Born of Mi’kmaq & Cree heritage in 1945, Donald has spent much of his life learning and teaching the ways and traditions of the indigenous people of North America.
After leaving school at age fifteen he began traveling the country with his band "Creation" spending some years traveling and working with many of the stars of the 60's, 70’s and early 80’s. He spent time on Pine Ridge and Rosebud Reservations. During the early 70’s he learned the ways and traditions of the Lakota people. Afterwards, getting clean and sober in 1984, he turned his life around and traveled with his adopted grandfather, Joseph Eagle Hawk, learning all he could of native spirituality.
At age 48, he studied for and received his GED. Upon entering college in Boston he earned two Associates Degrees: one in Drug and Alcohol Counseling and one in Human Resources. In conjunction with his established degrees, Donald is the founder of Native Pride Foundation, an organization committed to helping those young ones who are having problems with drugs and alcohol. His work with the foundation also includes counseling in all areas of abuse.
He owned and operated Tribal Winds Native American Art and Crafts (A retail gift shop) from 1996 through 2002.During this time period he decided to shift his focus to work in the field of his passion: music.
He founded Raven Hawk Productions and Spirit Wind Records. He also took his drum group The Thunder Hawk Singers to a Nammy nomination in 2001. In 2002 he was Program Director for NativeRadio.com. Working with Patrick Doyle CEO and founder of NativeRadio.com has given him new insight into the world of native music.
For the past seven years, Donald has been working on building Spirit Wind Records.
He is an executive staff member of the Native American Music Awards and served as the Voice Of Nama at the show for the past four years. He has also been instrumental in doing the voice-over work for presentation to the annual NAMA show.
In 2009, Spirit Wind Records re-launched their intention of bringing unknown independent Native artists to the forefront of the Native Amercian Music world. They submitted 10 of their artists for nomination in the 2009 NAMMYs, six of which were nominated, and three won 2009 NAMMYS. Jan Michael Looking Wolf ( Artist of the Year) J J Kent (Flutist of the Year)
The Thunder Hawk Singers ( Best Historical Recording)
Donald currently is working on three major projects:
(1) Rise Up, with Jan Michael Looking Wolf a CD that helps homeless shelters throughout the nation.
(2) Breakin' Free, a CD & Video to help the youth on reservations with drug and alcohol addictions.
(3) The Color Of Hope, a CD with Kelly Montijo Fink with proceeds to help Battered Women Shelters throughout the nation.
Donald hopes that through his efforts he will be able to reach out, assist and encourage recording artists to follow their dreams and goals.