HELENE E. HAGAN (nee COLL) immigrated to the United States in 1959. Born in Rabat, Morocco, Helene received her earlier education in Morocco and at Bordeaux University, France, where she received a Master’s Degree in British and American Studies. She also holds two graduate degrees from Stanford University. California, one in French and Education, and the other in Cultural and Psychological Anthropology. She married in 1960 and is the mother of Phillip Durk, Jennifer Jane and Marianne Elizabeth Hagan. She raised her family in Palo Alto, California, where she managed her own business, "La Ruche, French Imports" before returning to Stanford as a Ph D student in Anthropology. She has one grand daughter, Taylor Hagan.
After conducting fieldwork (1982-1985) among the Oglala Lakota people of Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, and directing a photo identification project funded by the South Dakota Committee on the Humanities for the Oglala Lakota College, she worked as Associate Professor at the JFK University Graduate School of Psychology in Orinda, California, and owned an American Indian art gallery in Marin County, "Lakota Contemporary Designs" to support American Indian artists. She has served as President of the non-profit educational organization she founded, Tazzla Institute for Cultural Diversity, since 1993. In 1997, she traveled to the Canary Islands to participate to the first Amazigh International Congress that took place in Tafira. She moved to Los Angeles in 1998. In 2000, in collaboration with several NGOS at the United Nations, and through the activities of the Vice President of Tazzla Institute, Ms. Shirley Chesney, Helene has co-led a UNESCO Culture of Peace program , "Creating Peace Through the Arts and Media" with an annual UN presentation of films and speakers selected by Tazzla institute.
Helene has written numerous newspaper and magazine articles on a variety of subjects during her career as an activist anthropologist, four anthropological books on Berber (Amazigh) culture and filmed, edited and produced over fifty community service television programs on a variety of topics related to American Indian and Amazigh (Berber and Tuareg) culture, arts, and human right issues, through Amazigh Video Productions. She has enormously enjoyed her work as a videographer, editor, and producer of these educational and cultural television programs.
Helene Hagan is a lifetime Associate Curator of the Paul Radin Collection at Marquette University Special Archives. In 2007, Helene E. Hagan was a guest Professor for the First Berber Institute held at the University of Oregon, Corvallis.
In 2008, she created the Los Angeles Amazigh Film Festival. The festival ran annually until 2017.
Books published by XLibris:
The Shining Ones: Etymological Essay on the Amazigh Roots of Ancient Egyptian Civilization (2000)
Tuareg Jewelry: Traditional Patterns and Symbols (2006)
Tazz’unt: Ecology, Ritual and Social Order in the Tessawt Valley of the High Atlas of Morocco (2011)
Fifty Years in America, A Book of Essays (2013)
Russell Means, The European Ancestry of a Militant Indian (2018)
Sixty Years in America, Anthropological Essays (2019)
Wakinyan Zi Tiospaye: Context and Evidence in the Case of Yellow Thunder Camp (2021)