Miguel Angél Costop Bala, Ellany Kayce, and Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley

Monday, July 3, 2023
7pm PDT
Western Oregon University in Monmouth, OR

A 2023 Gathering Evening Program

Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley

Referred to as a farmer, author, activist, scholar, distinguished speaker/teacher, and wisdom keeper, Rev. Dr. Randy Woodley, PhD currently serves as Distinguished Professor of Faith and Culture and Director of Intercultural/Indigenous Studies at Portland Seminary. In his books and the Peacing it all Together podcast, he addresses issues of American culture, our relationship with the earth, and our spirituality. Raised near Detroit, he is a Cherokee descendant recognized by the United Keetoowah Band of Cherokee Indians in Oklahoma. Randy and his wife Edith (Eastern Shoshone) are co-sustainers of Eloheh Indigenous Center for Earth Justice and Eloheh Farm & Seeds, a regenerative farm, school, community and ceremonial grounds in Yamhill, OR.

Ellany Kayce

An enrolled tribal member of the Tlingit Nation, Raven Clan, Ellany Kayce has worked as a racial, environmental, Indigenous, and social justice educator and program developer, cultural consultant, curriculum developer and fundraiser. She’s been passionate about her life-long work with Alaska Native, Native American, and First Nations communities as a trainer, traditional drummer, singer, dancer, and activist, and as the former Executive Director of the Nakani Native Program. As a contractor for the American Friends Service Committee she conducted interviews and documented the Tribal Canoe Journey to Quw’Tsun, Duncan BC. She has worked with a variety of state and local agencies in the Seattle/Puget Sound/King County area, insuring equitable treatment for Indigenous people and building bridges between cultures.

Miguel Angél Costop Bala

Miguel Angél Costop Bala is an indigenous Mayan Kaqchikel from Tecpán in the western Guatemala highlands. Like most indigenous Guatemalans, he was indoctrinated in Catholicism and taught to reject the Mayan spirituality. However, his family practiced many elements of the Mayan worldview unawares. The Guatemala Friends Scholarship Program awarded Miguel a scholarship at age 16, and from then on his vision of the world began to change. Through education and his relationship with Quakers, he discovered the importance of his own cultural heritage. Miguel now walks a triple path, drawing on Franciscan, Quaker, and Mayan spirituality. He knows that mutual understanding between spiritual traditions is possible if we take the time to listen and see each other without prior judgments. A strong connection with nature, common to his different spiritualities, creates a vital meeting point. He serves as a leader helping others to claim their rights, and has given talks to NGOs and churches in Guatemala, and Quaker meetings in the US, about mutual understanding. Miguel currently serves on the Board of Directors for the Center for Restorative Leadership, an organization that trains development leaders in Guatemala and around Central America.

John H. Skinner – Moderator

A member of Twin Cities Monthly Meeting in Northern Yearly Meeting, John has a long history of local, regional and national service in the Religious Society of Friends. Inspired by the work of Paula Palmer (of Boulder MM in Intermountain YM), John now co-facilitates a group exploring ways toward right relationship between Quakers in his monthly meeting and Indigenous peoples. He also serves the 2023 Gathering Plenaries Subcommittee as its clerk.

Check back in late winter for more about the program!

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