“With values rooted in Native cultural and spiritual practices, Shilo praises her communities as the sources of her inspiration, resiliency, and drive.”
Shilo George—who identifies as mixed-race Indigenous, queer, and a person of size—is a social worker with more than twenty years of experience and a master’s degree in adult learning and education from Portland State University. With values rooted in Native cultural and spiritual practices, Shilo praises her communities as the sources of her inspiration, resiliency, and drive.
While seeking her graduate degree, Shilo found herself confronted with depression and in a state of despair, as though she had fallen in a “deep dark hole.” She couldn’t find her way out—therapy, medication, nothing seemed to help. In this time of desperation, she called on her ancestors for help. They answered, encouraging the use of her creative skills to build a way out of the darkness. From this her healing framework, the Body Sovereignty Project, was born.
Drawing from her experiences as a survivor of abuse, Shilo created the Body Sovereignty Project as a trauma-informed framework that focuses on healing relationships with food, being in-body for movement, and healing around sexual trauma. Realizing the positive impact the Body Sovereignty Project could have in her communities, Shilo sought opportunities to share the framework and increase the availability of equitable health care for deviant body types.
Her new business, Łush Kumtux Tumtum Consulting, LLC, seeks to accomplish just this by providing educational services and trainings on topics surrounding Indigeneity, fatness, and queerness. Since its inception in August 2017, Shilo has worked primarily with the health care community, speaking at conferences and developing workshops on the harm of weight stigma and fat phobia. Based upon the Body Sovereignty Project framework, her trainings range from purely informative, providing attendees a chance to reflect and increase their emotional intelligence of the topics at hand, to in-depth reviews of internal policies and procedures, to customized trainings. She looks forward to working with a wide variety of businesses as they seek to eliminate weight stigma and fat phobia within their business models.
Storyteller: Nicole Buchanan | Photos: Diego Diaz | Published: January 2018