By Dr. Rebecca Matalon, PT, DPT and Clinic Director at California Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy - Camarillo
I have always been the "earth child" in my family, with a strong love and affinity for earthing and forest bathing, recycling, decreasing waste and trying to reach deeper connections with mother nature. I chalk it up to my Native American roots.
I am a Shawnee Native American and proud to have such heritage. I love the simplicity and depth of being one with our world, embracing the signs around us and appreciating that there are bigger forces at play that are beyond our understanding and control.
My grandmother grew up on the Navajo Reservation. As an adult, she went on archaeological digs, where she found clay pots and artwork, collected Indian blankets and learned to play the Indian flute. Today, my family and I honor and cherish the artifacts she found, used and passed on.
I have been fortunate to live for a brief period in Oklahoma, the current land of our Shawnee tribe, and in Alaska, a land full of Native settlements and tradition. I have been able to learn about my roots from my grandmother's discoveries and stories, as well as visiting pow wows and the museums and memorials of my tribe and the tribes of others. For me, being Native American is a lifestyle and a mindset. We are to live with simplicity, gratitude, respect for the creation around us and honor for Mother Earth and the Spirit.
My family has traced our lineage back to the great Chief Tecumseh and his twin brother, Tenskwatawa. Tecumseh was integral in bringing together Native American tribes into a confederacy. He was a mighty warrior and a powerful orator, who earned a remarkable respect from the leaders of both the white and red nations. Tenskwatawa was known as "the Prophet," due to his influential role as a shaman and healer, and for building the path to happiness for his people. Together, these two leaders changed the face our nation's history.
I have a twin brother and we have always felt a special connection to Tecumseh and Tenskwatawa. We have embraced our tribe's Owl Totem, with the goal of being wise, intuitive and peacefully fierce like the owl and like the great leaders of our tribe.
I am fortunate to be the new Clinic Director of PRN's California Rehabilitation and Sports Therapy clinic in Camarillo, CA. In this leadership role, I strive to embody the skills, talents and virtues of my people - particularly of Tecumseh and Teskwatawa. Everyday, I aim to be strong, wise, intuitive and a powerful healer. I am proud to be a Shawnee Native American and allow my collective roots to shine through in my work.