A member of the Chilkat Indian Village Tribe in Klukwan, Alaska, Lani Hotch (Tlingit) weaves contemporary woolens in the Pacific Northwest tradition. She is a 2011 First Peoples Fund Community Spirit Award honoree, a founding member and on the board of the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center nonprofit organization, and a member of the Ravenstail Weaver’s Guild.
Three a.m. — Clarissa Rizal (Tlingit) finished the last weaving kit with her helpers for the class coming at 9 a.m. These kits made for an easier start on a historic project.
In ancient days, Chilkat-Ravenstail robes were cut apart, the pieces given to tribal leaders. Now, woven pieces come together in a healing ceremonial robe. New beginnings pieced together.
Follow your dream, even when your journey may be difficult. This is what Danny Frost (Cheyenne River Sioux) hopes to inspire in other artists now that he has lived his dream for over 20 years — creating tattoo art full time and supporting his family. Coming from Eagle Butte, S.D., his Native culture gives his dreams direction.
It was about the time of one suicide after another on the Cheyenne and Pine Ridge Reservations. Brendon Albers (Cheyenne River Sioux) sent out a letter with his story, a story of what he had lost in life, of what he had found in art. The healing that comes from shaping stone — alabaster from the Black Hills — with a story to tell.
A Native artist, entrepreneur, and thought leader is creating a space for the next generation in one of the world’s top 50 most-visited tourist attractions. Louie Gong (Nooksack) is literally and figuratively opening new doors for his work and for other artists through his Eighth Generation brand, First Peoples Fund program Our Nations’ Spaces, and the Longhouse Education and Cultural Center at the Evergreen State College.
Rapid City, SD (October 31, 2016) – First Peoples Fund is pleased to announce a 3-year, $600,000 grant award from the Surdna Foundation. The grant will support First Peoples Fund’s work in Native communities across the country with artists, culture bearers, Native Community Development Financial Institutions and other community development organizations to build Indigenous arts economies.
“We appreciate the continued support of the Surdna Foundation,” said Sherry Salway Black, Chair of First Peoples Fund’s Board of Directors. “Over the past three years, Surdna has helped us build the capacity of community-based organizations that support Native artists to develop businesses and grow their leadership skills. We look forward to continuing this important partnership that puts art and culture at the forefront of asset-building strategies in Native communities.”
The Surdna Foundation is based in New York City and seeks to foster sustainable communities in the United States — communities guided by principles of social justice and distinguished by healthy environments, strong local economies, and thriving cultures.
First Peoples Fund is a Rapid City-based organization that supports and honors the power of art and culture to create positive change in Native communities, beginning with Native artists and their families.
A simple stop for lunch with his hula halau (dance school) led to Kaloku Holt’s (Native Hawaiian) most rewarding experience as an artist. It happened at a restaurant on the Big Island when, over the radio, one of Kaloku’s original songs came on. The happiness it brought those around him showed he impacted people in a positive way. He will never forget that moment, fueling his drive to share the aloha spirit through his creations.