Who We Are
LeAndra Nephin was born and raised on the Omaha Indian Reservation and is an enrolled member of the Omaha Tribe of Nebraska. She currently resides in Derbyshire, England. LeAndra is completing an undergraduate degree in Counselling and Psychotherapy from the University of Derby. She has over 25 years of experience working in the helping professions as a Drug and Alcohol Abuse Counselor for young offenders, a SafeHouse manager for victims fleeing Domestic Violence, a Rape Crisis Worker, and currently as an Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ISVA) and Child Independent Sexual Violence Advisor (ChISVA) working with children and young people affected by sexual abuse and violence. In her current role, she provides both practical and emotional support as the survivors navigate the United Kingdom criminal justice system. LeAndra is a board member for the research project, Beyond the Spectacle: Native North American Presence in Britain and on the board of directors for the Omaha Tribal Historical Research Project. She is also an international public speaker and engages in Indigenous activism through education.
Dr. Stephanie Pratt
Dr Stephanie Pratt (Dakota and Anglo-American), formerly Associate Professor (Reader) in Art History at Plymouth University, UK between 1993 and 2013, was appointed as the first Cultural Ambassador for the Crow Creek Dakota Tribal Council, Fort Thompson, South Dakota, USA, in 2015, where she is an enrolled member. She has published extensively on the visual representation of Native American and North American Indigenous peoples in art and museums, and has curated five exhibitions including two at the National Portrait Gallery, London on her research specialism. Her book, American Indians in British Art, 1700-1840, was published in 2005 by Oklahoma University Press. She has resided in the U.K. since 1985
Melinda Schwakhofer (Muscogee (Creek) and Austrian-American). Melinda is an internationally exhibited, award winning artist. Through her personal journey and training as a Counseling Psychologist, she believes that deep healing can be achieved through art making. Her Native roots form a central theme in her artistic practice. Like many Native people born in an urban or non-reservation environment, she grew up with the inherited trauma and unresolved grief that many Native people suffer, but without the support of a Native community. Melinda has resided in the UK since 1998. www.inspiraculum.com
Sarah Sense (Chitimacha/Choctaw) is from Sacramento, California, currently living in Bristol, England. She has a BFA from CSU Chico and a MFA from Parsons, NYC. With traditional Chitimacha and Choctaw basket techniques using nontraditional material of cut paper woven into flat mats and baskets, Sarah Sense has taught herself a weaving practice using photographic images, exposing socio-political themes affecting Native peoples. While curator/director of the American Indian Community House Gallery, NYC, Sense catalogued the gallery’s thirty-year history, inspiring her search for international Indigenous Art. Moving to Santiago, Chile afforded an in-depth search ensuing Weaving the Americas, A Search for Native Art in the Western Hemisphere, a book and exhibition. When traveling to meet Indigenous artists in their communities throughout the Americas and Southeast Asia, she learned of artists making in and from the land of their community with local source materials, closely linking land to traditional preservation. Her weaving tells stories drawing on these connections. www.sarahsense.com