Alumni Feature: Indigenous Tribe Learns from OU

May 24, 2022 | Blog, News

photo of indigenous tribe member with smoke curling around face

Shinnecock Indian Nation member Nashaue Hill | Photo courtesy of Shinnecock Hemp Growers

We are so proud of our alumna Rainbow Chavis, CMO of Shinnecock Hemp Growers, for her achievements since graduating from Oaksterdam University.

A recent article by Michael Giotis in the East Bay Express showcases Rainbow’s work building connections between Indigenous traditions and the modern world of commercial cannabis and hemp.

In the story, “Justice in Hemp: New York Indigenous tribe learns from Oakland,” Rainbow shares how she is cultivating hemp, healing, and herbal wisdom in the Hamptons, on land reclaimed by the Shinnecock Indian Nation.

Here’s an excerpt:

For the Shinnecock, looking west to Oakland and the justice-focused work of Oaksterdam University provided a way to match the know-how of the tribe’s people with the burgeoning cannabis and hemp industries.

“I did both of the [Oaksterdam] courses in the business of cannabis and the horticulture of cannabis … all online,” Rainbow told me. “[I]t was a great experience, and I loved Oaksterdam. And I learned so much, and I’m so appreciative of their whole school.”

In 2021, Shinnecock Hemp Growers won accolades for having the best business plan in their cohort at Oaksterdam.

“We were very proud of that,” Rainbow says.

Our next Business of Cannabis and Horticulture Fast-Track Courses begin on June 6, 2022. Learn more or enroll now to get certified and network with expert faculty and like-minded students worldwide. 

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