AICHO hosted a domestic violence awareness event this October in the Powless Center. The event included a community screenprinting sessions where folks could print MMIW designs as well as special screens created by Moira Villiard. The event featured other memorial activities.
Current Art Exhibition on display now through December 2019:
Mniidoos and WiigwaasAbout the Artists:
Rabbett Before Horses Strickland is an Anishinaabe member of the Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians of northern Wisconsin. Rabbett grew up in the San Francisco Bay area with art as his constant lifestyle. His work has been influenced by European Renaissance and Baroque masters, including Botticelli, Michelangelo, Titian, Velasquez, Rubens and Leonardo, as well as by Ojibwe mythology.
Rabbett’s paintings each tell an individual story of Nanabozho that take the viewer to new and unexpected realms of personal relevance and universally meaningful content.
He has been featured in the American Indian Review, San Francisco Chronicle, Santa Fe Trend Magazine, Tea Party Magazine, and in the TV series Native Report. Recent exhibitions include Bell Street Gallery, La Pointe, WI Madeline Island (2015), Contemporary Canvases of Native Nations, Wisconsin Historical Museum, Madison, WI (2015), Gimaajii Mino Bimaadizimin, Duluth, MN (2014), and Right to Consciousness, Madeline Island Museum, La Pointe, WI (2012).
Pat Kruse was born in Oakland, California, is a member at Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewa Indians, and a descendent of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, Onamia, Minnesota. An accomplished and awarding winning Ojibwe birchbark & quillwork artist & culture teacher. Pat has spent his life maintaining traditional Ojibwe basketry and teaching workshops to all people willing to learn.
Pat's art is in collections and at various locations, which include: Sherry Leedy Contemporary Art: Kansas City, MO; Plains Art Museum-Fargo, ND; Tweed Museum of Art, University of Minnesota-Duluth, MN; Minnesota Historical Society-St. Paul, MN; Red Cliff Band of Lake Superior Chippewas, Legendary Waters Resort and Casino-Red Cliff, WI; Grand Casino Mille Lacs, Onamia, MN; Mayo Clinic-Rochester, MN; and Science Museum of Minnesota-St Paul, MN.
In 2015-2016 Pat was chosen for Native Artist In Residence, Minnesota Historical Society; St. Paul, MN; 2016 Native Arts and Culture Foundation Fellowship, Native Arts and Culture Foundation; Vancouver, WA
In 2018, Pat was one of eight accomplished artists awarded the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Mentor Artist Fellowship.
For more information, contact Moira Villiard at email@example.com.
Originally scheduled for the outdoors, the Indigenous Foods Expo was moved to AICHO's main building due to weather constraints. The event brought together roughly 2,000 people from all parts of the world to explore Indigenous foods and support regional entrepreneurs. Check out the video coverage of some of the events highlights and miigwetch for making history with us! We were grateful to make national news.
For the first time the history of the award, the YWCA Women of Distinction Award went to all women of color / Indigenous women, including two of our staff, Moira Villiard and Ivy Vainio! YWCA Duluth’s Women of Distinction Luncheon recognizes and honors women who make significant contributions to our community. Hundreds come together each year to enjoy lunch, recognize the amazing contributions of these women, hear highlights of the YWCA’s community outreach, network with community colleagues, and contribute to YWCA programs.
Indigenous artist Sarah Agaton Howes and entrepreneur ChaQuana McEntyre were also recipients.
Moananuiākea is an ambitious documentary film telling the story of the Mālama Honua Worldwide Voyage of legendary canoe Hōkūleʻa, and is produced by Nāʻālehu Anthony, Bryson Hoe and Maui Tauotaha, respectively director, writer and editor, all of whom served as crew members on Hōkūleʻa. This voyage connected countless individuals and communities from around the globe. A team of community organizations was fortunate enough to bring this film to the Powless Center in an event that drew community members from far and wide to pack the room!
Above: Part of the production team for the “MOANANUIĀKEA: One Ocean One People One Canoe” stopped in at AICHO to prepare for their free screening of this film in the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center.
In honor of the recent Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) billboard that went up on Garfield Avenue and Superior Street here in Duluth, MN the community showed support for the cause by hosting a Prayer Vigil at the sight of the billboard on Sunday, September 15th, 2019 at 3:00PM. The Vigil began at the Billboard with a prayer and was followed by a brief walk to the Duluth Folk School / Dovetail Cafe for concluding remarks.
Speakers included Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, City Councillor Renee Van Nett, and Human Rights Commission member Carl Crawford, and in attendance were representatives who have conducted research and collected data on missing persons in Duluth, grassroots groups dedicated to MMIW, and agencies that serve MMIW survivors. The vigil, co-sponsored by AICHO, was organized by a group collectively known as the “MMIW Vigil and Billboard Committee”, whose aim is also to highlight the importance of supporting a bill brought forth by Representative Mary Kunesh-Podein’s (Bill H.F. 70), to create a state task force to address this epidemic (the Minnesota House unanimously approved in May 2019, and it is currently in the Minnesota Senate awaiting approval). The Prayer Vigil was an opportunity to not only support MMIW, but all missing persons in our state.
Marcie Rendon and Vern Northrup sold copies of their latest books and shared excerpts from their writing in a family-friendly book release celebration.
MARCIE R RENDON, author of the recently released Girl Gone Missing, is an enrolled member of the White Earth Anishinabe Nation. Her first novel Murder on the Red River won the Pinckley Prize for Debut Crime Fiction. In honoring Marcie, the Pinckley judges noted, "Rendon's sense of place and her creation of an unforgettable character who forges her own way in a challenging world."
VERN NORTHRUP is a visual storyteller. Interpreter, educator, and learner are three words that describe the lens Northrup looks through when photographing the world. Akinomaage is the Ojibwe word for what Northrup seeks to do with his photography and is the title of the book he’s recently released. As an interpreter, educator, and learner, Northrup wants to gain knowledge from the earth. Using only the camera on his smartphone, Northrup captures the setting of where he grew up, creating a nostalgia for all those familiar with the area, and a curiosity for those who aren’t.
Nick Hernandez showed up early for his workshop so he could meet and visit with members of our Gimaajii Youth Market Team. They educated Nick on their Indigenous Food and Indigenous products, how they are made and how they sell their products and Nick educated them about his bee, chicken, and garden farm/business. Great trade in information. The Youth also gave Nick a tour of the Gimaajii Gardens. So great for these Urban Anishinaabe youth entrepreneurs meet a Lakota Business owner who is doing similar work as themselves.
Nick Hernandez is a member of the Oglala Lakota Oyate and a citizen of the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota. Nick is the partner to Liz Welch and the father of two boys Alee Jax and Kai Tyndall Hernandez. In 2019 Nick earned a master’s degree in Lakota Leadership and organizational management from the Oglala Lakota College (Kyle, SD). in 2015 Nick helped to develop the Food Sovereignty Initiative for Thunder Valley CDCand managed the initiative for 4 years as its Director. Today, through his many years of developing experience, training, partnerships and education in the realm of agriculture and food systems for his community and people. Nick’s passion and dedication are focused on developing Indigenous agriculture and food systems designed to regenerate healthy equitable communities, economies and our environments.
Wisconsin artists Christopher Sweet and Scott Hill have been selected as the featured artists at a show titled “The Art of Huuc Co & Wakatatlihuni” in the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center (202 W. 2nd Street, Duluth, MN). The exhibit, which opened on August 9th, features a variety of paintings and some sculptural work by the artists. Their work is diverse and colorful, playing on different themes from their cultural heritage in contemporary mediums.
Christopher Sweet’s Ho-Chunk name is Huuc Co pronounced (Hoonch-Cho) meaning Blue Bear. He and his family reside in the south central area of Wisconsin. Sweet attended the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, New Mexico and his specialty is acrylic painting. In recent years, he’s explored methods of adding texture to his work. He states that creating art has helped him focus on the important things in his life which include family, unity & healthy ways. He has a quiet nature and sometimes has trouble expressing himself, but art eases that challenge, letting his different moods, thoughts & feelings take shape on the canvas.
Says Sweet, “My mind is always trying to find the right path in a painting, so when I begin a process there are sometimes a few other paintings underneath the completed piece of work. It can be a long journey but it is always a therapeutic experience.”
Facebook page: C Sweet Native Art
Scott Hill (Wakatatlihuni) is an Oneida artist, born and raised on the Oneida Reservation in Wisconsin. He was given the Wakatatlihuni, which translates to “he teaches himself”. The name fits his persona - as Wakatatlihuni, he is self-taught, not only in art, but across life’s spectrums. Scott has been practicing art for over 25 years in his studio/gallery, located in Oneida, creating work across mediums including pencil, clay, paint, stone sculpture, fabric arts and more.
Facebook page: Wahta Hill Design
The joint exploration of cultural identity is prevalent in the exhibit as a whole, which is partly what makes it such an intimate and personal one. “My work is always focused very much on my history, my thoughts, and my worldview,” said Zamara. "Telling those stories that don’t often get told in our mainstream society.” She makes telling the stories of women a priority, as her art is full of themes of women’s empowerment. In response to an audience member who asked her reasoning for using such heavy lines and contrast in her work, she described a desire to depict the feminine as also bold and carrying weight as opposed to delicate and fragile. According to Zamara, she saw very few works focused on women in traditional Maya art growing up, and what she did find inspired her to create more.
Jonathan Thunder’s work is also deeply personal and exploratory. “I had been working in the theme of paths to identity, paths home, paths to decolonization, and paths to strength,” he said, referencing his work in relation to the Long Night that is a focus of both his art and Zamara’s. The artwork he exhibited was a mix of both lighthearted and more surreal imagery, ranging from a teddy bear with a crown to one of his larger works - the latter depicting a child floating amidst red ceremonial ribbons, between an Indigenous elder to one side and ominous figurative symbols of colonization to the other.
Jonathan Thunder and Zamara Cuyún are both incredibly talented artists and insightful individuals. Through this exhibit they have outlined similarities between Anishinaabe and Maya Indigenous experiences, explored their identities, and brought forward their own thought-provoking conceptions of what home means to them. We’re so grateful to have their exhibit in the Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center and hope to host them both again in the future. The full video of their conversation can be found HERE.
Keep tabs on some of the exciting things happening at AICHO! Blog posts managed by volunteers as they are available.