The BUFFALO Project was started in 2018 by our Founder Corinne Oestreich. The Changemaker Initiative through the Los Altos United Methodist Church was partnered with Ashoka, a first for the Social Entrepreneurship organization, when Oestreich heard about the upcoming fellowship opportunity. With a desire to target the broad issue of Human Trafficking, Oestreich honed in on a very easily overlooked aspect to battling this issue, reducing a demand for human trafficking by helping to create emotionally healthy men who empower each other to be protectors and defenders in the face of violence against women.
Using Indigenous values and traditional teachings from her Mohawk and Lakota culture, Oestreich brings a unique approach to the duality of men, and encourages the exploration of each participant’s cultural approach to masculinity as part of the program. While the curriculum is based in indigenous roots, it is meant for use in secular non-indigenous spaces.
Each workshop is lead by a male instructor, who is trained in leading the specific curriculum, as well as encouraging safe interaction and emotional space to explore one’s self.
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We at The BUFFALO Project understand that in the era of #metoo, companies all across the United States are seeking comprehensive solutions for a problem being brought to light. We offer 4 day workshops for companies and communities who seek to be proactive about the emotional wellbeing of their employees and community members.
Corinne Oestreich is a Lakota and Mohawk Journalist and Activist living in the San Francisco Bay Area of California. She writes for powwows.com, and has been covering native issues through journalism since 2014. She has opened for both the San Jose Women’s March in 2018, as well as the Families Belong Together Rally. Oestreich has been a Changemaker Fellow with the Los Altos United Methodist Church and Ashoka since April 2018.
DeAnna Bear-Genthner is a Lenape artist living in the Lehigh Valley area of Pennsylvania. She is a Development Director with her local Boys & Girls Club, contemporary Indigenous artist, and Cultural Anthropology student with Oregon State University. She has curated and spearheaded the first Native American exhibit at the AACA Museum in Harrisburg, PA--an affiliate of the Smithsonian Institute. It is her passion to raise global awareness on Indigenous rights, as well as serve the Indigenous community in any capacity.
Anesti Vega is a member of the Tupinambá tribe of Brazil and manages media operations for Buffalo Project. He is a U.S. Army veteran who holds a BA in Communications from the University of Tampa. Anesti is an accomplished filmmaker, winning multiple awards over the years and has transitioned into working as a digital media strategist and consultant with nonprofits around communications and community engagement, especially Indigenous-led organizations. When Anesti is not behind the camera or computer , he enjoys teaching SCUBA diving, leading citizen science research expeditions, and working in ocean conservation and advocacy, especially with youth.
Joey Montoya is Lipan Apache from Texas, but was born and raised in San Francisco, CA. He started his own company called Urban Native Era which focuses on reclaiming who we are as Indigenous people of the 21st century by showing and bringing awareness not only on our culture, but issues that our Indigenous people are still facing today. He currently lives in San Jose,CA where he studying advertising and graphic design at San Jose State University.
Tyler Pau is a proud Kanaka Maoli, native to Hawai’i. He has 15 years of experience in higher education around the U.S. He currently serves as an Assistant Director of Residential Life at the University of California, San Diego, specifically at Thurgood Marshall College. His engagement in the work of advocacy and inclusion has been fostered by his personal journey through the education system and his mentoring of students and newer professionals. He is motivated to promote justice and equity through service to underserved populations and empowering people to share their authentic narratives.
Andrew Perera is an Oglala Lakota and Kahnawake Mohawk descendant and serves on the Advisory Board and as an instructor for the Buffalo Project. Andrew is a US Marine Corps infantry veteran and holds a BA in Religious Studies and a Master of Jurisprudence in Indian Law. He currently is employed by the Yomba Shoshone Tribe as the Tribal Administrator. Andrew has worked as a legal negotiator for Indigenous student’s rights, a community activist, and an educator in both secondary and higher education. He currently resides in Western Shoshone territory with his wife and son.