Jane Dumas is a valued elder and a modern Kumeyaay leader from the Jamul Indian Village. She is one of the few remaining keepers of traditional tribal knowledge. So, she is often called upon to answer questions about Kumeyaay traditions.
Dumas holds a deep understanding of Kumeyaay medicinal uses of plants. Her mother was a medicine woman and taught her how to find medicine plants. She also taught Dumas each plant’s healing powers and preparation methods.
In addition to her expertise in traditional medicine, Dumas also knows ceremonial traditions and preparations. She helps to ensure that ceremonies are properly performed throughout the Kumeyaay community.
Dumas helped to found the San Diego American Indian Health Center in 1981. The center provides various medical services for Native Americans. Dumas worked there for more than 20 years.
In 2002, Dumas was welcomed into the first San Diego County Women’s Hall of Fame. She was chosen for her lasting contributions to the Native American community. She gained recognition once more when she was honored as the 2005 American Indian of the Year. Dumas continues to share her knowledge in classrooms and at public events. She is a bridge maker between Native Americans and non-Native Americans.
Material provided courtesy of ABDO Publishing Company. Author Barbara A. Gray-Kanatiiosh, JD. Illustrations by David Kanietakeron Fadden