After sitting in front of a computer for 22 years, Marti Ackerman decided it was time to try something new. Her spirituality and knowledge of tribal cultures led to the opening of Tribal Wisdom in March.
"My partner and I really wanted to open up this store," Ackerman says. "What we found is that when we would go to pow-wows, we would pick up items we thought people would like ... and everyone really loved the things we brought back. It's also a part of our culture. It's our heritage."
"The unifying thing is that it's all earth-based or wild craft," she says. "The first goal is that it's fair trade." She buys directly from the artist, and then is able to educate the people who buy from her. "We're also providing a service."
"I do a lot of ceremonial dances. I am a Cherokee pipe carrier which is an amazing honor," she says. "My partner and I are also licensed ministers so we can perform commitment ceremonies." Ackerman says Major Scapes Landscape & Design will donate materials and labor over the summer to build a medicine wheel garden where ceremonies and gatherings can be held.
"Most of my teachings have very little to do with my bloodlines," Ackerman says. "I didn't grow up on a reservation so I don't have that direct connection to my ancestry. I've longed for it because this is my spirituality. This is what feeds me."