After graduating with a degree in sculpture, Heyoka left his native California to move to a remote Northwest Indian reservation. For over twenty years, he lived in this wilderness while exploring his Native American heritage. Living close to the natural rhythms of nature, Heyoka began to observe the world from a different perspective: he discovered the way his ancient ancestors touched the Earth and that, unlike his contemporary art training in college, many of these ancestors created art that captured the radiance of the transcendent powers within their mythology.
In discovering sacred art and Native American ceremonies, an entire world opened for Heyoka. He felt a new passion for his work and, in order to pass on this gift, he began teaching apprentices in the almost forgotten way of mentoring. He realized that our culture had lost an important part of a young person’s journey when mentoring was replaced by our current school system. This discovery led him to write his book Sacred Art, Sacred Earth so he could relate his own personal journey from contemporary art student into the ancient tradition of the sacred artist. Eventually, this led Heyoka to create a documentary film that tells his life story while showing him making jewelry and sculpture, as well as doing ceremony.