Ramon Shiloh is an award-winning author, illustrator, activist for Native youth, and multicultural Chef of Black, Filipino, Creek, and Cherokee descent.
Born in Palo Alto California in the middle of the Occupation of Alcatraz 1970 he grew accompanying his mother, June Legrand ‘Sukuybtet’, as she built friendships with luminaries such as: John Trudell, Floyd (Red Crow) Westerman, comedian Charlie Hill, medicine man Leonard Crow Dog, and Principal Chief of the Cherokee Nation, Wilma Mankiller. As a Native radio broadcaster, storyteller, educator, and social activist, his mother surrounded him with Native perspectives and spiritual belief systems. Her gifts of guidance and education provided a foundation of connection. After his mother’s passing in 1992, Shiloh picked up her mantle and dedicated himself to engagement in Native communities where he remains devoted to this day; “this is simply our way of life”.
Shiloh has continued to spend his lifetime forging alliances with Native communities throughout the urban environments of Northern and Central California, Albuquerque New Mexico, and the Pacific Northwest. He has volunteered at educationally focused non-profit organizations for over 3 decades as a writer, artist, and instructor in order to create insights, applied knowledge, and distributable tools relative to the mediums of Art, Food Sovereignty, Writing, and Spoken Word.
He successfully and effortlessly engages with youth in a powerful learning exchange where they focus on developing proposals and implementing deliverables, to achieve learning objectives and goals. Shiloh states, “I want to help them identify the process, structure, and technique of storytelling in their everyday lives. Children have had a difficult run expressing truthfully their fears, accomplishments, or dreams in a socially-awkward-networked world. I want to guide them in trusting their instincts and holding ownership of their actions.”
Utilizing this philosophy, he contributes perspectives that help expand youth’s knowledge and their over-arching relationship to self. He has a way of tapping through the minds of non-Native and Native learners with a series of interactive and experiential learning exercises all can feel mutually proud of. Through differing approaches, he skillfully encourages imagination initiatives that envelop students and community participants alike. Shiloh’s capacity to relate to diverse audiences, while maintaining and enhancing his cultural integrity, demonstrates his words in action and completes the lessons for the youths in which he invests.
Another foundational accomplishment was borne when Shiloh partnered as an illustrator with author and storyteller Gerald Hausman to produce the award-winning Wisdom Tales book The Otter, the Spotted Frog & the Great Flood; a mythical story based in America before humans existed on earth, with animal characters and a great flood that ends with the creation of First Man and First Woman in a very surprising way. The book has won three Midwest Book Awards (Gold Medal in the category “Illustration: Graphic,” and Silver Medals in the categories “Children’s Picture Books” and “Total Book Design”) and won the 2013 ForeWord Review “Book of the Year” Bronze Medal Award in the category “Picture Books, Early Reader.”
Shiloh’s other notable works, sacred experiences, and accomplishments also include:
- Distinguished performances as a featured Storyteller at the New Mexico State Fair as well as Science, Cultural, Research, Ecological, and Heritage Museums throughout the United States.
- Telling and creation of Native American Stories through my multimedia experience “Star Story Sessions.”
- Creator of the extraordinary book “Guidance Through an Illustrative Alphabet.”
- Collaboration work with Riverhead llc.
- Illustrator of the heartfelt book “The Corn Whisperer” written by Sue Houser.
- Educator and leader of food sovereignty discussions throughout Native and non-native communities of people.
- Mentor of Native playwrights in Pacific Northwest and Southern California.
- High honor of working with Civil Rights Pioneer Rosa Parks in 2000. As well as receiving a Certificate of Appreciation as a facilitator for efforts mentoring youth regarding the history of the Underground Railroad with a presentation titled “Pathways to Freedom 2000: A Trail of Tears.”
- In Comedy, Shiloh became the third person in the history of the Hollywood Improv in Los Angeles to host a merging of comedy and art on the walls titled, “The Art of Comedy Collection.” The project was sponsored by IMPROV founder, Budd Friedman, and Shiloh was interviewed by Dave Navarro on Spread Entertainment, hosted by ManiaTV.com, to celebrate the historic event.
- Securing his voice as the Arts & Cultural Editor for a multicultural magazine titled “ColorsNW” in 2008. Through education and exposure “ColorsNW” fostered pride and mutual respect among people of all cultures and ethnicities. Acting as Northwest’s Premier Diversity Resource its mission is to “illuminate issues relevant to communities of color through high-quality, enlightening, and thought-provoking content.”
- Creator of a one-man show – produced, written, directed and performed – titled “THE ALPHABET MONOLOGUES.” Performed throughout Seattle, WA at the Langston Hughes Performing Arts Center, ANNEX Theater, and Black Box Theater located at Chehalem Cultural Center in Oregon. The show’s concept was to rediscover the alphabet in a deeper quest for knowledge. Navigating life-lessons, current issues, environmental concerns, racial tensions, and global risks while weaving a wonderful set-list of musical improvisation, spoken word, and visual art through the opportunity of twenty-six letters.
- Hosting a Chef’s Table at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of The American Indian in Washington DC. He used his knowledge of food, art, and culture to help Native youth develop a love for cooking that connects them both to good health and their histories in our ever-changing world.
- Produced and directed planetarium shows for the De Anza College Fujitsu Planetarium in Cupertino California, Reuben H. Fleet Science Center at Balboa Park in San Diego, and the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) in Portland, Oregon.
- Arts programs related to minority issues. For example, his contributions to Native youth projects include serving as a mentor for the “Young Native Voices Theater Education Project” in Los Angeles, Red Eagle Soaring (Native Youth Theater), Clear Sky Native Youth Council, and Eastside Native American Education Program in Seattle Washington.
- Documenter of Seattle’s creative histories of musicians, book authors, visual artists, and humorists. Interviewing American soul singer, rapper, songwriter, and record producer DWELE, from Detroit Michigan, after his performance at the Triple Door in Seattle Washington. After the interview, and article release, Shiloh served as Dwele’s RT Music Group and KOCH records management company’s official journalist and traveled abroad to South Korea and Japan documenting his performances for the troops, Sponsored by Armed Forces Entertainment, and the Department of Defense in 2009.
The collective influence of these experiences with incredible mentors, communities, perspectives, initiatives, and stories has shaped Shiloh’s worldview. They continually teach him how to better bridge the urban-native gap from social commentary to the realized actions of contribution of productive thought, perspectives and Storytelling, art for our souls, food on our plates, and so much more. Shiloh’s goal is to honor his life’s path, as well as the legacy of June’s work, and continue building better partnerships of understanding our Native way.
Connect with me