Sherri Mitchell

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Sherri Mitchell - Weh'na Ha'mu Kwasset is a Native American attorney, author, teacher and activist from Maine. Mitchell is the author of Sacred Instructions; Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change, a compelling narrative of Indigenous Wisdom that provides "a road map for the spirit and a compass of compassion for humanity."[1]

She is an Indigenous Rights attorney and the executive director of the Land Peace Foundation, an organization dedicated to the protection of indigenous land and water rights and the Indigenous way of life.[2] Mitchell has been actively involved with Indigenous rights in the U.S., Canada and abroad for more than 25 years.[3][2]

Mitchell grew up on the Penobscot Indian Reservation (Indian Island). She is the granddaughter of Theodore N. Mitchell, who founded the Native American Studies Program and the Wabanaki Center at the University of Maine. She graduated from the University of Maine magna cum laude before being recruited to study law at the University of Arizona's Indigenous Peoples Law and Policy Program by Robert A. Williams Jr.[4]

Sherri Mitchell is an alumna of the American Indian Ambassador program, and the Udall Native American Congressional Internship program. She worked as a law clerk with the Department of the Interior's Division of Indian Affairs in Washington, D.C. as well as with the Native American law firm Fredericks, Peebles and Morgan in Boulder, Colorado.[4] She was the Native American Unit Attorney for Pine Tree Legal Assistance and a Civil Rights Educator for the Maine Attorney General's Civil Rights Division in Maine.

Mitchell was the recipient of the 2010 Mahoney Dunn International Human Rights and Humanitarian Award for research into Nation/State complicity in human rights violations against Indigenous Populations. In 2015, she received the Spirit of Maine Award, for commitment and excellence in the field of International Human Rights.[5] In 2016, Mitchell’s portrait was added to the esteemed portrait series, Americans Who Tell the Truth, by artist Robert Shetterly.[6][7] She is also the recipient of the 2017 Hands of Hope award from the Peace and Justice Center of Eastern Maine.

Mitchell has been a longtime advisor to the American Indian Institute’s Healing the Future Program and she currently serves as a helper and advisor to the Indigenous Elders and Medicine People’s Council of North and South America. Mitchell is the organizer behind "Healing the Wounds of Turtle Island," a global healing ceremony that rises out of the Wabanaki Prophecy of the Reopening of the Eastern Gate. The ceremony began in 2017 and was attended by individuals from every continent (except Antarctica). The ceremony continues for 21 years, and will move in four year cycles until it travels to all four corners of the United States. Its purpose is to bring healing to this land and to renew our sacred contracts with one another as human beings and heal our relationship with the rest of creation. Her work is featured in the documentary film "Dancing with the Cannibal Giant," by New Story Film, and her book Sacred Instructions; Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change was published by North Atlantic Books.


  1. ^ Mitchell, Sherri (2018). Sacred Instructions: Indigenous Wisdom for Living Spirit-Based Change. Berkeley: North Atlantic Books. ISBN 978-1623171957.
  2. ^ a b "Sherri Mitchell to Keynote 20th annual HOPE Festival" (Press release). Bangor Daily News. April 8, 2014. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  3. ^ Scarlett, Dominique (February 18, 2013). "Idle No More: Building multi-ethnic and multi-generational networks of women – The Maine Campus". The Maine Campus. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  4. ^ a b Mallon, Dave (October 9, 2013). "Pine Tree Introduces Newest Native Unit Attorney". Pine Tree Legal Assistance. Retrieved 21 April 2014.
  5. ^ Calder, Amy (September 23, 2017). "Speaker at Common Ground Country Fair Urges Compassion Amid Tragedy". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  6. ^ Belfast Library Staff (September 17, 2017). "Robert Shellerly and Sherri Mitchell Talk at Belfast Free Library". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved 20 March 2019.
  7. ^ "Sherri Mitchell". Americans Who Tell the Truth. Retrieved 20 March 2019.

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