DEBORAH LITTLEBIRD is an herbalist, botanical farmer, artist and story carrier. Deborah creates tea sanctuaries that combine her faith, art and passion for plant medicine. She invites us to come to ground in our daily lives for a time out of time by creating sanctuary on the ground right beneath our feet.
Deborah has been a practicing herbalist for the past 30 years and is a graduate of Rosemary Gladstar's Science and Art of Herbalism Certification Course. Deborah teaches how to grow plant medicine gardens and wildcraft "small batch" medicinal herbs emboldening others in backyard herbalism and creating one's own kitchen cupboard apothecary. As a natural foods chef, Deborah artfully prepares meals with culinary healing foods and her Land Art Tea Sanctuaries are a special treat for the soul. These bespoke earthen thresholds are rooted in her spiritual life and offer a contemplative practice in the shelter of Tea.
Deborah has a Fine Arts degree from Kendall School of Design and worked as an accomplished graphic designer/art director for design firms in southern California and the Midwest before migrating to New Mexico in the early 90's to walk her spiritual path. For over 32 years, Deborah has mentored alongside her husband Larry Littlebird, a revered elder/storyteller from Laguna/Santo Domingo Pueblos and with Indigenous elders from First Nations tribes.
Together, the Littlebird’s co-founded Hamaatsa, a nonprofit indigenous continuum and have led spiritual land-based retreats on the nonprofit's 320-acre wild land sanctuary that was once Puebloan homelands. They have gathered around lodge fires with people from across the globe and graciously shared talking circles, story camps, sacred council and ceremony. They produced six historic tribal American storytelling conferences in the 90's called Hama-Ha bringing together elders from First Nation tribes to share cross-cultural story experiences; and long before it was "a movement" they led Healing Circles and Pilgrimages for bearing witness to Native American genocide and healing historical trauma with an emphasis toward acts of restitution for healing land and people. Deborah and her husband Larry, who are also ordained ministers, lived and worked on their faith-based hermitage farm for the past fifteen years, where they offered contemplative retreats and cultural workshops for sustainable regenerative living.
As a creative director, Deborah produces and directs film and storytelling projects. She lovingly and painstakingly has archived her husbands oral tradition stories caring for their lineage of authenticity with a mission to perpetuate the tribal orality passed on to Larry Littlebird by his elders. She produced Slow Story©, a video series which bridges the ancient technology of Native culture with today's digital media technology. With her husband’s blessing, Deborah continues their story legacy as a custodian of memory, story and song.
Deborah’s present focus is on sharing her beloved plant medicine and coaching others to harvest beauty to create sanctuary for discovering ways of blessing in these times of change and shifting landscapes.
Deborah is the blessed mother of Jesse Raine Littlebird, a Native artist/filmmaker, who she co-produced the award winning short film Jackrabbit and Hunter Littlebird, a gifted recording artist and Gotaiya, her grandson.