Bring Awareness, Empowerment and Healing
By Maritza Duenas | Nov. 7, 2023
Yonasda (Yo-Na-Ja-Ha) Lonewolf visited University of Idaho campus on Nov. 7, 2023. She was welcomed onto the stage by a performance by the Vandal Nation Drum Group, and a healing jingle dress dance performed by Sienna Wolfchild. Yonasda primarily talked about her activism in her communities. In 2017, she created the Hip Hop 4 Foundation to bring awareness and empower communities through hip-hop culture. One of the communities the foundation fundraised for was Flint, Michigan, during the water crisis in which many residents of Flint were exposed to lead in their water. Hip Hop 4 Flint raised enough money, so over 200 homes received water filters that removed the lead.
Yonasda’s inspiring sense of leadership was fostered by her mother, Wauneta Lonewolf, who was Oglala Lakota, a substance abuse counselor and a healer. Yonasda was born during The Longest Walk movement. “I was born with my fist up,” she recalled, “Yosnasda fondly remembers being taken to protests and rallies by her mother who awakened her passion for activism from an early age.
Yonasda believes that “The basis of community development is self-improvement" and hosts monthly sessions of healing through her organization, Revolutionary Healing. It originally started as a safe space for activists to cope with the emotional toll that their work came with. Over time, it evolved into an event for different communities to gather and heal together with resources from the earth.