Weaving between complex work — making connections, building integration, and deepening impact. This is part of First Peoples Fund’s vision in tightening the weave throughout our programs. For this, we created the new Program Weaver position, and found the right person to fill it.
Lydia Apatiki (Sivuqaghhmii) is a traditional St. Lawrence Island skin sewer who uses materials harvested and gathered by her family to create intricate traditional Yup’ik dolls, game kick balls, and bird skin parkas. She is a speaker of St. Lawrence Island Yup’ik and taught the bilingual program for many years at the Gambell school, where she developed a language workbook for elementary grades.
In 2013 Crystal Worl (Athabascan Tlingit) earned a Bachelor of Fine Art in jewelry metals and an Associate of Fine Art in moving images from the Institute of American Indian Arts. The majority of her art consists of painting, printmaking, graphic design, and clothing design. Her work explores the relationships and bonds between her people, the land, and the animals. Swimming in an ocean of projects every day, all over the world, Crystal embodies the creative lifestyle. Aerial dancer, visual artist, and now, Indigenous clothing designer.
First Peoples Fund gathered at the Sealaska Heritage Institute in Juneau, Alaska, for the Indigenous Arts Ecology (IAE) program regional convening. Bringing together staff, facilitators and representatives of the IAE grantees, this event creates a unique opportunity for building better infrastructure for artists within tribal communities.
Our newest team member, Mary Bordeaux (Sicangu / Oglala) has seen the power of art to heal, and how it draws old and young people to one another, people with different political and socio-economical backgrounds. It brings people together who wouldn’t connect if they weren’t in front of or interacting with art.
The Ford Foundation announced today that First Peoples Fund President and CEO Lori Pourier (Oglala Lakota) is one of 25 new Art of Change fellows. The fellowship supports visionary artists and cultural leaders in creating powerful works of art that help advance freedom, justice, and inclusion and strengthen our democracy.
A strong wind blew across the grasslands as we huddled together, sheltering between vehicles. It was a quiet moment for a group of 50, a time of silence as all gathered close and waited. We stood at the top of a hill near the Wounded Knee Cemetery and the site where a band of Lakota people were massacred in 1890.
We prepared for this time at the Lakota College Historical Center in Kyle where we viewed photos and heard the story of Wounded Knee. The time came to experience the place and feel the emotions.
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®.
Carlton Turner works across the country as a performing artist, arts advocate, policy shaper, lecturer, consultant, and facilitator. He is the Executive Director of Alternate ROOTS, a regional arts organization based in the South supporting artists working at the intersection of arts and social justice.
Jason Garcia (Santa Clara Pueblo Tewa) earned a Master of Fine Arts degree in printmaking within his 20-plus-year art career. He has participated in the Comic Art Indigene at the Museum of Indian Arts and Culture in Santa Fe, and Native Pop! at the New Mexico Museum of Art. His work has led to top awards and honors, including a Ronald N. and Susan Dubin Fellowship at the School for Advanced Research, and Best of Classification and Artist’s Choice awards at the Santa Fe Indian Market.
Jeff is the best-selling author of five books including The Art of Work and Real Artists Don’t Starve, and teaches online courses (including the popular Tribe Writers). He’s also a speaker and consultant.
On his blog, GoinsWriter.com, Jeff shares his thoughts on writing, life, and creative work. He says, “We all have a creative gift worth sharing with the world, and that is our art. So whether you have a business idea, a book in you, or some other project you want to start, my goal is to help you get that work out of you and into the world. And here’s the thing: you don’t have to starve to share your best work. If you have a passion for creativity and changing the world, this is the place for you.”