Kaluhyanu:wes “She is Fond of the Sky”
Michelle is an inspirational speaker, writer, thought leader and traditional member of the On^yota’:aka (Oneida) Nation Wolf Clan of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy. She is the founder of Rematriation Magazine & Media and the non-profit Kanenhi:io lonkwaienthos (We are Planting Good Seeds). Raised in a family of traditional leadership, she carries the values and responsibilities of being Haudenosaunee throughout her life. Inspired by her grandmothers who led generations of Oneida Nation land claims, Michelle carries her ancestors’ passion to rematriate her people’s lands and bring about the truthful telling of the Haudenosaunee Confederacy’s influence on the world.
Michelle’s life experiences paved the way for her to found Rematriation in 2016. As a traditional member of the Longhouse, a trained lawyer and a visionary for change, Michelle creates space for Indigenous voices to be honored fully with light and love. Most recently, as Founder of Rematriation Magazine & Media, Michelle directed and produced the Rematriation films: An Indigenous Response to #MeToo and the 10-part series, Indigenous Women’s Voices, with Mohawk Director, Katsitsionni Fox. Through her storytelling as a filmmaker, writer and speaker, Michelle creates safe spaces to share tools and resources that she has learned from her own healing journey and lived experiences.
She is co-founder, owner and principal at Indigenous Concepts Consulting with her husband, Neal Powless, she helps non-lndigenous businesses and media companies develop their own organizational best practices through an Indigenous lens. She holds a JD and LL.M. in Taxation from New York Law School, a MS from the S.l. Newhouse School of Communications at Syracuse University, and a BA from Cornell University. Throughout her career, Michelle has advised tribal governments across Turtle Island, studied facilitation and healing methods in a variety of traditions and worked for numerous non-profits, including: The American Indian College Fund and Children of the Earth.
Michelle is a current board member for the Everson Museum of Art. She has previously served as President of the Board of Directors for the non-profit, Seven Dancers Coalition and as a board member for the NAMMYS where she helped establish the Native Music category in the GRAMMYS.
She lives on her people’s homelands with her husband and their four beautiful children.