Redbird is a 501(c)(3) non profit organization with over twenty years of service to the
Native American and non native community. We have five main programs which
include two Native American gatherings, two environmental programs and our
educational facility, Chilao School. In 2014 we added a sixth program area - arts - to
our scope of activity. Our work is funded entirely by donations. We are an all volunteer
group. There are no membership dues or member roster. In addition to our Board of
Directors, we have an advisory council which provides valuable guidance regarding all
of our programs.
We hope through our work to bridge the gap of cultural misunderstanding that continues
to exist between the original inhabitants of the western hemisphere and the many
cultures who are now here. Much has been lost in the way of knowing how to care for
our Mother Earth. Our modern lives displace us from the reality of our connectedness to
and dependence upon her for everything we need; healthy food, clean air, good water,
fertile land. We share our breath with the standing silent nation, the plants who give us
the oxygen we breathe. When we realize that we really are connected, perhaps we will
begin putting our priorities in order and caring for the planet that gives us our life.
Our Origins - Redbird was born from an educational exhibit titled "Spirits In The Material
World - Native Americans Today". A number of the people who were original
contributors to the exhibit became the first Board Members, and in 1994 Redbird
applied for and received state and federal recognition as a non profit association.
The Spirits exhibit was shown in over 100 locations in southern California and Ohio. In
its formative years, Redbird was involved primarily with educating non-Indian people
about native culture, and helping native people find their relatives, both living and
historical. The Children of Many Colors Powwow, first held in 1994, has always been
our signature event, along with the Blanket, Toy and School Supplies Drive.
In 2002 we amended our mission statement to be inclusive of the one thing none of us
can live without - a healthy planet. "Creating a sustainable future" is an all-inclusive way
to address our concern for and actions on behalf of protecting our global environment,
and the ancient wisdom that offers us ways to do so.
Home ownership and end of life transitional care are larger issues that Redbird has
sought to address. In 2008 we were taking great strides towards creating our first
facility, "Redbird Ranch", envisioned as a four to six unit elder housing community for
native people in their end of life stages. We were unable to fulfill that dream in 2008.
Elder housing remains a goal to which we are committed, and for which there is
The name Redbird was given to one of the group's founding members by Cheyenne
Beasley of the Cherokee nation in or about 1988. It was unanimously chosen as the
name for the newly-formed association by its first Board of Directors.
Today - Redbird's work continues to embrace the goal of creating an atmosphere of
mutual respect and understanding among cultures, and re-creating a meaningful
connection with our home planet.
Our present programs include the Children of Many Colors Intertribal Powwow, our
annual Blanket, Toy and School Supplies Drive and Mini-Powwow, the Forest Recovery
Project, the Pinon Project, arts, culture and environmental programs at our land base,
Chilao School, and the multi-media, multi-cultural art exhibit Highway 2 - the journey
and the destination.
No one among us is independent of our home planet, our Earth Mother, and so we can
all embrace the need to make good choices in our lives; to live in balance, to take
actions that will be good for the seven generations yet unborn. Our programs represent
a mixture of cultural and environmental efforts that reflect and embrace this inseparable
connection...what the late Felix Garcia Montoya called one and the same...Life and
2015 Board of Directors
Michael A. Reifel, San Carlos Apache Nation, United American Indian Involvement,
Member At Large
Jorge Lechuga, Navajo Nation, Wildhorse Native American Association, Member At
Gene Albitre, Kumeyaay Nation, Standing Bear Powwow, Member at Large
Laurel Methot, Metis, UCLA Medical Center, Member at Large
Gary Pickett, Flintknapper, Cultural Demonstrator, Member at Large
Corina Roberts, European/Cherokee/Osage, Writer and Photographer, Founder