The Rise In Love Foundation was founded initially in 2012 by Vandee Crane Khalsa, under the name the Isis Group Project. The mission of the Rise in Love Foundation is to support individuals, families, and communities in healing ancestral trauma, providing the support that victims need to become victors over any circumstance.
Fifteen years ago, Vandee Crane Khalsa began her career as a clinician. As a survivor of child sex trafficking, the most important goal in Vandee’s life was to make a long lasting, impactful change in society . However, it didn’t take long for Vandee to realize that the brokenness of our society, the systems within it, and the people running those systems were broken beyond repair; it was time to reinvent the wheel. It was time to rEVOLutionize and inspire healing.
Vandee Crane, Canté Waŝté Waŝagya Win, Lakota for “Good Strong Hearted Woman”, was raised by her Maternal Osage Grandmother, Eleanor Grace Crane, a WWII Army Veteran, Nurse, and Artist. In 2008, when Vandee had reached the pinnacle of her trauma and alcohol addiction, she incurred 3 traumatic brain injuries within one year and could no longer function professionally or academically as she previously had. When she felt like there was no where to go or nothing that could be done, she remembered the Indigenous Wisdoms that her Grandmother had raised her with and began fulfilling her childhood commitments that she had once made. The depth of healing and wisdom that she found could only be described as immeasurable. These experiences inspired Vandee to walk away from her career as a mental health clinician and pursuit her dreams of supporting others in finding the healing that they are in need of by supporting women in coming together to heal through culture, connection and conversation.
TatankaSkaWin “Tata” SwiftBird, Lakota for White Bull Woman, named for Lakota Chief White Bull, is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, Daughter, Sister, Auntie, Student, Powwow Dancer, Water Protector and talented Artist. Tata just joined the Rise in Love Foundation Advisory Board in 2020 representing the voices of Traditional Indigenous Youth. Tata is most passionate about her animals, the stories and characters she develops, and preserving her Lakota Culture. In the Fall of 2020 Tata gave her first public presentation to the New Mexico State Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women/Relatives (MMIW/R) Taskforce and looks forward to doing more of that work in the future. Tata is an aspiring entrepreneur, with the goals of educating and inspiring others through her artwork and opening her own bakery.
Martina Looking Horse, Wawokiya Winyan “Helping Woman” in Lakota, is an enrolled member in the Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe and Matriarch of the Looking Horse Family, who has cared for the Sacred Bundle of the Lakota Nation for the last 19 Generations. She is a Mother, Grandmother, Sister,Auntie, Water Protector, Traditional Language Speaker and Wisdom Keeper. In her youth she served a secretary and assistant to her Father, Stanley R. Sr., a well-respected Bundle Keeper and Treaty Elder and still continues to carry on the Family Tradition of living Wolakota. Martina has been serving on the Rise in Love Foundation Advisory Board for the last 3 years representing the voices of Traditional Lakota Matriarchs. Her greatest passion is preserving Lakota Culture & Language, creating safe spaces for Lakota Womxn and Youth and creating a sustainable culture for the next 7 Generations. Her lifelong goal has been to develop a Wolakota Cultural Preservation Center on her Family Land and assist other Lakota Women in doing the same. Martina’s Land is located 7 miles south of the Sitting Bull Monument in South Dakota, in Rainbow Valley and building is slated to begin in the Spring of 2021.
John SwiftBird, Keeper of The Swiftbird Drum, is an enrolled member of the Oglala Sioux Tribe, a Traditional Lakota Singer and Drum Keeper, Father, Husband, Artist, Owner and Operator of SwiftBird Designs. He has been serving on the Rise In Love Foundation Advisory Board for the last 3 years, representing the voice of Traditional Indigenous men. John has always has a passion for singing for the People but, in 2017, along the banks of the Rio Grande, in Ancestral Pueblo Territory, John made the commitment on his 39th birthday to always sing and pray for the Womxn and the Water. John’s greatest aspiration is to create a safe and sustainable culture for future Generations rooted in his Traditional Lakota Wisdom.
Gurumeet Kaur Khalsa is Managing Director of Create Inner Peace, a Minister of Divinity of Sikh Dharma International, a Teacher Trainer of Kundalini Yoga, and graphics publisher Gurumeet is a Certified Counselor of Numerology according to the Ancient Calendar of the Magi, providing coaching to boost career, manage stress, recover from post traumatic stress, heal addictions, and take control of our own life, health and well being. Create is dedicated to serving First Responders and all those who feel overwhelmed by debilitating or prolonged stress in their lives. Gurumeet is one of the founding Members of the Rise In Love Foundation and has been instrumental in Vandee’s evolution and healing, as her first Kundalini Yoga Teacher and Mentor.
Leigh Hopkins, mother of two, joins Rise In Love Foundation’s team of inspired individuals in order to assist in meaningful change towards ReMatriation through a lens of earth systems based in the study of geology and wondrous observation, and deep care for the future through work with children. When making financial decisions she asks, “How will this exchange of energy both regenerate the mother earth while aiding in the progress of humankind?” Leigh believes we each hold the spirit power to lead lives that will make our ancestors proud and allow future generations to look back at the human collective of the times with gratitude. Through daily work on the inner being, the actions we take in the world become more meaningful. She hopes we may all strive to act from a place of global awareness based in local action. Leigh most recently joined the Rise in Love Foundation Board and is serving as the Treasurer/CFO.