Bill Birdsong Miller | 3Time GRAMMY- Winning Recording Artist, Member of the Mohican Tribe, Victor Over Reservation Life & Abusive Father

Bill Birdsong Miller

3Time GRAMMY- Winning Recording Artist, Member of the Mohican Tribe, Victor Over Reservation Life & Abusive Father

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Bill Birdsong Miller

Whether painting a picture with his carefully chosen words or wielding a brush to place colors on canvas, Bill Birdsong Miller always creates from a vibrant emotional palette. Drawing from his own life experiences as well as centuries of tradition, Miller is an artist of considerable depth. A three-time Grammy winning singer/songwriter as well as an acclaimed speaker and gifted painter, Miller is the quintessential American artist. He has a restless creative spirit mingled with a well-grounded perspective and a heartfelt integrity that infuse his work with both substance and unique style. Miller's most recent work, Chronicles of Hope, is his most personal, most transparent work to date. "This is the most unique record I've made in the years because it was delving into life and death issues. I didn't plan it to be that way, but the songs became prophetic," he confesses. "I went through a lot of life lessons."Miller has always had a gift for taking life's most poignant moments and infusing them into his art and others have warmly embraced his efforts. As a result, his list of accolades is lengthy and impressive. He has won six Native American Music Awards, including a 2007 Lifetime Achievement honor. He's earned three Grammy Awards, among them his most recent in for "Spirit Wind North," which was named Best Native American Album at the 2010 ceremony. He's received international acclaim for "The Last Stand," an original symphony he composed with Joshua Yudkin and Kristin Wilkinson. Some of the top names in the music community have sought out Miller as a collaborator, among them Michael Martin Murphey, Nanci Griffith and John Carter Cash, and he's toured extensively, sharing the bill with a diverse slate of acts such as Tori Amos, Eddie Vedder and Arlo Guthrie. Well known for his beautiful performances on the flute, Miller was chosen to play flute on "Colors of the Wind" from Disney's Pocahontas. As a painter, his work has been featured in the Smithsonian's National Museum of the American Indian, the Trickster Gallery in Chicago, the Barbara Able Gallery in Santa Fe, and the American Indian Community House Gallery in New York. Miller is also a highly sought after public speaker who has been asked to address executives at MTV, FDIC and the Environmental Protection Agency.More than the highlights on his professional resume, it's his life experience that best defines Bill Miller. A member of the Mohican tribe, he grew up in Wisconsin on the Stockbridge-Munsee Reservation in a home that combined the cultures of his Native American father with his mother's German ancestry into a unique melting pot. "All I knew back then was the joy that music brought me. I think in those early days, there was a plan by God, my creator, that I would establish a relationship with music that was pure," says Miller. Growing up in a turbulent home with an alcoholic father, music was a means of emotional escape for Miller. Though he couldn't see it at the time, Miller's difficult childhood was shaping his future and the impact he would eventually have on others. Refusing to let his past be an anchor that drug him down, Miller learned to move from victim to victory and has encouraged others to do the same. "Now if I were to look back, there's a master plan of how I was being set up to be a reconciler and it's taken me this long to accept that responsibility. It's a big responsibility because I've still got traces of my dad in me," he says quietly. "I had a lot of anger issues. You can't go through a life like that as a child on a reservation with a violent alcoholic father and not have anger issues. It all affected me and today it comes down to recognizing who I am, what I am, what I stand for and what I'm about. It's like a compass. My compass points true north and true north is reconciliation. True north is about sacred ground. True north is knowing what things mean to me and really not going away from that." Taking his own personal observations and experiences and creating art that is universal in its ability to strike people in the heart---that has long been Bill Miller's gift. Whether the medium is painting, music or the spoken word, Miller is a communicator. It's his heritage and his future, intimately intertwined, and rarely has someone used that gift more passionately or effectively than this Native son.

Bill Birdsong Miller
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Current: "Tumbleweed" by Bill Miller

Time 05:23

Bill Birdsong Miller
Featured Keynote Programs

“Twelve Feathers of Healing”

"Growing up in an abusive, alcoholic home and surviving racial inequality, Bill is no stranger to hardship. In this talk Bill walks through the “Twelve Feathers of Healing” that he developed to overcome and reconcile his past. He takes his audience from the shallows to the depths and shows how to face the storms of life by being led by the spirit, ultimately coming out victorious and blessing others."

“The Red Road to Victory
Reconciliation and Diversity”

After a brief review of his Mohican tribal history and an intimate look into his native culture, Bill shares three personal stories. His journey from victim to victory is charted and he illustrates the wisdom of “the twelve feathers of healing” to model his vision of transformation through reconciliation. Bill illustrates the relationship between majority and minority cultures, the ineffectual result of teaching tolerance and assimilation, and instead promotes a redemptive culture of understanding and peace.

“How to Build the Perfect Tipi
Bridging the Gap Between Values and Business”

"To the tribes of the plains, the tipi is much more than a place to live. In this talk Bill walks through the symbolic elements of the tipi and explains how the natives used all of the resources they had along with their heritage and spiritual beliefs to build the perfect tipi. This message of staying true to oneʼs self comes from a man who has lived out these truths in his own life and been honored with 3 Grammy awards as a result."

“This Earth is Sacred Ground”

As a Native American, Bill shares a fresh perspective on environmental responsibility. His emphasis is on the holy and whole aspects of the earth and how they can enrich daily life. By sharing how the sacred ground influences his art, music and spiritual path, Bill demonstrates a new model for preserving, protecting and honoring the planet.

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