Bio: Jefferson Greene

I am a cultural artist born and raised on the Warm Springs Indian Reservation. My relatives and
my culture have groomed me for sharing much of my life experiences, learnings, understandings
and adventures with communities throughout the Northwest region. I’m deeply involved in my
ancient Columbia Plateau culture, its ceremonies and practices, I also thrive in the modern world.
My culture is based on generosity. We’ve been put here on this earth to share and gift and
prepare for the next giving. I teach language, legends, song, dance and dance group, weaving,
acrylic painting, and necklace/bracelet/earring making. Most recently, my interests have brought
me into Columbia Plateau Language Preservation. I am apprenticing under several first Language
Ichishkíin Speakers from Warm Springs, Yakama and Umatilla.

I feel as though my grandmother laid clues and hints to pick up and continue some of the
work she did so that I could continue it for other generations. In college I involved myself in the
performing arts, singing, and dancing and soon picked up painting. When I returned to Warm
Springs there was a strong interest from our tribal leaders and community members alike to teach
culture. Remembering where I came from, and all the songs, legends, and dances taught to me by
my grandmother I stepped up and started helping teaching our youth. Art is the spirit of an object
and connotes a way of life. I continue to learn new arts and incorporate them into my traditional
ways of knowing.

My desire to share also comes from other’s requests to share. I see a request as someone
expressing confidence in me which makes me want to fulfill their request. Without the request I
don’t know if I would be doing this work.

I want those I work with outside of my culture to understand that our people are still alive, well,
strong, and connected. Our spirituality has never been hindered and our way of life has adapted
to sustain that spirituality. I hope they develop a deeper sense of place through all I share in story,
song, and dance.

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