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D.J. Vanas          

Speaker, Best-Selling Author, Enrolled Member of the Ottawa Tribe

D.J. Eagle Bear Vanas is a thought leader, celebrated speaker and best-selling author whose expertise is showing people and organizations how to apply the warrior spirit at work. He is the author of the best-selling book "The Tiny Warrior" which is printed in six countries and the novel "Spirit on the Run." Vanas’ newest book, "The Warrior Within" was published by Penguin Random House in August of 2022.

Vanas is an enrolled member of the Ottawa Tribe and a former U.S. Air Force officer. He inspires organizations to strengthen their tribe and practically apply warrior spirit principles to serve at their best, stay resilient and lead with courage. For two decades, he’s delivered his dynamic programs in 49 states and overseas to clients such as Walt Disney, NASA, Intel Corporation, the U.S. Army, Subaru, Costco and hundreds of tribal governments and organizations. He’s also been invited to speak at The White House - twice.

He holds a B.S. from the U.S. Air Force Academy and an M.S. from University of Southern California and has served on the Board of Directors on the National Board of Certified Counselors. Vanas is the President and owner of Native Discovery Inc. is Vanas is featured on the PBS documentary The Warrior Tradition, exploring the warrior spirit traditions across Indian Country, which aired nationwide on Veterans Day. He was also the host of his own PBS special Discovering Your Warrior Spirit which aired nationally in 2021.

Speech Topics


The Warrior Within

We all want to be brave. We all want to deliver when it matters... and in this session, you’ll be inspired to do both. Enduring turbulence and chaotic change can bring fearful doubt which can affect our focus, wellness and the way we serve others. Based on his new book The Warrior Within, D.J. shares a unique, powerful perspective from Native American culture on what the warrior role is (and isn’t) about and how we can emulate the principles of that role to stay strong, clear and moving forward -- and understand that the role of warriors can make us warriors in our roles! As he did as the host of his own PBS special Discovering Your Warrior Spirit, he’ll share with you, in a straightforward and entertaining way, how to navigate change with confidence and clarity, continue serving well, maintain strength, perspective, health (and a sense of humor) even in the face of turbulent times. Now is the time for warriors to stand up, be strong and lead by example – are you ready?

Stress Management - Keeping the Fires Lit

We all start our careers and new jobs with a blazing desire to serve and make a difference. Over time, through overwhelm, setbacks and stress, your people can face burnout. Suddenly, your team is no longer fighting to make a difference, but fighting only to make it to the weekend. So how do you get that fire back? In this powerful program, D.J. will reignite the spark of purpose, passion and performance in your teams by sharing an arsenal of ways to get and stay motivated, inspired and combat stress. To create success within our tribe, we must first be able to take excellent care of ourselves and keep our own fires lit. After all, motivation is not automatic – it must be done on purpose, with purpose, and D.J. will show you how. Get ready to look at your life and career in a whole new light!

Change - Ride the Lightning: Timeless Wisdom for a World in Flux

We live in times of uncertainty and widespread, rapid change that strikes like lightning – and that dynamic naturally brings fear which can affect our focus, drive, wellness and the way we serve others. Learn about traditional concepts from Native American culture that will strengthen you as you navigate change with confidence. The Native wisdom on how to live and work provide guidance on how to slow down to speed your performance, maintain perspective despite the hectic pace of change, keep our human connections strong in a world of high-tech, combat information overload and find the opportunities that change brings. D.J. will help you successfully ride the lightning and achieve your best in service and self at every turn – are you ready?

Leadership - Tip of the Spear: Leading Your People to Victory

Regardless of your title, if you are fighting to make a difference and influence others to action, leadership skills are critical to your success. This program is an energetic 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 your leadership. You’ll learn how to create a high-performance environment, strengthen communication, and powerful ways to build trust, commitment and motivation among your people. Prepare to learn, laugh, and lead your tribe to victory!

Service - The Warrior Within

Based on concepts from D.J.'s bestselling 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 ceremonies, you'll learn the true purpose of a warrior; service to others. Warriors spent their lives developing their talent and abilities to become assets to the tribe they served. Today that tribe can be your company, clients, customers or family members - anyone you serve. D.J.’s message will inspire your people to serve at their best by engaging them at a core level, creating a fierce commitment to service and a resilience to deliver in dynamic, everchanging conditions. Audiences will learn the truth about themselves - there's a warrior within!

Resilience - 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. Your clients, customers and coworkers deserve the best service you can provide them – regardless of circumstances – and this program will empower and inspire you to do just that. You’ll learn how to use warrior spirit principles to leverage your precious supplies of time and energy into results, creating clarity to get more done, 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!

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