Honoring Native Peoples, Land, and Water

Friday, November 3 to Sunday, November 5, 2023
Facilitator(s): Amy Hernandez Maack, Dona Severinsen, Siobhan Marks, Stephanie Perdew, Suzanne Mills-Wemm


Honoring Native Peoples, Land, And Water Website


Indigenous wisdom offers abundant insights into a holistic approach to life and environmental justice. This weekend retreat will be led by five Native women who reside in Wisconsin and northern Illinois.

On Friday evening and Saturday morning, Siobhan Marks will present “Advocating for our Land, Water and All Living Things,” which will include teachings about how her people honor the land and water and about social injustices they have suffered. Siobhan will also offer a presentative entitled “Our Grandmothers’ Dress: Reclaiming the Dress of our Ancestors,” which will cover the historical significance of Indigenous women’s dress.

On Saturday afternoon, Dona Severinsen, Suzanne Mills-Wemm and Amy Hernandez Maack will lead a workshop called “Weaving Your Sacred Web of Life” in which participants will learn how to bring balance to one’s life through medicine wheel teachings; learn about the healing energies of water, fire, air and earth; and engage in a pipe ceremony and a water ceremony. On Saturday evening they will lead a “prayerformance” of song and prayer.

On Sunday morning, Dr. Stephanie Perdew will give a presentation about best practices for creating Land Acknowledgements with faith communities, non-profits and grass roots groups. She will draw on her knowledge of Native history, United States federal tribal law, religion and spirituality.

Friday, November 3, to Sunday, November 5, 2023
The retreat begins at 7:00pm on Friday and concludes with the noon meal on Sunday.
Cost of $375 (includes overnight accommodations, program and meals)

You can register and pay online by clicking the register button above, by calling the front desk at 262-898-2590 with a credit card number, or by mailing a check made out to Siena Retreat Center.” Payment must be received to complete registration.

See our Frequently Asked Questions page for our cancellation policies and other helpful information.

About the Facilitators

Amy Hernandez MaackAmy Hernandez Maack

Amy Hernandez Maack is an enrolled member of the Lipan Apache Tribe. Born and raised in Kenosha, Wisconsin, Amy is a strong healing woman as well as pipe carrier, Nibi Singer (sacred water singer), and talented professional singer and music teacher.

Dona SeverinsenDona Severinsen

Dona Severinsen is a culture bearer, an enrolled member of the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Ojibwe and Oneida, and a member of the Medicine lodge society of the Midewiwin, 1st degree. She has sun and moon danced in two powerful healing ceremonies and taught Ojibwe language and culture at The Indian Community School in Franklin, Wisconsin. She has been a pipe carrier for 24 years and has been pouring healing sweat lodges for 17 years.

Siobhan MarksSiobhan Marks

Siobhan Marks is a lineal descendent of the Lac Courte Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians from her mother’s side and Russian from her father’s side. She is a second-degree Midewiwin and is Eagle Clan. Siobhan volunteers in her community, and advocates for and teaches about the water, land, and Indigenous ways of being.

Stephanie PerdewStephanie Perdew

Stephanie Perdew is an enrolled tribal citizen of the Cherokee Nation of Oklahoma and an educator on Native history, decolonizing theological methods, and church history. She serves on the Board of Directors of the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston, Illinois; is a member of the Chicago American Indian Center and is active in intertribal advocacy and organizing in the upper Midwest. She is on staff of the United Church of Christ Minnesota and Wisconsin Conferences.

Suzanne Mills-WemmSuzanne Mills-Wemm

Suzanne Mills-Wemm is a tribal member of the Lac Courte Oreilles Lake Superior Band of Ojibwe near Hayward, Wisconsin, and a member of the Crane (Ajijaak) clan. She is advancing to 2nd degree Midewiwin, of the Three Fires Midewiwin Lodge, and is an Eagle Staff and pipe carrier. Suzanne loves music, singing, painting, drawing, practicing breath work, beading and ‘Truth Seeking’ regarding her own spiritual journey.