Coalition of Natives and Allies is working to pass policies to improve the lives of Indigenous Peoples in Pennsylvania.
CNA strives to build bridges between Indigenous communities, allies, legislators, faith-based and non-profit organizations, state agencies, school administrators and educators in order to cultivate respect and end racism.
CNA is an education and advocacy resource for the communities it serves.
BEHIND THE ADVOCACY
RAMONA IORONHIAA WOODS
Donna Fann-Boyle is a Choctaw-Cherokee mother of two sons. She has devoted her life to caring for the young and elderly. She cares for all aspects of nature, raises organic honey bees and free-range chickens for eggs.
Eight years ago, Donna alerted the Neshaminy School District that using R*dsk*ns for their sports mascot was a damaging racial slur. Both her sons attended that high school. She was confident they would cease and desist. Instead the district has spent $500,000 defending their right to keep a symbol that denigrates Indigenous Peoples.
Today, Donna continues to work for eliminating Neshaminy’s and all school’s racist mascots. Inspired by her courage, CNA formed, a Coalition of Natives and Allies, to support this quest: 1) rid Pennsylvania of racist sports mascots 2) promote the education of accurate Native American history. Donna is a member in good standing with the American Indian Movement, as well as Indigenous 215. Donna was recently selected to the board of the Middletown Township Human Relations Commission.
Ramona Ioronhiaa Woods is a Kanien’kehá:ka woman from Kahnawake, Quebec. She is a proud Mother, Caregiver, Traditional Artist, and a business owner.
Over the years, Ramona has served on various boards in the arts, healthcare foundations, and Ministry. She is the Founder of the Little Blue Sky Foundation which serves to promote the educational, physical, and spiritual well-being of Native American Indians. Ramona is an active member in good standing with the American Indian Movement, a nationally sanctioned chapter.
Founder and Executive Director of the Kidsbridge Tolerance Center-- an immersive ‘small group discussion’ learning lab for youth and teachers in NJ, Lynne has spent the last 18 years creating programs and interactive experiences dealing with anti-bullying, anti-bias, empathy, respect, diversity appreciation and accurate Native American history.
A genuine change agent, Lynne implemented ‘evidence based’ curriculum and evaluation that resulted in significant attitude improvements in empathy, stereotype awareness, empowerment and moral reasoning. During the pandemic, this unique center currently features facilitator-led remote social-emotional programs for youth Pre-K to 8th grade.
Arla Patch is an artist, writer and certified PA teacher. Raised in Bucks Co. PA, she lived in Maine for 30 years where she was the Community Engagement Coordinator for the Maine Wabanaki-State Child Welfare Truth and Reconciliation Commission.
Arla is the recipient of two grants from the NJ Council for the Humanities for developing educational programming on Indigenous concerns with NJ tribal collaboration. She is a member of Doylestown Friends Meeting (Quaker) and a grandmother.
Kimberly, an ally of LGBTQ+ and BIPOC communities, is currently working to retire the use of the racial slur R*dsk*n within the Sayre Area School District in Sayre, PA. She holds a Master of Arts degree in Communication Studies and Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism.
Kelley is a a mother to 4 beautiful kids 33 to 17, 2 boys and 2 girls. She lives in Meadowbrook, PA with her fiancé and 2 youngest children.
Kelley was born in Sisseton South Dakota on the Lake Traverse Reservation with the Dakota Sioux and was put up for adoption at birth. At 3 months old, she was adopted by a couple who were told they could not have children.
Kelley was brought to Glenside, PA where she was raised by a white family.
When Kelley turned 50, she started looking for her birth family and found them within a few months. She is the second youngest of 9 and the only one who was adopted out. Until she met her family, she never really never met another Native American -- for 50 years!
Since meeting her family, she has gone on a Spiritual journey of what it means to be Native American. Kelley is learning our ceremonies and ways. The one she most proud of? Becoming a Sun Dancer.
Having the experience of being removed from her culture and people and being raised in a different one has had a profound effect on her.
Kelley is excited to share this journey with others.