StrongHearts logo culturally tied to Mother Earth

Photo Credit: StrongHearts Native Helpline

When StrongHearts Native Helpline was formed, the organization underwent a process to choose a Native American logo that could represent the virtues of strength, resilience, empathy and protection. Several logos were designed, but one particular logo made sense. The turtle was chosen because of its association with Mother Earth and Story of Creation.

Story of Creation: Native American stories of creation are varied, but one version resonated with StrongHearts. It was a story about a woman who was saved from the perils of falling from the sky. She had been living among the sky people, but had fallen through the empty hollow of an uprooted tree. The animals saw her falling from the sky toward the ocean and knew that she needed help. The otter and beaver swam to the bottom of the ocean to collect dirt and placed it upon the back of a turtle. The birds flew to her rescue and assisted her to safely land upon the turtle’s back. Seeing this, sky woman was happy to make Turtle Island her home.

Turtle Island: Turtle Island refers to the homeland of Native Americans stretching from North America throughout all of Mother Earth. The StrongHearts turtle symbolizes healing, health and support and protection with the spiritual embodiment of calmness, patience and resilience.

“The turtle represents strength, resilience, unity and power. The turtle is known for longevity and wisdom. She is the mother of life for all creation. She is our mother and has allowed us to live on her back. She takes care of all creation. She is to be honored and respected,” StrongHearts Advocate

Four Hearts and Lines: The StrongHearts turtle has four hearts and four lines upon its back. The four lines point to the cardinal directions of the compass having grandfathers sitting in each direction. There is a Grandfather of the North, South, East and West. Each Grandfather represents many things, including the four seasons of life: birth, youth, adulthood and the elderly. Four hearts in different sizes can also represent the four stages of life, as well as love, compassion, empathy and trust.

“The hearts and the red outline represents the bloodlines to our hearts that carry honesty, strength and courage to do what we do to help our people,” StrongHearts Advocate

Color More Than Meets the Eye: The color scheme used in the logo is earthy and warm. Colors include: brown, purple, red and teal.

Brown is earthy, lending comfort and stability. It is as reassuring as the earth under our feet and connects us to feelings of security and safety. It signifies a place of refuge and protection away from the tumultuous winds and rain of a storm.

Purple is sacred to Native people. It represents power and connects the StrongHearts logo to the mission of ending domestic violence, easing the burden, uplifting the spirit and calming the mind and nerves. It has a calming and soothing effect. Purple is also used to signify domestic violence awareness month.

Teal is a sacred color to tribes across the nation and represents life and spirituality. The green and blue of teal represents land and sky. It is used to convey trust and open the lines of communication between the heart and the spoken word. Teal may also be seen as turquoise – known to its region of origin as the Stone of Life. Teal is also used to signify sexual violence awareness.

Red reflects both feminine and masculine energy. It represents determination and bravery like that of a warrior and shows strength, power, happiness and beauty. Some Native Americans believe that red is the only color that the spirit sees.

Red Signifies a Call for Help: Red is a color that some Native Americans believe transcends the physical world and calls to the ancestors in the spirit world. Red is used in times of great need; it is also the color used to represent the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls movement.

The Nutshell: StrongHearts Native Helpline’s logo pays homage to our Native American ancestors and cultures, and to our work. It represents Native Americans calling out to other Native Americans who may be in need of help. The voice of an advocate, sums it up best:

“Our organization has a diverse staff. We have different perspectives and experiences that can come together as one to help our contacts in a time of need. They (our contacts) may feel fearful, broken down, confused and overwhelmed. We can help them overcome that.”

Help is Available: “Being a Stronghearts advocate gives me the opportunity to assist our callers and online chatters who are in distressing situations. We give them hope by offering positive options and discovering resources so that they can live a safe and happy life without domestic or sexual violence. Everyone deserves to be carefree and healthy, not only for themselves, but for their families and their communities,” StrongHearts Advocate

It is the work of StrongHearts to restore power to Native Americans impacted by domestic and dating violence by providing a system of safety, sovereignty and support with a vision to return to our traditional lifeways where our relatives are safe, violence is eradicated and sacredness is restored.

To explore your options for safety and healing, visit online for one-on-one chat advocacy or call 1-844-7NATIVE (1-844-762-8483) advocates are available daily 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CST. As a collaboration with the National Domestic Violence Hotline (The Hotline) and the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, callers reaching out after hours may connect with The Hotline by choosing option one.

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