Cultural Diversity Roster



D.J. Eagle Bear Vanas

Native American Motivational Storyteller, Author of The Tiny Warrior, Leadership Expert and Warrior

Enduring the extreme conditions of traditional ceremonies and rights of passage, D.J. Eagle Bear Vanas has had the values of the warrior spirit burned into his core. A tribally-enrolled member of the Odawa Nation and a former U.S. Air Force officer, D.J. inspires others to practically apply the power of the warrior spirit in business…

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Enduring the extreme conditions of traditional ceremonies and rights of passage, D.J. Eagle Bear Vanas has had the values of the warrior spirit burned into his core. A tribally-enrolled member of the Odawa Nation and a former U.S. Air Force officer, D.J. inspires others to practically apply the power of the warrior spirit in business and life to stay resilient, lead with courage, and thrive in tough, changing environments… he has used his dynamic programs to build warriors in 49 states and internationally to over 3,000 audiences to “strengthen the tribe” of organizations such as IBM, Walt Disney, NASA, the Secret Service, the American Cancer Society and hundreds of tribal communities. He has also been invited to The White House to share his message — twice. Now he`s ready to deliver his powerful high-energy message to you!

Born to teenage parents in desperate poverty, D.J. has come far by any measure. He truly walks his talk when it comes to understanding the power of a warrior spirit — going from sleeping in a bureau drawer as a baby to speaking at The White House. His formal education took place at the United States Air Force Academy where he earned a B.S. in Management and at the University of Southern California where he earned a M.S. in Systems Management.

D.J. served his nation for over a decade as a decorated officer in the U.S. Air Force and gained priceless leadership training and experience, led six different teams and worked in the Air Force Space Program hand-in-hand with companies such as JPL, Aerospace, Hughes Aircraft, Aerojet and TRW. He also served as a national representative of the U.S. Air Force Academy as Chief of Minority Enrollment.

A motivated entrepreneur, author and professional speaker, he started Native Discovery Inc. in 1999 to “build the warriors of tomorrow…today.” D.J.`s celebrated book The Tiny Warrior (Andrews McMeel Publishing) has sold over 50,000 copies in the U.S. and has also been printed in Canada, Japan, China, Korea and the UK.

D.J. has achieved success in two worlds. In addition to his business and military accomplishments, D.J. has also served as a leader in Indian Country for over two decades, been a role model to youth, is a veteran of traditional ceremonies and has been honored with the name Mato Wambli (Eagle Bear) in traditional ceremony.

D.J. was one of only 38 Americans selected to be a distinguished German Marshall Fellow and traveled to Belgium, Denmark, Germany, Italy and Romania to improve relations between the US and the EU. Representing the U.S. and Native America, D.J. has a transformed perspective on global dynamics. He is also a professional member of the National Speaker`s Association, the International Federation for Professional Speakers, and the American Indian Science & Engineering Society where he is a Sequoyah Fellow. D.J. was inducted into the American Indian Graduate Center`s Council of 100, which is composed of scholars, leaders and traditionalists across Indian Country. D.J. was selected for this honor for his “contribution as a leader in the Indian community.” In 2006, D.J. was selected as co-chair of this esteemed organization. In 2007, D.J. was awarded Educator of the Year by the Native American Resource Group and the Denver Museum of Nature & Science.

D.J. currently serves as a board member on the National Board of Certified Counselors.

To keep his warrior spirit sharp, D.J. is a belted practitioner of Krav Maga (Israeli Contact Combat) and trains at Peak Krav Maga.

D.J. is blessed to be married to Arienne and they have two beautiful daughters, Gabrielle and Isabella.

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    Motivational storyteller and leadership expert, D.J. Eagle Bear Vanas uses the principles of the Native American warrior spirit to inspire audiences to stay resilient, lead with courage and thrive in tough, changing environments.

    Speaking Topics Include:

    Victory by Design
    Victory is not born from waiting for a better economy, a new administration, the perfect moment or the exact mix of resources – it`s about using what we have right now, around us and within us, to create success. Our clients and customers deserve the best service we can provide them – regardless of circumstances – and this program will empower and inspire you to do just that. After all, what we have (or don`t have) in resources is not most important – it`s how we use what we have that delivers victory! We`ll learn how to use traditional Native American warrior spirit principles to leverage our precious supplies of time and energy into results, do more with less, adopt a resilient mindset that is fiercely focused on solutions, and to understand that the business of warriors can make us warriors in business. The program is created to be engaging, motivating and entertaining but most importantly, it`s created to show your people that victory in what they do does not depend on luck, chance or hope. Victory is by design!

    The Warrior Within
    Based on concepts from D.J.`s celebrated book, The Tiny Warrior: A Path to Personal Discovery & Achievement, this program will ignite the warrior spirit in your people and organization! Using wisdom discovered in traditional Native American ceremonies, you`ll learn the true purpose of a warrior – not what we see on TV or in movies. Warriors spent their lives developing their talent and abilities to become assets to the tribe they served. Today that tribe can be your family, company, community, or clients – anyone you serve… D.J.`s message will inspire your people to have clarity in chaos, a commitment to victory regardless of circumstance, courage in the face of fear and develop a resilience to thrive in tough conditions. After all, life`s a battle — you can win — and D.J. will show you how. You`ll learn the truth about yourself – there`s a warrior within!

    Tip of the Spear Leading Your People to Victory
    Regardless of our title, if we are fighting to make a difference and influence others to action, leadership skills are critical to our success. This program is a dynamic blend of humor, practical examples and powerful tools for established and emerging leaders in any arena. D.J. uses the principles of the Native American warrior spirit to develop fearless leaders that are visionary, action-oriented and resilient, grounded in values and balanced in battle. Explore the 6 roles of Tip of the Spear leadership: Chief, Warrior, Hunter, Prophet, Scout and Medicine Person — and how they can transform our leadership — how to create a high-performance environment and strengthen communication – learn powerful ways to build trust, commitment and motivation among your people. Prepare to learn, laugh, and lead your tribe to victory!

    Keeping the Fires Lit
    We all start our position with a warrior spirit, a strong desire to serve and to fight to make a difference in our tribe. Over time, we get into a rhythm that can become routine — and then a rut. Suddenly, we`re no longer fighting to make a difference, but only fighting to make it to the weekend! So how do we get that fire back? With this powerful program D.J. will reignite your sense of purpose, passion and performance by sharing an arsenal of ways to get and stay motivated, inspired, focused, how to combat your stress and keep your warrior spirit strong. Motivation is not automatic — it must be done on purpose, with purpose, and D.J. will show you how!

    Tribal Tune Up (Available as a 3-hour session only)
    Any modern organization is much like a traditional tribe, having common values, standards, traditions, culture, language and even rites of passage — and the stronger and more unified they are in their tribal ways, the more resilient and successful they are. This session is a wealth of ideas designed to strengthen your tribe, inspire your people to regain that warrior spirit, improve their service, leadership skills, manage their stress and remind them how much impact they can have within the tribe. This is an all-hands call that is empowering and entertaining. You and your tribe will go from being tuned out to tuned up, ready for the battles ahead!

    Success… It`s In Our Blood (for Native Communities & Youth)
    We as Native people have endured every challenge that any group of people on the planet have endured – and we`re still here! We aren`t new to success – we were designed for it! In this dynamic and entertaining program, D.J. will inspire the audience with a new sense of purpose and passion in who we are and what we can do as Native people. Born into poverty to teenage parents, D.J. has used the power of his culture, education and determined drive to become a highly successful business owner and internationally-acclaimed speaker and renowned author who recently spoke at The White House. He`ll show you how the simple choices we make each day can create a massive positive impact for us and those around us. You`ll leave this session feeling supercharged towards your potential and how to use it to build a life of excitement, adventure – and success. After all, it`s in our blood!


    Odawa origination story

    DJ's Demo Video


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