The Other Side of The Coin: Ancestry DNA Tests are Good For Tribes to Reconnect with Their Lost Birds the Native American Adopted & Fostered Searching Their Way to Come Back To Tribal Homes

As a Native American Journalist with my White Turtle Rainbow Native American Media and Broadcasting Company and launching a Native Podcast on Native American Music and News I had to write a 17 Page Podcast Business Plan. So in order to complete my Podcast Business Plan I have been researching Native American Podcasts and the Plight of even being heard as a Native American Journalist.

Of all my research this Native American Podcast Article All Nations Podcast episode # 4 on the topic is a real Native American based on DNA? This is trending since Trump calling Presidential 2020 Candidate Elizabeth Warren “Pocahontas” in a demeaning slur instead of out of respect for the real 10 year old Pocahontas who as a teen was captured and sex trafficked to England dying at only 21 in a foreign land in England. The real Pocahontas not the overly sexualized Disney Fantasy of Pochahontas that makes me furious. On top of being racially slurred by the President, Elizabeth was furthered attacked for using a legitimate DNA test to prove Native American heritage.

As a 32 year expert Native American Genealogist who also uses DNA to actively reunite Native American people including the Lost Birds the Native American Adopted people this issue about DNA and Native American heritage is very relative to me. I respect Dr Kim’s extensive academic background on colonization. However, my work for decades with Lost Birds as Chief Arvol Looking Horse refers to Native American Adopted People during the sacred blessings he bestows with his White Buffalo Pipe during the Wiping Away The Tears Ceremony Indian Summer Festival Sunday Prayer Service in September 2011 run by my Church Congregation of the Great Spirit Church on 10th and Lapham in Milwaukee, WI 53204. Matter of fact the issue of reuniting the Lost Bird Native American Adopted and Fostered Children is so important Indian Country that Indian Summer Festival featured a theme one year on Coming Home including featured booths with genealogists to help bring home Native American People back to their tribes! I was a Lost Bird Native American Foster Child, I know first hand the power of DNA can have affirming and reconnecting Native American culture and Tribes. Ancestry DNA proved I was indeed Mohican and qualify for enrollment after my Mohican Father disowned me for saying I was not his daughter and there was no way he could ever conceived me because he claimed my mother was in Milwaukee while he claimed he was 4 hour drive away on the Mohican Reservation the entire time before and during the entire 9 months test. DNA test proved he is my Mohican Father no matter how much he tried to mess with my head for over decades.My Mohican Sister Sassafras’s bought the DNA test and proved without a doubt he was my Mohican Father after lying to me for 2 decades! I challenge Dr Kim’s negative notions about the Ancestry DNA that actually reconnected me to my Mohican family and Mohican Tribe. After years of wandering around trying to prove who I really it was the DNA test in my case healed that my stolen Native American Identity robbed by an abusive Mohican Father, that DNA test actually strengthened my Mohican ties to Mohican family and Tribe! I will stand up and defend the value of DNA tests to restoring Native American enrollment and it is a very powerful tool to reconnect Lost Bird Native American Tribal Members!

This story needs to show the other side the positive power of DNA tests to strengthen Tribes.

Grand Entry Mohican Women’s Traditional Dancers At Mohican August 2009 Pow Wow (Photo: White Turtle Rainbow/Wenona Gardner)

Wenona Gardner

White Turtle Rainbow


Why I Believe Publishing Articles on Indian Summer Festival is Important To Cover for My Journalism Homework

Indian Summer Festival Rainbow 2000 (Photo: White Turtle Rainbow/Wenona Gardner)


I shared your email with my FullSail Graduate Journalism Professors, UWM Professor in Ojibwe Language and Director of Electa Quinney Institute, a Mohican Tribal Government Worker, a representative from Native American Journalist Association which I am a member, and my Native American attorneys. They all said I am legally allowed to publish stories, videos, podcasts, photos, survey, etc for my Graduate School Journalism studies on the Indian Summer Festival. I am not representing you as an organization. I am representing and giving a voice to the native and non native from local, state, tribal, and global participants your stakeholders which you failed to let them know what was going on before March 18. All of them have said I and all of us have a right to be heard and I am giving them both the invitation and platform to get their voices heard! My Graduate Journalism Professor gave me the official academic approval and green lighted me to do a 5 month investigative Graduate Journalism Project on Indian Summer Festival. I am an Honor Roll Student with an A 3.5 GPA. Even after I showed all the ISF emails, messengers,and ISF social media posts I still got an A on my Responses to Indian Summer Festival March 18 Press Release article and video and an A for my Digital News Production Class. I was told by my Professor to get to work!
I invite you and the entire board to do interviews with me because believe it or not I have loved Indian Summer Festival before the board was even created in 1985 with my cultural teacher Charlene Wheelock who helped create that board and where she died at the Indian Summer Festival Pow Wow where my Mom tried to save her life giving her CPR. I am doing this as my homework assignment because I love Indian Summer Festival and Charlene! Charlene told me in 1984 it was her dream for a Pow Wow honoring Native American Culture at the lake BEFORE Indian Summer even existed in 1985! I am doing this in loving memory of my beloved WE Indians teacher Charlene and her Lake Pow Wow dream! 
I am doing this for my church and Father Ed Cook who you never gave heads up notice before March 18 where ISF is our major church fundraiser to keep our church open and where I and my church religiously served ISF holding Sunday Prayer service for all ISF attendees each year! Including the one where Chief Arvol Looking Horse blessed me as a Native American foster kid along with the other about 200 Native American Adopted and Foster Kids who were welcomed back into the Native American Circle because of the Wiping Away the Tears Ceremony. I am covering this story because of those Lost Bird Native American Adopted and Foster Kids like me which matter to me! I am doing this so their Lost Bird Voices are heard too! Father Ed Cook and the Congregation of the Great Spirit Church deserve to have our angry voices heard! Father Ed is so mad at you that he told me whenever I talk about the situation to USE his name!
I offer you and the Board including recording video and audio recording interviews to hear your side of the story. I do actually care about this board and still have personal loved ones on this Board going back decades to the 80s! That is why I came to you first! Considering your emails, messenger texts, and social media my Graduate Journalism Professor told me upfront not to expect you to agree for an interview. My Professor told me all I had to do was show that I officially asked you which I did before and I am doing now! If I get a no or no response my Graduate Journalism Professor instructed me to then report your no response or no response at all when asked and in my published articles.
My follow up article on Indian Summer Festival will be available tomorrow as scheduled by my University!
Many Blessings to You!
Indian Summer Festival 2009 (Photo:White Turtle Rainbow/Wenona Gardner)
Wenona Gardner
Mohican Tribe
Marquette University Neighborhood

Adaptive Game Controllers for Disabled Gamers At Independence First in Milwaukee

Since November, 2018 when Microsoft announced the adaptive game controller Chris Hege Youth Leadership Coordinator at Independence First in Milwaukee, WI has been interested in acquiring adaptive gaming controllers for their disabled gamers. At first it started as just a resource. However, the decision was made to expand to make them available to the entire Milwaukee Community.

Chris Hege Youth Leadership Coordinator Independence First Milwaukee, WI (Photo:White Turtle Rainbow/Wenona Gardner)

Independence First for People with Disabilities is currently celebrating their 40th Anniversary since they were first established in 1979.

Independence First Mission:

“IndependenceFirst is a non-profit 501c3 Independent Living Center (ILC) directed and controlled by persons with disabilities, primarily serving the four county metropolitan Milwaukee area.  The mission of IndependenceFirst is to effectively facilitate empowerment of individuals with disabilities through the core services of: Advocacy, Independent Living Skills, Information and Referral, Peer Support and Transition”

Saturday April 6, 2019 was the first Video Gaming Open House of their new adaptive e-sports program which was free and open to the public to try out the last adaptive video game equipment. Many times people with disabilities are socially left out. Video games and e-sports promote socialization, enhance creativity, and team work.

The next demo day is going to take place on June 15, 2019 at the Stride and Glide for IndependenceFirst 5K. Also Independence First will be celebrating 40 years anniversary the same day. To RSVP or request accommodations contact Chris Hege Youth Leadership Coordinator at (414) 226-8367 V/Relay or

Based on participant feedback at the April 6 Video Game Open House will determine the next upcoming schedule of events for their e-sports program.


We Need to Stand Up for Native American Artists and Musicians That Depend on Opportunities Offered by Indian Summer Festival.

In 1999 as an UWM Native American Art & Music Student I remember how Indian Summer supported my education as a Native American Artist when I was awarded a Native American Art scholarship and Indian Summer honored me with an honor song and I danced in front of entire crowd of people at the pow wow. That was my very first honor song and I am grateful that Indian Summer blessed me to continue my education as a Native American Artist & Musician  at UWM which lead to my career as a Native American Artist and Musician. I will never forgot that sacred moment Indian Summer gave me!

Indian Summer Festival is important for Native American artistic and musical careers that were made possible because of opportunities that Indian Summer Festival offers for over three decades. Being the World’s Largest International Native American Festival featuring Native American Artists and Musicians matters to me and so many other people on the local, state, national, and global levels.  We need to stand up for Native American Artists and Musicians! In support of Native American artists and musicians we need to protect the opportunities that Indian Summer Festival can offer to the world. Please sign and share! Petition to Keep Indian Summer Festival At SummerFest

Mohican Musician Wenona Gardner Performing the Native American Flute at Alverno College
beadwork, Oneida

Revitalizing Native American Culture Through Oneida Beadwork Classes

Native Americans have a long history of traditionally using beadwork as part of their regalia. Regalia is a Native American term to describe the ceremonial clothes and accessories that Native Americans wear for ceremonies and for dancing at Pow Wows. In the beginning, Native Americans used natural materials like seeds and seashells to adorn their regalia. When trade began with the colonists, Native Americans incorporated mass produced seed beads of vibrant rainbow colors. The tradition of beadwork has grown over time and even evolved into Fine Arts where Native American Artists have taken beadwork to a whole new level. There is a movement for Native Americans returning to traditional art forms like beadwork to bring healing, restore Native American identity, and overcome negative social issues such as alcoholism, depression, and suicide.

Oneida Dancers (Photo: White Turtle Rainbow/Wenona Gardner)

The Oneida Tribe is traditionally known as the Onyota’a:ka Nation meaning People of the Standing Stone. The Oneida Nation is part of the famous Iroquois Confederacy whose democratic form of government is what the United States government is based on. The entire Oneida Nation originally was located on the eastern coast in New York and were neighbors to the Mohican Tribe. When the colonists washed along the shore, the Oneidas were the first tribes to greet them. However, the Oneidas reached a breaking point when the high influx of even more colonists arrived forcing many Oneidas off their traditional lands. There was a torn split among the Oneida Nation with one part of the tribe staying in New York and the other half of the Oneida traveling to west of Green Bay in Wisconsin. As it grew harder and harder to locate jobs on the Wisconsin Oneida reservation, the majority of the Oneidas there left their reservations and sought out major cities looking for employment. There are so many Native Americans in Milwaukee that it is the largest population of Native Americans east of the Mississippi River. Of the Milwaukee Native Americans a large percentage are Oneidas. So the South East OneidaTribal Office was formed to connect the large Milwaukee Oneida community to the Oneida Tribe on the reservation to better meet the needs of its Oneida citizens in the city.

Through Oneida Director Mark Powless the Oneida South East Tribal Services 5233 W. Morgan Avenue Milwaukee WI 53220 offers Oneida language, cultural, spiritual classes and classes like the Oneida beadwork. Through the entire month of March on Wednesdays at 5:30 PM-8PM for $35 covers all the supplies you need to make a beaded Native American Cuff in the Oneida style including beads, needles, threads, velvet, patterns, and expert beading instructors. One Elder named Judith Tromel who came to the beading class to share bonding time with her daughter said “I just started beading. I normally do all sorts of crafts like crocheting.” There is still time to learn Oneida Beadwork so come join Judith and the other beaders please stop by.


Responses to the March 18 Press Release that Indian Summer Festival Will No Longer Be at Summerfest

On March 18, 2019 Indian Summer Festival Inc. Board President James Warren announced in a press realease that Indian Summer Festival will no longer be at Summerfest.

Indian Summer Festival at Summerfest 2018. (Photo:White Turtle Rainbow/Wenona Gardner)


Why Was This Never Reported Before March 18?

A recurring question raised by many in the Milwaukee Indian Community in social media and in a March 19, 2019 survey at:

How did you respond to hearing the official statement from the Indian Summer Festival Inc. Board of Directors on March 18, 2019 that the Indian Summer Festival would no longer be held at Summerfest?
Indian Summer Festival Survey March 19, 2019

There is no evidence that the Indian Summer Festival Inc Board ever contacted the Milwaukee Indian Community, the Milwaukee Indian Organizations, and the 12 Wisconsin Tribes to let them know that Indian Summer Festival Inc was in a financial crisis, they needed emergency funding, or was even considering thinking about leaving Summerfest before March 18, 2019.


Indian Summer Festival Leaving Summerfest Will Hurt the Milwaukee Indian Community.

Based on the March 19, 2019 survey 63.16% believe that Indian Summer Festival leaving Summerfest hurts the Milwaukee Indian Community.

How Much Is Needed Financially?

Need est. $500,000 to have Indian Summer Festival at Summerfest in 2019.

Indian Summer Festival Inc March 20, 2018 report by Candid formerly known as Guidestar based on information submitted by Indian Summer Festival Inc to the IRS.

According to a Candid report formerly known as Guidestar Foundation in a 9 page report on what Indian Summer Festival Inc filed with the IRS was that Indian Summer Festival in 2017 had only $239,700 Revenue from Indian Summer Festival Inc. and yet $416,290 Expenses showing a -$176,590 loss.

So based on this report that Indian Summer Festival Inc, the Board known for 2 years about the financial crisis meaning they had 2 years to inform and reach out to the Milwaukee Indian Community and 12 Wisconsin Tribes to alert about the financial crisis and ask for help. This financially was not just some problem that suddenly emerged out of nowhere this year in March 2019.

Based on reviewing the entire 9 page report the estimate needed to run the Indian Summer Festival at Summerfest is about $500,000.

Request to Reach Out to the Potwatomi Casino and Bingo

Ojibwe Artist Adina Cain from Milwaukee states on the Indian Summer Festival Inc Facebook Page.

There were several responses in the March 19, 2019 survey also requesting to reach out to Potawatomi Bingo and Casino for financial help.

Request to Reach Out to the 12 Wisconsin Tribes for Financial Help.

Request for Community Crowdsourcing Campaign.

Many members of the Milwaukee Indian Community expressed that the Indian Summer Festival, Inc was so important to them and their families. Many requested creating a GoFundMe campaign so that the Milwaukee Indian Community wanted to use their personal money to give back to Indian Summer Festival Inc.

The Milwaukee Indian Community is speaking out and many are asking for Indian Summer Festival Inc to please keep Indian Summer Festival at Summerfest that a petition was created at

Petition to Keep Indian Summer Festival at Summerfest