Windwalker Dorn is a Grammy-nominated, multi-award-winning vocalist and flutist who teaches audiences of all ages about East Coast Native American traditions through music, stories, and dance. Windwalker passionately shares the traditions of her Mi’Kmaq (pronounced mic-mac), Cherokee, and Lenape descent. We are happy to welcome her as a teaching artist in our World Music in the Schools program. She’s also a founding contributor to our Living Room Learning video series.
Windwalker’s ensemble, Windwalker and the MCW (Multi-Cultural Women), performs songs featuring a large cedar drum, hand drum, flutes, rattles, and vocals. The group focuses on sharing generational and traditional knowledge, cultural and historical awareness, and messages of environmental healing. In addition to their participation in our World Music in the Schools program, Windwalker and the MCW are involved with the American Cancer Society and contribute to projects relating to veterans’ trauma and rehabilitation, alcohol and drugs awareness, teenage bullying and suicide prevention, and homelessness.
Windwalker’s introduction to music began at home with her family on the East Coast, learning traditional songs from her elders. Her Cherokee father was a drummer, and her Mi’kmaq mother was a singer. Her grandmother, a medicine woman, taught her the importance of storytelling, herbal medicine, and unity through music, teaching that “each person may have a different song, but our heartbeats are all one.” Their weekends were spent attending pow wows and playing music in the evenings as a family.
In school, Windwalker performed with the choir, marching band, and jazz band on vocals, flute, and saxophone. She went on to focus in liberal arts, equine studies, and music at Bristol Community College and Johnson & Wales University.
Windwalker believes that the challenges she has faced in her life have prepared her to act in the service of others. She is grateful for life’s gifts and lessons. At the age of six during a hurricane, her grandmother taught her “if you dance with the wind, you won’t get knocked over.” Windwalker shares a message of acceptance and healing with the world and encourages her students to be accepting of others and to follow their dreams.
See Windwalker’s Living Room Learning video on Native American Drumming and Song.