ARTISTS UNITE

ARTISTS UNITE

First Peoples Fund traveled to the Colville Indian Reservation for a visit with partner Northwest Native Development Fund earlier this month. We held a meeting with community artists to learn more about what they need and what is happening across Indian Country to raise awareness of the importance of honoring and supporting Native artists and culture bearers. Jesse Utz, a writer for The Star in Grand Coulee, Wash., attended. Here's his story about the powerful connections and the breakthrough he made at the meeting.  

DANCES WITH WORDS POETS TRAVELING TO THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE AT BRAVE NEW VOICES

DANCES WITH WORDS POETS TRAVELING TO THE INTERNATIONAL STAGE AT BRAVE NEW VOICES


Move around the room, change the pace, make eye contact, don’t make eye contact. Feel the emotion — anger, sadness, joy. Where is it coming from? What part of you? Allow it to move you. 

Movement exercises at a recent poetry retreat showed the poets’ dedication and their willingness to be uncomfortable — in a good way — and put themselves into every word.

Now they are ready to travel to San Francisco

THE JOURNEY HOME: LAREE POURIER AND THE YOUTH SPEAKS FUTURE CORP FELLOWSHIP

THE JOURNEY HOME: LAREE POURIER AND THE YOUTH SPEAKS FUTURE CORP FELLOWSHIP

Through a two-year Youth Speaks Future Corp Fellowship at First Peoples Fund, Laree Pourier (Oglala Lakota) leads the Dances with Words program and is helping broaden young people’s experiences and their understanding of themselves — identity, oppression, and resistance. When these young Natives go to the Youth Speaks sponsored poetry slam, Brave New Voices (BNV), they hear young people from all over the world talking about the same issues.

FIRST PEOPLES FUND BOARD MEMBERS Q&A SERIES — BIRD RUNNINGWATER, SUNDANCE INSTITUTE

FIRST PEOPLES FUND BOARD MEMBERS Q&A SERIES — BIRD RUNNINGWATER, SUNDANCE INSTITUTE

Through this series, we highlight the extraordinary people who serve as First Peoples Fund’s board of directors. They are the culture bearers and leaders from national nonprofits within and beyond Indian Country who graciously guide First Peoples Fund and strengthen the Collective Spirit®.

RE-MEMBERING LIFE

RE-MEMBERING LIFE

A mosaic of memories, the way the mind protects from pains of the past. Tanaya Winder (Duckwater Shoshone Tribe) knows someone has to dive headfirst into this muck and darkness to bring forth hope and beauty. She pieces together memories to answer questions in life, to re-member and to explore healing words through poetry. She writes from a place of love.

A QUILTED POEM

A QUILTED POEM

Tasha Abourezk (Three Affiliated Tribes), 2017 Cultural Capital Fellow, uses textiles to explore her Mandan/Hidatsa heritage as well as contemporary politics. She stitches culture and textiles together, leaving the viewer to question deeper realities behind the work.

Ho'omai'ka'i 'ana, Cyril

Ho'omai'ka'i 'ana, Cyril

Two of First Peoples Fund’s Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Award honorees, Chilkat weaver Anna Brown Ehlers (Tlingit) and slack key guitar master Cyril Lani Pahinui (Native Hawaiian) received the 2017 National Endowment for the Arts' National Heritage Award, which were announced last week.

When we reached out to Cyril, a 2013 Community Spirit honoree, to congratulate him, he sent back the beautiful message below filled with aloha, love and community spirit, which we share with you. A post about Anna is coming soon. Cyril has been battling health issues and working composing and teaching from a hospital bed for more than a year.

Master Folk and Traditional Artists Receive Top Honor

Master Folk and Traditional Artists Receive Top Honor

First Peoples Fund is excited to share that two of our Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Award honorees have received the 2017 National Endowment for the Arts' National Heritage Award, announced last week. Chilkat weaver Anna Brown Ehlers (Tlingit) was a Community Spirit Award honoree in 2001, and slack key guitar master Cyril Lani Pahinui (Native Hawaiian) was a 2013 honoree. 

HOW LAKOTA FUNDS USES CIRCLE BANKING TO SERVE ARTISTS

HOW LAKOTA FUNDS USES CIRCLE BANKING TO SERVE ARTISTS

That circle-thinking model translated into a foundation for the idea behind Lakota Funds. Visionary leaders in the community realized that in order to break the cycle of poverty on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation, they needed to focus on key roadblocks to economic development: access to capital, technical assistance, business networks, and infrastructure. With assistance from Oglala Lakota College and First Nations Development Institute, Lakota Funds was established in 1986 as the first-ever Native American community development financial institution (CDFI) on a reservation. They began work to break through the roadblocks.

ROLLING REZ ARTS — SECOND SEASON IMPACT

ROLLING REZ ARTS — SECOND SEASON IMPACT

A colorful bus roams the remote and vast landscape, a vehicle in search of ways to bring economic and social change to Native artists where they live and work on the Pine Ridge Reservation. These artists have six needs, needs that are steadily being helped by our Rolling Rez Arts Mobile Unit. Native art is key to sustaining culture at the community level, though these artists are often overlooked.