Healthy Roots 2016: Participant Introductions

This year, Healthy Roots has nine participants who are committing to the challenge.

We have a family of three (Team GenHawk), an educator, an artist/historian, a police foundations student, a food access worker, a mother/caregiver, and a health professional.

Read more about each of them here:


  1. Tell us a bit about yourself?
  2. What inspired you to participate in Healthy Roots?
  3. What do you foresee as being a challenge to you as you follow the Healthy Roots plan?
  4. What do you see as being a source of strength for you over the next 12 weeks?


Team GenHawk

Doug Henhawk (Team GenHawk)

  1. I was born and raised on Six Nations. I am Mohawk, turtle clan.
  2. I want to participate in the challenge to get a better mind and body, and live a healthier lifestyle.
  3. The biggest challenge will be finding some of the traditional foods and recipes for them.
  4. A source of strength over the next 12 weeks is the fact that my family and I are taking the challenge together.

Team GenHawk

Kenzie General (Team GenHawk)

  1. I’m an Oneida bear clan. I’m in high school and I like cats.
  2. I was inspired to participate because my science project on GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) food showed me how different GMOs and traditional foods are. It made me curious if I will change if I only eat non GMOs.
  3. The biggest challenge will be seeing junk food and GMOs everywhere.
  4. My Youtube channel will be my source of strength because I want to introduce others to the challenge and see if they will change their lives.

Team GenHawk

Michele General (Team GenHawk)

  1. I’m an Oneida of the Six Nations and bear clan. I also like to shoot stuff…with a camera.
  2. I’ve always wondered if switching to an all traditional diet would heal us on several levels and the challenge is an opportunity to find out if it will.
  3. The biggest challenge will be me battling my sweet tooth.
  4. My biggest source of strength over the next 12 weeks will be support from family and the other brave spirits participating in the Healthy Roots Challenge.


Kylee Vyse

  1. My name is Kylee Vyse, I am 26 years old and I work in the Early Years Program at The Everlasting Tree School. I am newly married to Holdon Vyse and we are doing this challenge together to gain the knowledge and discipline needed to live a healthy, holistic, lifestyle.
  2. What inspired me to participate in the Healthy Roots challenge is the overall health and well-being of myself and our future family. I’ve been working mentally and emotionally the past few years on myself, I feel like now is the perfect time to start working physically. Now that we are married and planning on growing our family, we both want to live in a way where we can carry on a holistic lifestyle for our children.
  3. One of my biggest challenges is going to be eliminating sweets and late-night snacking. I’m a sucker for a good candy bag and bowl of movie theatre popcorn.
  4. I believe my source of strength is going to be my husband. He’s a very disciplined and determined person, he’s going to have to be my voice of reason for the first month I’m guessing.


Rick Hill

  1. Rick Hill is older than he looks, smarter than he looks and healthier than he looks. Rick is a Tuscarora of the Beaver Clan, father of 12, and a part time artist. Since the 1970s he has been addicted to museums and art galleries, working in Santa Fe, New Mexico, New York City, and Washington DC curating exhibitions, writing on Native arts, history and culture. Tired of traveling, he decided to make his final stand at Six Nations of the Grand, and was very fortunate to find work at Six Nations Polytechnic. He lives with five females who often drive him crazy but they say it was a short ride for him.
  2. I want to participate in this because I want to see if I can actually live by the cultural standards that I teach about.
  3. My biggest challenge will be to plan ahead so that I will have access to the right foods each day. Given my work and travel schedule I too often eat on the run. That has to change.
  4. My source of strength will be as it has always been for the last decade — Chandra Maracle.


Jenyka Webster

  1. I am Jenyka Webster. I am 20 years old. I am in my first year of Police Foundations at Mohawk College. I have 4 sisters, 2 brothers and 2 dogs. I love to play/watch hockey and lacrosse.
  2. I was inspired by the articles in the Two Row Times about the activities and the different foods that I can implement into a healthier lifestyle.
  3. Balancing my school schedule and the Healthy Roots program.
  4. My strength would be my family support and the services that are offered through the Healthy Roots challenge.


Kitty R. Lynn

  1. My name is Kitty R. Lynn. I work at Our Sustenance (one of the Healthy Roots Program Partners).
  2. I was inspired to do Healthy Roots first for myself, second for my family, third as someone in a food access program. It seemed to be beneficial to be doing exactly what I talk and teach about. I wanted to experience the changes that a whole food (possibly pre-contact) eating plan would bring to my body, mind and spirit.
  3. My biggest challenge will be to actually eat regular meals. Also, to eliminate sugar and cheese. If I can have tea with sugar and cream, I don’t tend to eat. My tendency is to not eat, or to eat cheese rather than a whole meal.
  4. My source of strength is my commitment to be my best self and completing this to the best of my ability in order to be able to discuss and mentor others through the process of feeding ourselves healthy whole foods.


Lindsay Bomberry

  1. I’m 34 years old, a mother to a 3 year old girl and a full time caregiver to my mother and grandmother.  I am currently focusing my energy on holistic wellness as that has been a passion of mine for many years.  This past year I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis and though this transition has come with challenges, it has also been an awakening to    the importance of good health and also an empowering experience of learning to love and appreciate all the gifts that life rewards each of us.  I am a visual/media/spoken word artist and am just beginning to create a new series of artworks based on my experiences as a Haudenosaunee woman caring for 4 generations of my clan lineage (myself included) and an exploration of what teachings the body gifts us when we face chronic illness.
  2. I observed the participants last year and felt a great sense of renewal and inspiration as  part of what I wanted to see change in our community when I moved home almost 6 years ago was our relationship with food.  Not only how we eat but how we grow and harvest. I chose to be a part of this project based on learning more in depth and with support about our traditional foods and the different ways to prepare them.  I’m hoping it will optimize my disease management.
  3. What I foresee as a challenge is finding support in accessing foods that are not just at  the grocery store or farmers markets, and also keeping up with the day to day  preparations as currently I am a single mom with physical challenges that are  unpredictable day-to-day. I’m hoping to reach out to my networks in the community to hopefully fill in the gaps of support that is needed for me to participate in this challenge.
  4. A great source of strength for me is my connection to my spirituality, my iron strong willpower and family who are definitely showing me they want to be there for me when I really need them.  Hopefully friends in the community who I have been building  relationships with will also be a part of this circle of support and strength.


Lori Davis Hill

  1. I am Oneida Wolf Clan – mother, wife, auntie and daughter. I will turn 50 in August of 2016 and plan to greet that day in much better balance of mind, body and spirit.
  2. As the Director of Health Services, I have been observing the program over the past year and have seen the positive impact that the program has had on the community both for individuals and as a whole. It has been my philosophy as a leader that it is important to walk the talk, and so I see this challenge as my opportunity to demonstrate my personal and professional commitment to health and wellness.
  3. My mom passed on to the spirit world on December 15, 2015. In one of our conversations, she told me she was proud of me for committing to the challenge. Dealing with grief will certainly be a challenge and within that, my biggest challenge will be in planning ahead.  We rely on my husband Gary as our chef at home, so it will be important for me to assist in planning, preparation and good communication.
  4. I believe that my family at home, my friends and my work family — the entire Health Services team — will provide support and give me the strength to face this challenge. They will remind me of my mom’s love and courage and keep me on the path to success.

Related Posts