Victoria Fortner (PeatohahNape Tamsah) passed away on October 11, 2014 after fighting a long battle with cancer. Victoria was a board and founding member of Inside Dharma. Without her fore-sightedness and hard work, we would have never incorporated as a not-for-profit organization. A deep bow to a life that gave value to so many other lives. Here are some of the things Victoria was a part of, Victoria Fortner, RH (AHG) (PeatohahNape Tamsah) of Shawnee and Scot /Irish descent, was trained in allopathic and Traditional Indigenous medicine. She worked in the American medical field for 15 years. Victoria was the owner of Shawnee Moon Herbaceuticals and served on the board of the American Herbalist Guild, Inside Dharma, Living Insights and Earth Circle. She was listed in the International Who's Who in Medicine, Second Edition (1995) and acted as Herbal Consultant to the Missouri Botanical Gardens / Shaw Arboretum on their Osage Garden project, and a division of Regis International.
Her artwork is part of the permanent collection in the National Museum of the American Indian / Smithsonian, Wash, DC. She also volunteered in the Missouri prison system as a spiritual advisor for Native American inmates.
Victoria was an integral part of many spiritual groups including Sundance and Star Dance. She was a ceremonial leader and teacher for over four decades and her many students continue to share her knowledge across the globe. She lives in our hearts and prayers as we continue in our spiritual lives and we will never forget how brightly her light shined.
Victoria was a friend, a teacher and a true sister to me. Sitting here with a lump in my throat and a tear in my eye, I cannot even begin to list how she affected my life and so many others. At her memorial service, one person said it all when he said "Her life maybe was short but it was very wide". Inside Dharma would not be alive today if not for her input, creativity and uncontested stubbornness. I will never forget her or her teachings.
Rev. Kalen McAllister,
Founder and Spiritual Director of Shinzo Sangha & Co-founder of Inside Dharma
A very dear friend and Inside Dharma Board member, Victoria Fortner, has passed away. Victoria fought a long battle with cancer and passed away peacefully at 2:30 AM on Saturday, October 11th. I first met Victoria when I was at Bowling Green, she was the spiritual advisor and VIC for the Native Americans. The Chaplin would let the Native Americans and the Buddhist have food event together since we were both such small groups. Victoria went out her way to ensure the events were a great success. She was a fabulous story teller and would weave the most amazing stories as we sat listening to the wisdom they would impart. Once I became involved with Inside Dharma she had already been diagnosed and had stopped going to the prisons, but even until just recently she did all she could to help those still behind bars. She was an amazing woman.
Dom Lupo, Editor, Inside Dharma Newsletter
I come from songs and stories
I blend herbs and moonlight
I bear the water’s weight
I will dance in your prisons
My song will tell the truth
You will call me victory
My legacy is my proof
Co-founder of Inside Dharma
These two figures, created by Victoria, can be seen at the National Museum of the American Indian - Smithsonian, in Washington, DC.
"Victoria Fortner came to Ryumonji Zen Monastery several years ago with Kalen McAllister. She stands in my mind. Her upright character is manifest in the photos of her standing in her ancestral robes. I'm sure many will miss the force that she brought to their lives."
Shoken Winecoff, Ryumonji Zen Monastery
Victoria in traditional dress.
Victoria was a friend and a sister of the spirit to me. She had a gift for seeing the divine in everyday life, which to me is true vision and true wisdom. When times were extremely challenging for myself and dear friends, she offered not only uplifting ritual, but also kindness and understanding. I am deeply grateful to have shared time with Victoria. Her spirit will continue to inspire me for all my life.
Gil Williams, MacroSun International
Victoria in traditional dress.
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