James Pakootas (Confederated Tribes of the Colville Reservation) is a motivational speaker and hip-hop artist. He coordinates events, mentors youth, and provides a fresh look into the world of addiction and substance abuse. A certified First Peoples Fund trainer and 2019 Artist in Business Leadership Fellow, James lives in Spokane, Washington.
Through site visits, online webinars, and getting in the room with Native artists, we listen as they express themselves, the challenges they face, and their ideas for creating greater impact.
“NAPD is the only professional development training that’s specifically for Native artists, and it is rooted in Indigenous perspectives,” says Tosa Two Heart (Oglala Lakota), FPF’s Program Manager of Community Development. “We’re dedicated to continuing to honor those perspective by incorporating artists’ feedback into the new components of the NAPD curriculum.”
Talon Ducheneaux-Shoots The Enemy (Cheyenne River Lakhota, Crow Creek Dakota) is a beatmaker, rapper, and producer. While his primary medium is hip-hop, traditional music plays an inspirational role in how he approaches art. Growing up several of South Dakota’s reservations, Talon bases much of his music on those experiences.
He graduated with a Bachelor’s in Psychology from the University of Pennsylvania and now resides in Pierre, South Dakota.
At the core of our work are culture bearers who continually guide us. The Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Awards were created to recognize these individuals by honoring them nationally. This spring, FPF honored two Community Spirit Award Nominees, Miscobinaysii (St. Croix Chippewa Indians of Wisconsin) and Margaret Nakak (Yup’ik/Inupiaq).
As an interdisciplinary artist, Peter Williams (Yup’ik) strives to express and celebrate the oneness of all things. Under his fashion label Shaman Furs, Peter produces high-end fur garments. He also demonstrates the technique of sewing seal and sea otter fur at museums and universities.
Peter is a 2018 First Peoples Fund (FPF) Artist in Business Leadership Fellow and received a 2018 grant from Rasmuson Foundation. He is based in Sitka, Alaska.