Staff & Affiliates


Deana Dartt, PhD (Principal) is Coastal Chumash and Mestiza, descending from the indigenous people of the Californias. Her scholarly and professional work strives to address the incongruities between public understanding, representation and true acknowledgement of Native peoples, their cultures, histories and contemporary lives.

She earned her MA and PhD from the University of Oregon (go Ducks) and has held curatorial positions at the Burke Museum of Natural and Cultural History and the Portland Art Museum as well as teaching appointments at the University of Oregon, University of Washington, and Northwest Indian College. She recently completed a writing fellowship at the School for Advanced Research where she revised her book manuscript for publication titled: Subverting the Master Narrative: Museums, Power and Native Life in California. Deana serves on the board of the Native Coast Action Network.


Heron Brae 
Associate Director of Programs for Environmental Stewardship and Allyship

At an essential level, Heron’s work is to connect humans to each other and the land. She believes that decolonizing requires deep personal and community work as the foundation that will allow for the systemic changes needed. As part of the Live Oak team, she directs and teaches programs regarding allyship skills and decolonial land stewardship, and consults with clients in the environmental field. She co-teaches Decolonization 101 trainings and facilitates the in-depth Building Allyship affinity groups, to coach aspiring allies with emotional resiliency and skill building to face decolonial work. She is part of a team developing on-line educational offerings.  

Heron was born and raised in the southern Willamette Valley of Oregon. Her experience reckoning with her European heritage, and yearning to belong to the land, has led her through a personal process of facing systems of power and working to heal the ancestral trauma of leaving homelands, participating in colonization, and assimilation. Listening deeply and emotional empathy are key tools she brings to her work. 

Heron holds a B.S. in Botany and Ecology from the Evergreen State College. She spent 12 years with the Columbines School of Botanical Studies teaching field programs in botany, ecology, herbalism, ethical wildcrafting, Indigenous history and context of the land, and wild food tending. She has long had the goal of renewing human connection to the land through teaching direct reciprocity with wild plants, while connecting that to relationship-focused support for Indigenous-led projects and movements for decolonization. She is honored to be able to work toward this goal in her role at Live Oak Consulting. 

Heron studies Chinuk wawa, the local indigenous trade language 

Rachael Carnes (she/her)
Associate Director of Programs for Museums and the Arts Executive Assistant to the Director

Rachael develops, tracks and coordinates decolonization initiatives for the organization, supporting decolonization practice in Exhibit Design, Operations, Education, Public Engagement, Marketing & Communications, Fundraising and Administration. As a support to organizational lead Deana Dartt, Rachael focuses energies on day-to-day administrative functions, research and writing, strategic planning process and staff supervision. In collaboration with her colleagues, Rachael is developing a workbook compendium to the Decolonization training modules, while supporting community engagement in museums and the arts. In addition to her work with Live Oak, Rachael is an internationally-recognized playwright, whose decades-long background in dance education for people of all abilities informs her every day. Rachael and her beautiful family enjoy attending live performances and art museums, traveling the world, camping with cocoa, and walking our big dogs in the woods. We’re blessed to have a close community of family and friends throughout the Pacific Northwest.

Exhibits Team


Headshot of Alan

Alan Ransenberg has more than 35 years of experience planning, designing, and implementing exhibits of all types. He is a wonderful listener, and he has honed his considerable skills in “thinking like a visitor.” Alan is intimately familiar with a wide variety of exhibit communication treatments, materials, and production processes. His designs are both ‘real’ and ‘buildable’ from the first concept sketches.



Tima

Tima Lotah Link is an Advertising Art Director who specializes in designing for California Native cultural publications, exhibits, public spaces, and magazines. Tima is also a Shmuwich Chumash cultural educator and traditional Chumash textile artist. She lectures and teaches for tribal organizations, educational institutions, non-profits, and governmental agencies.

Tima is a member of the California Indian Basketweavers’ Association and is featured in the book California Indian Baskets: San Diego to Santa Barbara and Beyond to the San Joaquin Valley, Mountains and Deserts (Vol 2). She received the 2012 Best in Show at the Autry American Arts Marketplace for her basketry, the First People’s Fund 2017 Community Spirit Award for her years as a cultural educator, and an Emmy for her work on the KCET series Tending the Wild.

Emily Tarantini (she/her) grew up in Southern California on Fernandeño Tataviam and Chumash traditional territories. She is a graduate of the Museum & Field Studies M.S. program at the University of Colorado, Boulder where she spent most of her time learning about repatriation, collections care informed by Indigenous perspectives, and community driven approaches to exhibit development and curatorial research. Before earning her degree, Emily contributed to repatriation efforts at numerous institutions including the Smithsonian National Museum of the American Indian, the United States Department of the Interior, and the Mount Holyoke College Art Museum. Emily believes it is an honor to assist Indigenous communities with this important work however she can. More recently, she has also become involved in the process of co-curating exhibits with Indigenous community members at the University of Colorado Museum of Natural History. Additionally, Emily is an advocate for the growing field of queer museology and inclusion of her own LGBTQ+ community’s perspectives in museums and archives. She is passionate about making museums more equitable and inclusive, especially in regards to communities who have been and continue to be historically mistreated and misrepresented by these institutions.


Image caption: Emily caring for a Maria Martinez ceramic vessel by conducting object condition reporting.


Decolonization Workshops


Brenna Two Bears, BA, is Navajo, Ho-Chunk, and Standing Rock Lakota from Black River Falls, WI and Flagstaff, AZ. She studied Art History & Visual Culture at Whitman College in Washington state with a focus on Tribal Museums and the Politics of Display. Her work in museums ranges from assisting her tribe with their first ever Ho-Chunk Museum & Cultural Center to most recently, curatorial intern at the Metropolitan Museum of Art. She strives to uplift youth through art education, as well as prioritize Native voices within cultural institutions that house indigenous works. In addition to her work with Live Oak Museum Consulting, she is an educator in Tempe, Arizona.

Meranda Roberts is an enrolled member of the Yerington Paiute Tribe and Chicana. In 2018, she earned her Ph.D. from the University of California, Riverside in Native American History. Over the past few years, she has been working as a post-doctoral researcher at the Field Museum of Natural History, where she is developing content for the renovation of the museum’s seventy-year-old Native American exhibition hall. Meranda also recently co-curated the exhibition Apsáalooke Women and Warriors with tribal member and scholar Nina Sanders. Meranda’s passion lies in holding colonial institutions, like museums, accountable for the harmful narratives they have painted about Indigenous people. She is also dedicated to reconnecting Indigenous collection items with their descendants. Through the use of Indigenous methodologies and public history pedagogy, Meranda examines the harm colonialism continues to inflict on Indigenous communities and how public institutions can correct these wrongs.


David G. Lewis is a member of the Grand Ronde tribe, a descendant of the Santiam, Chinook and Takelma peoples of western Oregon. He has a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Oregon and is faculty in the Anthropology and Ethnic Studies departments at OSU. David is a past manager of the culture department at the Grand Ronde Tribe and helped design and open the Chachalu Museum at the reservation. He conducts dozens of presentations each year to numerous groups throughout western Oregon about tribal history and context and has curated numerous exhibits at local museums. He currently lives in Salem, Oregon with his family, and continually researches the colonial histories of the Oregon tribes, writing numerous essays for journals and for his blog The Quartux Journal at ndnhistoryresearch.com


Greg Archuleta is an enrolled member of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. He is descended from the Oregon City Tumwater and Clackamas Chinook, Santiam Kalapuya and Shasta. He is a former administrator and policy and planning manager for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde. Today he works closely with the Tribe’s cultural departments to provide assistance related to the culture and history of the Grand Ronde Tribes of western Oregon. He provides community-based cultural arts classes related to traditional carving, Native art design, and basketry. These “Lifeways” classes have been ongoing for over 12 years. As an artist, he focuses on the Columbia River style art form. Today, Archuleta is the Cultural Policy Analyst for the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde and works on enhancement, education, and outreach activities related to the Cultural resources of the Tribe.



Headshot of Nancy

Nancy Judd is an internationally recognized artist, environmental advocate and teaching artist. For over 20 years she has been creating art exhibitions made from trash that engage people in conversations about how we live on the earth. Nancy exhibits her work in public airports and museums and one of her pieces, the Obamanos Coat is in the Smithsonian Museum’s permanent collection. In her work as a teaching artist, Nancy provides arts integration to students in classrooms and adults in training settings. Nancy’s work is inspired by the indigenous people around the globe who have cared for the earth for thousands of years. She asserts that by following their lead and working with them, we can collectively mitigate the impacts of climate change. Nancy explores her own privilege, colonized mindset and white/settler fragility and brings her personal experiences to all her trainings. www.RecycleRunway.com.


Oregon Folklife Network

The Oregon Folklife Network (OFN) makes a meaningful difference in Oregon communities and Tribes by documenting, sustaining and celebrating diverse cultural traditions and empowering tradition-bearers. OFN conducts fieldwork and engages the public to increase cross-cultural understanding and appreciation for Oregon’s living cultural heritage.

Emily West Hartlerode holds degrees in Psychology, Mythology, and Folklore, with certificates in Family Support and Gender Studies. She integrates these backgrounds to increase personal and public understanding of individual and collective trauma and healing. Since 2010, Hartlerode has managed Oregon Folklife Network’s program portfolio while supporting grant proposals earning over $900,000. Her First Peoples: First Priorities objective at OFN results in collaborations with Oregon Tribes across institutions (National Park Service’s Honoring Tribal Legacies, 2013) and within communities (Kalapuya Cultural Preservation Youth Camp, 2012-14). Her video documentation of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs Sound Preservation Project supported awards from Oregon Heritage Commission (2014) and American Folklore Society (2015). Hartlerode was Research Assistant to Live Oak’s assessment of Native Cultures Fund grantmaking impact (2019). Of settler descendancy, she is grateful to live and work on Kalapuya Ilihi, raising a child, a garden, and a great many bees.