Bluedog is a five-member blues/rock band out of Minneapolis, Minnesota. Initially formed in 2001 by Joni (Weston) and Eric Buffalohead, it includes their daughter Alexandra on keyboard and backup vocals, Tom Suess on bass, and Greg Mans on drums. Alexandra Buffalohead was awarded a 2018 First Peoples Fund Artist in Business Leadership program on behalf of the band.
Hailing from a long line of Native Hawaiian singers, musicians and performers on her mother’s side and Diné storytellers and medicine people on her father’s side, Heidi K Brandow is a painter and printmaker. Her work is commonly filled with whimsical characters and monsters often combined with poetry, stories, and personal reflections. Heidi is a 2018 Artist in Business Leadership Fellow.
Hula, leis, and partners from the mainland came together to honor a culture bearer on the island of Molokai. Kanoelani Davis (Native Hawaiian) was recognized as a 2018 Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Award (CSA) recipient for 30-plus years of practicing, preserving, and perpetuating her culture through art.
First Peoples Fund’s Dances With Words program focuses on helping Native Youth express themselves through the written and spoken word. As a program where being thoughtful with one’s use of language is paramount, the practice of writing and speaking Lakotiyapi (the Lakota language) expands poets ability to express who they are, where they come from and what it means to share that with others.
A collaboration between Lakota Funds, First Peoples Fund, and Artspace, this 8,500-ft² Native arts and cultural center will provide not only a home-base for the work of our Rolling Rez Arts Bus mobile arts unit, but an expanded opportunity for nurturing the creative economy and arts ecosystem on the reservation.
J. Waylon Miller (Northern Cheyenne) started playing in bands when he was 12 years old. One of his former bands, The Reddmen, gained nationwide popularity that included one of his songs being featured on the TV show Grey’s Anatomy.
He attended the Conservatory of Recording Arts & Science’s Master Recording Program and has recorded pop, rock, and Native American artists.
Laura Youngbird (Minnesota Chippewa, Grand Portage Band) is an artist and art educator. She earned her BS, BFA, and MA from Minnesota State University at Moorhead with a minor in American Indian Studies. Laura currently lives in Breckenridge, Minnesota, and is the Director of Native American Art at the Plains Art Museum in Fargo, North Dakota.
A lifelong learner, Bernice Akamine (Native Hawaiian) pursued a career in art later in life than many artists. She chose to raise a family, then return to school. She studied at the University of Hawai’i where she rediscovered art and chose to attend the Natural Resource Management Masters Program at Central Washington University, and the Hawaiian Ohana for Education in the Arts.