Penny Kagigebi

Penny Kagigebi

White Earth Ojibwe


Penny Kagigebi describes herself as an advocate for joy and Mino-Bimaadiziwin, good life/health, through Ojibwe Culture and Arts. The youngest child of Susanna (Aandegoons Little Crow) Bellecourt Paulson and Pat Paulson, she was surrounded by makers and creators but grew up believing art wasn’t a “real job”. Following her son's death in 2008 and through traditional art forms, she worked to create gifts for his ceremonies and fell into a portal for healing and cultural reclamation. In 2014 she achieved her goal of learning quillwork and quill box construction from Ojibwe artist Melvin Losh.

A QUEER2-Spirit artist, Penny sees a direct relationship between the contemporary basketry she makes, community conversation, and QUEER2-Spirit cultural reclamation. An unusual application of machine-sewn ribbon-on-birchbark, seed beads, and quillwork-over-ribbon reflects freedom in her basketry which is mirrored in a commitment to teaching in a way that allows others to be fully themselves. So, too, she advocates that our tribal communities will regain balance and vibrancy when QUEER2-Spirit citizens thrive and our gifts flourish - understanding that nothing is ever really lost, everything needed has been left for us and in us.

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