First Peoples Fund is all about Weaving our Partnerships

Late last month, FPF president Lori Pourier traveled to Honolulu where she attended the PA’I Foundation’s 2017 Mo’olelo Storytelling Festival. The festival included mo’olelo, a form of Hawaiian storytelling and a hallmark of the pre-contact Native Hawaiian oral tradition, as well as Native American and Tex-Mex story-telling traditions.

The sold-out festival at the Doris Duke Theater, Honolulu Museum of Art was supported in part by an Our Nations’ Spaces grant from First Peoples Fund, as well as the Institute of Museum and Library Services and the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture.

“It was a fun-filled evening of theatre, spoken word, music, song, and dance. We are especially grateful that we were able to share the evening with our partners,” says kumu hula Vicky Holt Takamine, who leads the PA’I Foundation and is a First Peoples Fund Community Spirit Award honoree.

Along with Lori, Vicky is one of the founding partners of the Intercultural Leadership Institute. Others in the group of ILI founders include Carlton Turner of Alternate ROOTS and Maria De Leon of the National Association of Latino Arts and Culture — both members of FPF’s board of directors. The four ILI founders met in Honolulu to put the finishing touches on the exciting new program, which launches in Mississippi in March and comes to Lakota Territory in September. (Much more about ILI in the next eSPIRIT.) 

Vicky Holt Takamine, Lori Pourier, Carlton Turner, and Maria De Leon. Photo credit: Kyle Wright

Vicky Holt Takamine, Lori Pourier, Carlton Turner, and Maria De Leon. Photo credit: Kyle Wright

Lori was also in Hawai’i to support the PA’I Foundation and another longtime partner, Artspace Projects, in the Ground Blessing Ceremonies for their joint project the Ola Ka ‘Ilima Artspace Lofts. Artspace, along with Lakota Funds, is FPF’s partner on the Rolling Rez Arts mobile unit and the upcoming Oglala Lakota Art Space on the Pine Ridge Reservation.

Ground Blessing Ceremony Preparation. Photo Credits: Greg Handberg. 

Ground Blessing Ceremony Preparation.

Photo Credits: Greg Handberg. 

One final, important thread to weave in: 2016 Community Spirit Award honoree Lynette Two Bulls (Oglala Lakota) traveled from the Northern Cheyenne Reservation to join Lori on her journey and take part in the festival and ceremonies.

“We hold our partners close to our hearts at First Peoples Fund,” Lori says, “together we make much more possible.”