Featured Presenter - Episode 27
Miriam Zmiewski-Angelova, MPH, P-3 (Choctaw, Cherokee, Sauk/Fox, African American, and Ashkenazi)
Miriam (Choctaw, Cherokee, Sac/Fox, African American, and Ashkenazi) is an Afro-Indigenous mother, artist, gardener, educator, and activist/advocate for child-and-family-focused BIPOC, Two-Spirit community initiatives. She is also of the Redstone Running Deer Sundance Family, adopted in 2015. Their pipe comes from the Bear Hills family in Mission South Dakota. At her naming ceremony in 2015, she was adopted Yaqui and given the name Tewalim Wiikit meaning “Bluebird.”
Miriam was born in Chicago but left at age 3-months to Taipei, Taiwan until age 7, with her parents as her father was studying under a colleague to be a traditional medicine practitioner. Following this, Miriam moved back to the U.S. and lived in various cities including Tucson, and now Seattle.
Miriam completed her undergraduate work at Northeastern Illinois University in Psychology and Education. She completed her Master’s of Public Health at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Her work focused on Maternal and Child Health in Indigenous Populations and included a secondary focus in Emergency Management. She holds a P3 Executive Leadership certificate from the University of Washington – College of Education. Miriam currently works for the City of Seattle as an Early Learning Coach. Prior to this position, she served as the Preschool Director of Daybreak Star Preschool in Seattle.
Miriam has been collaborating some of her family members to reconnect, preserve, and document family stories and artifacts. This has also resulted in a handful of art pieces and storied ribbon skirts around birth stories that connect to stories of resilience against racism that has impacted Black-Native mixed individuals and the ways in which our ancestors watch over us and form our sense of self. Her talk will focus on a couple of these pieces and how they describe elements of her birth story and connections to certain family members.
As a childbirth educator in training, she is constantly inspired by her two children and the opportunity to tell the story of family, old and new traditions, and helping develop their positive self-image. Miriam and her partner, Stoyan, are proud parents of two beautiful brown babies: Nashoba (wolf – 6 years old) and Nitalusa (Black bear – 9 months old). Whenever possible and safe, she can be seen in the community singing, marching, crafting, or in the garden playing in the dirt.