusiastic young Bolivians in the city of Sucre. Early in its development, Centro Cultural Masis received from the Inter-American Foundation (IAF) the support it needed to become self-sufficient. Since then, it has continued to raise awareness of Bolivia’s rich indigenous culture and heritage.

A former IAF grantee, Centro Cultural Masis is credited for pioneering bilingual Quechua-Spanish education in Bolivia. Its artists’ performances are featured daily during the 2013 Smithsonian Folklife Festival program One World, Many Voices: Endangered Languages and Cultural Heritage, highlighting linguistic diversity as a vital part of humanity’s patrimony.


David Barsamian on Capitalism & the Environment

Sure we have Earth Day, the Clean Air Act, the Clean Water Act, the Endangered Species Act and the Environmental Protection Agency. Still, the threat to our environment is acute and growing. The majority of solutions on offer, from driving a hybrid, to recycling plastic, to using efficient light bulbs, focus on individual lifestyle choices of mostly privileged people. But the scale of the crisis requires a far deeper and fundamental transformation. As global warming accelerates, carbon-fueled industrial capitalism is systemically incapable of making the necessary radical changes to protect the planet. Its insatiable appetite for profits precludes it from doing so. It is time to think about a different economic system.

David Barsamian is the award-winning founder and director of Alternative Radio, the independent weekly audio series based in Boulder, Colorado. One of America’s most wide-ranging and respected independent journalists, David Barsamian has altered the media landscape with his radio programs and books with Noam Chomsky, Tariq Ali, Howard Zinn, Edward Said, Arundhati Roy and others. His most recent books are Occupy the Economy: Challenging Capitalism with Richard Wolff and Power Systems: Conversations on Global Democratic Uprisings and The New Challenges to U.S. Empire with Noam Chomsky. He is winner of the Media Education Award, the ACLU’s Upton Sinclair Award for independent journalism, and the Cultural Freedom Fellowship from the Lannan Foundation. The Institute for Alternative Journalism named him one of its Top Ten Media Heroes.

Workshop #1

Goat Cheese Making & Goat Management. Coonridge Organic Goat Cheese Dairy roughs it in the high country of Pie Town, adhering to strict organic requirements that pale in comparison to the environmental principles brought on by location and philosophy. Their goats enjoy a type of free-range life that few other captive animals do. Meanwhile, the humans catch rain water and solar energy to meet their most basic survival needs. “Gee, how many catch phrases can I use?,” Nancy Coonridge wonders. “Sustainable, humane, predator friendly. But really, we are [a farmstead dairy] because we want a natural life for our goats and their guardian dogs, plus an authentic life for ourselves.” High-quality organic goat cheese is the mortar that holds those ideals.


Art Exhibit – Kathryn Alexander

Kathryn Alexander’s  first serious painting was of a man named Palden Gyatso, a Tibetan monk tortured for over thirty years as a political prisoner of the Chinese. Her motivation to paint him came from reading his autobiography, and she had the incredible fortune to meet him in person, and as she presented her incomplete painting to him (which he signed), they shared a moment when the disparity of who they were on the outside melted away into the sameness of their humanity. Over time her backgrounds became abstracted and subjects more freely and gesturally defined.With news of imminent surgery for a torn tendon in her shoulder that would make her final semester’s work impossible, she learned about an alternative treatment through honeybee stings. Apitherapy changed her life, and she began painting her new fascination. She has since learned the intricacies of honeybee communities and their critical role in our planet’s food supply. We need to protect these and other keystone species, our water, and our land through sustainable living practices. Alexander’s exhibit will be primarily of this subject.



We will also have 20 spaces available for vendors. Register by August 30th and receive a 10% discount on vendor fee, and 2 free meal tickets.

Vendor Registration 2013

Mail forms with payment to;

Four Bridges P.O.Box 787 Santa Cruz, NM 87567

For questions call 518-332-3156

Fax Applications to 505-466-5879


We dedicate this year’s conference to our good friend and supporter, Barbara Cushing. 

Barbara Cushing was the Director of Grantmaking at Kalliopeia Foundation from 2003 to 2012.  She was a great admirer of Four Bridges and the quest to revitalize culture and renew our connection to the earth. Barbara carried the energy of Kalliopeia’s vision and mission, its essence, to the outside world. Through her love and commitment to the relationships she beautifully tended and so deeply valued; through her profound respect for all of humanity, especially those marginalized; through her knowing, honoring and gentle expression of the sacred; and so much more, Barbara carried and lived Kalliopeia’s heart, and soul.

Before her work with Kalliopeia, Barbara was a mediator and attorney at the Contra Costa Family Court in California for over 20 years.  She raised three wonderful children, all young adults deeply dedicated to the same values of the human spirit and community.  Barbara passed away on November 7th, 2012, from a rare, rapidly-progressing disease.  In the hearts of all those she touched she was, and remains, a woman of deep honor, and a friend of rare quality.