“I was given a warrior name and born into a medicine family but my medicine is not through chants or all night prayers but is through the work I do for my people in my community.” ~Sheilah Dasher
Sheilah Dasher spent her formative years living on the Navajo Reservation in Arizona, immersed in the Diné culture and traditions. Her clans are, Zuni Red Streak Clan, born for the Black People, maternal grandfather the Edge Water clan, paternal grandfather the Black People. (Naaneesht’ezhi tachii’nii, yinshi Naakaii le Zhinii’ dine’e ba’shishchiin, Tabaaha dashicheii aadoo’, Naakaii le Zhinii’ dine’e dashinali’).
Sheilah has participated in a number of national and regional coalitions including the 2010 Answer Coalition (Washington, DC), the 2010 National Indian Education Association, the 2008 San Diego American Indian Youth Health Conference and the 2008 United National Indian Tribal Youth Conference. She has been an activist for Native rights, as well as gender and domestic violence issues. She hopes to obtain her Masters in Social Work to help her communities and Veterans.
She currently resides on Kumeyaay Indian land in San Diego CA. She has been a very active member of her urban Indian community for several years. Dasher serves as the Program Coordinator and Instruction Facilitator for the San Diego American Indian Health Center’s Tribal Personal Responsibility Education Program (Tribal PREP) project designed to reduce the number of teen and unplanned pregnancies among Native youth in San Diego.
Photo Credit: (c) Brittany Galante
She is a graduate of the California State University, San Marcos, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology/ Women’s Studies and a minor degree in Ethnic Studies. She was the President of the American Indian Student Alliance and served as a member of the Multicultural Student Council. She also earned an associate degree in Journalism/Communications from Southwestern College.
While a high school student, Sheilah worked as an Intern and Youth Counselor for the Urban Indian Youth Program where she led a team of youth who wrote and produced a documentary video entitled "It’s Your Life, Live It Safe: HIV/ AIDS" in the Native American Community. Dasher sat on council as Youth Chairwoman for San Diego’s 1st American Indian Youth Health Conference serving over 200 youth. She was honored with a Community Builder Award from Cal State University San Marcos.
Sheilah ran as a candidate for the Miss Indian World Pageant at The Gathering of Nations (2010), and Miss Indian Ceremonial (2008). She held the title of Miss University of California San Diego Powwow Princess (2012-2013), representing higher education and American Indian women. She is a three time winner of The Society of Professional Journalist Awards for her news stories focusing on Native American and Immigrant communities.
Note: *We refer to people of African and Native American Indian heritage as Afro Native sometimes on this website. Many refer to people of both ancestry as Black Indians, African Native Americans, Black Native Americans or Black American Indians.