Andre StrongBearHeart Gaines, Jr.
Andre StrongBearHeart Gaines, Jr., is a citizen of the Nipmuc people. He serves as a cultural steward for his Tribe, is a father, public speaker, traditional dancer, Indigenous Activist for Indigenous rights, carpenter by trade and educator. With 15 years in recovery from drugs and alcohol, Andre is a recovery sponsor and integrated life coach for those in need. Andre’s work focuses on bringing traditional knowledge back to Indigenous Peoples. Some of this consists of how to flesh and brain tan hides to make items such as drums, buckskin, and blankets. This work is focused on cultural revitalization and preservation. Andre is a resident artist for the Ohketeau Cultural Center based in Ashfield Massachusetts. (www.ohketeau.org) he is also the creative director of @No_Loose_Braids and http://www.andrestrongbearheart.com
Andre's work is grounded in restoring balance between everyday life and traditional values while navigating the colonial systems we live in. Cultural revitalization, family, and traditions values are the driving force that keeps Andre ever diligent on his daily journey.