Our walk and journey was inspired by Sheena, a 16-year-old girl full of passion and life. Her life changed in the blink of an eye when she was diagnosed with a rare type of cancer that took her life 6 months later. She fought a courageous battle, teaching us all some valuable lessons. Sheena left her mark on lives everywhere, passing on the words: live, hope and dream. The Sheena V Foundation was created to instill hope in underserved Native American communities throughout the United States focusing on education, children’s cancer research, and financial literacy, all contributing to a self-sustaining life.
In the words of Nelson Mandela, “Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.” Education sustains our walk. We aim to provide educational programs to Native communities covering diabetes prevention, healthy lifestyles, physical health and fitness, and life skills. The gift of education and knowledge provides a lifetime of hope and sustainability. We aim to create solutions to restore a sustainable environment that will support future generations. Educating Native youth on culturally appropriate long-term solutions to combat a quickly depleting environment has lifetime impacts.
Native American communities understood the importance of living a self-sustaining life through a holistic approach before contact. A history of disruption and conquest led to many social ills and poverty often creating dependency in communities. Returning to a sustainable lifestyle for 7 generations to come not only provides hope but also pride. The Sheena V. Foundation commemorates Native American history through a long walk, the Trail of Tears event spanning seven cities in four states over seven days. We are celebrating Native American music, art, dance and words with days of events: charity walks, motorcade, ceremonies, and cultural events. Our walk brings light to dire issues Native American communities, specifically youth face daily. We continue the long walk to spread the message from Sheena through education to foster hope, life, and dreams.