Our Reality.

Native people are often left out of conversations on issues that impact our communities. In our work, we see the impact of this erasure regularly.

 

Our Mission

Redbud helps organizations, institutions, and employers become valued partners with Native peoples and their communities. Our programs utilize public health and education research to empower change by filling knowledge gaps and improve outcomes for communities experiencing chronic disparities.

Our History: A Letter from Our Founders

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Intergenerational Healing

Our great great grandmother Cordelia received no official education. She spoke fluent Konkow, could recite hundreds of stories and songs by heart, and knew her land like the back of her hand. Our great grandmother Mary attended boarding school. She wore a white dress and stockings to class each day, and spoke very little Konkow. Our grandmother Judy went to public school in San Francisco. She spoke no Konkow, only English. She had regular conflicts with her teachers over the way Native people were represented in the textbooks. “We aren’t all dead,” she said. “Yes, you are.” the teacher replied.

Our mothers assimilated the way they were meant to. They attended public school in the 70’s and 80’s, and wore the popular fashion of the day. Anything related to their Native identities was kept within the family, where it was safe. 

 

Today, after generations of assimilation, millennial Natives like us sometimes navigate Western culture easier than Native culture. These things happen. Despite our grandmother’s efforts to bring our culture into our k-12 education (bringing baskets in to show the class, making fry bread for our friends), our Native identities were largely ignored, overlooked, and forgotten by our teachers, peers, and even ourselves. And the curriculum? Well, the most we ever learned about Native people in school was that we once lived in wooden huts, made arrowheads, and were graciously brought to God by the Spanish missionaries. 

For Native people, and perhaps for many non Natives as well, our sense of identity is rooted not just in our experiences, but in the experiences of those who made us, who came before us, and those who will come after us. We may carry the trauma of our grandmothers with us, but we also carry their strength and ability to self advocate for our communities in spite of fear.

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Native Reality

The reality is, our experiences as modern Native people have given us the power to grapple with and respond to an unignorable pattern. Native peoples, like our grandmothers, mothers, and even ourselves, are left out of conversations about issues that impact our communities and daily lives. Research now proves that this erasure can cause suffering that lasts generations.

 

As educators and health care professionals, we see this impact regularly. Native culture is taught almost entirely in the past tense. Few educators or program directors have any 

understanding of the contemporary contributions Native peoples

offer in the fields of environmental science, literature, art, mathematics, politics, and other subjects. In public health, incoming healthcare professionals receive almost zero education on the disparities faced by Native peoples, let alone education about the benefits of Indigenous wellness traditions and practices.

 

This continued erasure of Native peoples is paired with a range of unsettling statistics: that Natives face the highest dropout rates in the nation; are disproportionately placed in Special Education programs; have the highest rates of diabetes, coronary heart disease, and obesity; have inadequate access to fresh foods, and suffer from the highest incidence of death by suicide. Would having increased Native representation in these spaces improve the way Native people are supported? We believe so.

 

For all the negative statistics, there are hardworking Native organizations and allies working to improve life for Native peoples. There are Parent Associations, Indian Health Clinics, Cultural Centers, and advocates at the local and state level working to address these problems. But it takes everyone, in all fields, to make sure Native voices are valued in every area of public life. Our firsthand experience as modern Native people has inspired us to create resources that support all communities in making an often erased population visible again. We hope our grandmothers would be proud. 

Our Team

Madison’s work as a biomedical researcher for the NIH, and as a public health professional working with Native communities, has highlighted the enormous inequities Native communities experience which disrupt their ability to live healthy lives. Madison focuses her work on understanding the roots of these inequities and how Native communities can use their own skills and strategies to overcome them.

 

As a middle school educator, Taylor saw how Native culture and families were often misunderstood or ignored by the school system. Working with Indian Education programs and with curriculum development organizations has inspired her to integrate Indigenous culture and knowledge into the very fabric of education, working to close existing education gaps.

Tel: (707) 390-0708

Email: ​​info@redbudresourcegroup.org

P.O. Box 455 Fulton, CA 95439

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Taylor Pennewell

Executive Director

Tyme Maidu Nation, Berry Creek Rancheria

 

BA English Literature, University of San Francisco

Masters in Teaching, University of San Francisco

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Madison Esposito

Director of Research

Tyme Maidu Nation, Berry Creek Rancheria

 

B.S. Oregon State University 

MPH Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health

MS1 University of Minnesota Duluth School of Medicine

Rose Hammock

Program Facilitator 

 

Maidu, Wailaki, and Pomo

 

A.A. Childhood Development 

Community educator, organizer, and leader

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Our Board

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Stephanie Beard

Head of Communications

Pepperwood Preserve

Santa Rosa, California

BA English University

of New Hampshire

MA Public Administration

MA Environmental Policy

Middlebury Institute of

International Studies

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Jeffery Radigue

Tyme Maidu

Berry Creek Rancheria

BA American History

Sacramento State

MA Business

University of Arizona

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Ann Relling

BS Physical Therapy

St. Louis University


Masters Rehab Administration

University of San Francisco