Shelly Denny aka Acupunk
Shelly lives in Arizona and is an enrolled member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, which is an Anishinaabe Tribe in Northern Minnesota, also known as Ojibway or Chippewa. She is a Doctor of Oriental Medicine and works full time in Indian Country as an acupuncturist.
Shelly grew up in a biker family and has been on a motorcycle since she was in the womb. In 1996, at 19 years old, she bought her first motorcycle and hasn’t let go of the throttle since. Shelly has logged over a quarter million miles on a motorcycle with numerous cross-country trips, many of which were solo rides.
Understanding feminism became an important support as Shelly rebelled against every limitation that was attempted to be imposed on her based on gender. This included riding her own motorcycle in an era when it was only men, and women rode on the back with rare exception. Shelly currently rides a 2016 Harley Davidson Switchback and a 2003 100 Anniversary Harley Davidson Dyna Lowrider.
Shelly’s activism started in her teen years with environmental protection actions after seeing the short-sightedness of water and air pollution and the chopping down of vital old-growth trees. At the age of eighteen, Shelly became an organizer and volunteer in activist groups like Earth First, Food Not Bombs, Catholic Worker Community, and Indigenous rights groups in various peace and justice issues.
After seeing the egotism and anger that can get in the way of good activist work, Shelly took a break from direct action to work on internal healing of trauma and addiction and develop healthy and productive modes of coping with obstacles and difficulties. This ground-work of healing and recovery has added a deeper level of resilience and commitment to service. Shelly believes there is great power in knowing exactly who you are and spiritual commitment that extends beyond mere faith.
Lorna Cuny aka Whip
Lorna is a member of the Oglala Lakota Sioux Tribe from South Dakota. She comes from the Kiyaksa Band of Oglala Lakota and is a descendant of Chief Bull Bear and Chief Little Wound. Lorna grew up on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in Little Wound, SD surrounded by her culture and tiwahe (family). Lorna grew up among the Horse Nation; they were her first love.
Lorna also rode motorcycles with her parents and got her own motorcycle in 2018. Today, she rides a 2015 Harley Davidson Street Glide. Lorna comes from a family of Tokalas and Katelas (Warriors). Like his father, her father is a Army veteran. She followed this path and is a Navy veteran. She has a bachelors degree in Business Administration and a Masters degree from California Baptist University.
Lorna is an advocate for violence against women on the Pine Ridge Reservation and in Rapid City, SD. Lorna is dedicated to confronting the crisis of murdered and missing indigenous people. Lorna is a wife and mother who actively volunteers her time to support Medicine Wheel Ride efforts in her community.
Lisa Marie Rivera aka SacredRyder
Lisa aka SacredRyder was born in Santa Maria, California (ancestral homelands of the Chumash) and has resided in Maui (ancestral homelands of the Kanaka Maoli), Hawaii for the past 40 years. Lisa is a proud descendant of her Chichimeca/Yaqui ancestors (Central Mexico). Lisa has a background in entrepreneurship, business management, and leadership. Lisa received her contractors license in roofing in 2008 and overcame many obstacles in the male dominated profession. She hired, mentored, trained, and counseled many employees over the last 35 years. Through these experiences, Lisa learned a lot about communication, negotiation, leadership, teamwork, and managing a team. Lisa serves as a Union Representative at OGG United Airlines where she focuses on diversity and inclusion efforts, worker rights, and fair and equal pay. Lisa aspires to make a difference by being kind to each person she crosses paths with and to be the change this world needs mentoring our youth.
Lisa grew up riding dirt bikes and was always around motorcycles living with her father at a young age. She currently rides a 2013 Harley-Davidson Switchback in Maui and a 2015 Harley-Davidson Road Glide Special in Mainland. Lisa feels empowered when riding with her sisters and feels the strength rise within to be a voice for the voiceless. Her life experiences and traumas had helped her find her voice and learn to speak out against social injustices. Lisa is honored to be a part of Medicine Wheel Ride team. Especially in Hawaii to help raise awareness for native Hawaiians that are missing and murdered.
A driving force for Lisa is her belief that once you know of a social injustice to others or the desecration to sacred lands, anything that causes harm, you have a responsibility to find out more and share, share, share. "We have a responsibility to raise awareness in others and do our due diligence, our research, and ask what we can do to help, even if it’s a small gesture. We have that accountability and responsibility. We owe that to one another, and we owe it to Mother Earth to be a part of the solution."
Luvy Yonnie aka FirstLady
Luvy lives in Arizona and is Diné from Hardrock, Arizona. She is from the Red House Clan, Kin ł ichii'nii, born for Rock Gap Clan, Tsé deeshgizhnii. Luvy has worked as a Social Worker with the Indian Child Welfare Act since 1992. She provides services to abused and neglected children.
Luvy has been riding motorcycles since 2017 and rides a 2012 Harley-Davidson Dyna Switchback. Luvy also participates in an annual virtual MMIWG run, challenging herself for the 10K which is a five-series run. She believes these runs are very powerful because the runners are the voices of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, and they stand with them, for them, and run for them."
The words of William Wilberforce, 'You may choose to look the other way, but you can never say that you did not know' are an inspiration to Luvy. With so many people still unaware of MMIW, Luvy rides to bring awareness to the issue, to be the voice of those who are missing or murdered, and to make a stand for justice for them.