Translate This Page





Photo taken by

Scott Ridgeway

Eli PaintedCrow

Holds a proud history from the Yaqui Nation and Mexica ancestry. She is

the  mother to two veteran sons and a grandmother of ten. Eli is an advocate

for Peace and an advocate for returning soldiers. A 22yr Army veteran whose

eyes were opened in her last tour of military service, while in Iraq.  Eli has

committed to bring forward the strategies  used in this society to continue

keeping communities separated and in conflict. The founder of Turtle

Women Rising: A Peace Ceremony led by Indigenous Women in October

2008 in Washington D.C. The intention to bring healing to the planet and it's

inhabitants with the knowledge our ancestors left us. Eli's concern for the

future generations has inspired her  to be their voice at this crucial time of our

changing planet.



Deborah J. Guerrero MSW

(Tlingit, Snohomish, & Cowlitz) is a social worker at Muckleshoot Indian

Child  Welfare in Auburn Washington. She is an activist and community

organizer. She serves as a Board of Director for several Indian Organizations in

Seattle. She is a ceremonialist and has a deep passion for Traditional Indigenous

Healing ways. She is an active member in the Native American Church, and is

the proud parent of three  grown children. She is a co-founder of Turtle

Women Rising and the Drum Keeper for Kiya's Heartbeat, an open drum to the








 Kiyas's Heartbeat


Kiya's Heartbeat is a life changing drum who has a 15 year history. She started out in San 

Francisco Bay Area in 2000 and came to Washington State in 2006. She has kept the

Heartbeat of love, faith, hope and charity for all these years. She draws all walks of life 

to her presence. She calls songs/prayers to her, and all who come to her share their time,

energy efforts, and are forever changed. those who are hesitant to drum in the beginning

fell her deep magical sound, and fell her incredible vibration only to walk away knowing

they have been blessed by her Holy Spirit. She calls to those who need healing

and love as she lifts Spirits and causes change to happen


            Veterans  Drum Keeper

:                             Lola Mondrag√≥n

is a Chickasaw Chicana Navy veteran, military  spouse, mother of two

military kids, and grandmother of Lolito. She is an advocate, scholar, and

student of race,  feminism, militarism, peace &  social justice as it pertains to the

lives experiences of Latina, Indigenous and Native women. She is currently

working on her dissertation--focused on indigenous forms of healing used by

MST and PTSD warriors --at UCSB.  She is also the co-convener of the first

Indigenous Women Veterans National Healing Circle. She is also the TWR

drum keeper for  Lunar de Fuerza


                        Lunar De Fuerza    (Beauty Mark of Strength)

Came to TWR in 2012 and has traveled throughout California joining the voices of

indigenous women bringing a message to our communities of peace and support

for military veterans. Lunar De Fuerza is taking on a new role as she becomes the First

Women Veterans Drum known to us. Her new role is to help women vets heal from

their military experience As we transition her location with a women veteran drum

keeper to offer this medicine to women veterans, Lunar begins a new journey with

women veterans.


Nina Laboy

(Taino-Yoruba-Arawak) is a great-grandmother living in Seattle, WA. Nina is a Spiritist and

Dharma practitioner, following the teachings of her grandmother, Herminia Ortiz and

the  first known Buddha. Nina began singing in the womb. She has a long list of credits

performing Latin jazz,  nueva cancion, and musical theatre in New York and Seattle and

now joins Turtle Women Rising drumming circles. She has led Women of Color Healing

Circles, Meditation and Turtle Women Rising is a vital part of her active and positive

spiritual evolution as an elder. She has spent most of her life in community service

leadership as a social justice activist and educator on issues of Undoing Racism,

environmental justice, youth leadership and peace directing programs for American

Friends Service Committee, City of Seattle Human Services, the Community Service Society

of New York and A Better Bronx for Youth. She is a founder  of the South Bronx  Clean Air

Coalition. Presently, Nina is a student of cabinetmaking and wood- working design.

 Photo taken by Ross Singer


Suzu Kawamoto

is a mother, massage therapist, dancer, and drummer. Being a part of  Turtle Women

Rising is truly an honor and a blessing for her. The invitation to  "Drum the Heart, Heal

the Earth" is what called her to the 2008 Turtle Women Rising vigil inWashington,D .C.

~ and as soon as she entered the site, she knew she was, is, and always has been, a

Turtle Woman Rising! Having felt so strongly the healing power of song, and the

Heartbeat of the Drum as a call for peace and justice, she is very grateful to have found

this family, and that Life has brought her to this place in time to help bring this

wonderful, very sacred, potent, and timely vision to fruition ~ and is so looking forward

to sharing in this prayer with everyone.



     Photo taken by

            Ross Singer




Phoenix Rising Kawamoto, M.S.W.

is a professional storyteller and story teacher living and working within

the Mid-Hudson Region of New York State. The Sacred Heartbeat of the

drum and power of song have been important healing forces in her life

and spiritual journey for many years. She is extremely grateful to Creator

for guiding her to the Turtle Women Rising ceremony in Washington D.C. in

2008. She is honored to support this vision and work to share the healing

medicine of the drum with all her relatives. As a story-teller and story-

teacher, Betsy specializes in stories for: health and wellness, resiliency,

building community, celebrating diversity, honoring our natural world,and

awakening the Sacred Activist within



Liz Gamboa


Of Mexica, Apache and Yaqui heritage, joined Turtle Women Rising in 2013. Prior to that, she had  

never been a regular drummer or singer but was inspired to be a part of TWR's message of

peace. She also found that sitting at the big drum was something that fed her in a profound way.

She is also passionate about Danza Azteca, and belongs to a danza group in Berkeley, Calpulli Huey


Papalotl. Born and raised in the Los Angeles area, she has lived in the S.F. Bay Area for the past 20

years. She is mixed Mexica, Apache and Yaqui. Liz served a tour of duty with the U.S. Air Force