A portrait of Native artist Chanelle Gallagher (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe) throwing pottery in her studio.
A portrait of Ed Carriere (Suquamish), Traditional Knowledge Keeper & Weaver standing on the coastline looking out at the ocean
A portrait of Kaylene Big Knife (Chippewa Cree Tribe) leaning against a wall

Collective Spirit Podcast

The Collective Spirit moves each of us to stand up and make a difference, to pass on ancestral knowledge, and simply extend a hand of generosity. Each Collective Spirit podcast features one Native artist or culture bearer discussing the power of Indigenous art and culture.

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2023 Cultural Capital Fellow Penny Kagigebi (Ojibwe), an artist from the White Earth Reservation, unveils their transformative experiences with grief and the pursuit of cultural reclamation through indigenous art forms. Through their narrative, we're listeners and companions on her journey to alignment with the Earth's vibrations, using natural materials like birch bark and porcupine quills steeped in therapeutic resonance. Penny's candor about their family's painful history with forced relocations and boarding schools offers a potent reminder of the resilience in preserving generational knowledge and identity.

2022 Artist in Business Leadership Fellows, Golga Oscar (Kasigluk Elders Traditional Council - Yup'ik Nation) weaves a narrative of his personal odyssey back to their Indigenous roots. Through their vivid recounting, we're transported to a world where ancient parka making and beadwork are more than mere crafts; they're lifelines to a heritage persistently navigating the torrents of Westernization. Golga's voice resonates with a passion for the painstaking reclamation of ancestral wisdom, which blossoms into an urgent call for the current and future custodians of Yupiq traditions to preserve the irreplaceable artistry ingrained in their identity.

This episode is a heartfelt exploration of "The Root Experience," where 2023 Cultural Capital Fellow James Pakootas (Confederated Tribes of Colville Reserve) unveils his journey to breathe new life into Native culture by weaving together the threads of ancestral tales with the vibrant energy of modern art forms. We embark on an auditory pilgrimage, traversing the landscape of historical narrative and contemporary issues, such as the influence of the Grand Coulee Dam on tribal life, all while championing the resurgence of indigenous identity through film, hip-hop, and dance.

2023 Artist in Business Leadership fellow Lisa Kennedy (Saginaw Chippewa) is a beacon of indigenous art. Join us as Lisa takes us through her vibrant tapestry of life – from humble beginnings to crafting a legacy. She and her partner, Adam Avery, illuminate the rich cultural heritage by intertwining traditional art forms like beadwork and black ash basket weaving with contemporary narratives. Lisa's academic prowess in public administration also comes into play, showcasing how one can serve one's community by marrying cultural teachings with modern strategies. Her candid account of overcoming self-doubt to embrace her role as a knowledge keeper is a striking reminder of the resilience woven into the fabric of indigenous stories.

2023 Artist in Business Leadership Fellow Kalyn Faye Barnoski (Cherokee and Muscogee Creek) artist illuminates the importance of maintaining a Native perspective in spaces where it is often overshadowed. Her story is not just about the personal metamorphosis but how embracing one’s passions can ripple out to touch the lives of others. Kaywin's family roots and her innate musical prowess have been the bedrock of her journey, leading her to a place where her work as a curator of Native Art and her performances become more than just a job—they're a mission to bridge cultural divides.

Embark on an auditory journey through the vibrant heart of indigenous art as 2023 Cultural Capital Fellow and Ojibwe artist Adam Avery shares his profound connection with ancestral craftsmanship. From the delicate intricacies of beadwork to the sturdy elegance of birch bark canoes, Adam unveils the rich heritage woven into each creation, illuminating the significance of these traditions within his community. He passionately recounts the evolution of his skills, initially honed to craft his own regalia, and now, as a beacon of generational knowledge, he alongside his wife, teaches these skills to ensure their survival. The resilience required to master these crafts, the challenges faced in seeking mentors, and the deep-seated desire to sustain cultural practices form the crux of our discussion.

2023 Artist in Business Leadership fellow Bobby Brower Itta (Inupiaq) is a fashion designer whose Inupaq roots and artistic prowess have woven a tapestry of resilience and creativity. Bobbi Lynn shares her heartwarming narrative, which paints a vivid picture of the power of traditional and contemporary skin sewing, the sweeping cold of Arctic winters, and the vibrant tapestry of her culture. Her story celebrates heritage, the transformative nature of fashion, and the ripple effect of empowering indigenous youth to reach for their dreams.

2023 Artist in Business Leadership Fellow Denise Lajimodiere (Ojibwe, Metis) has worked tirelessly to shed light on Residential/Boarding School experiences among Native Americans and First Nations people through her career as a writer, artist and educator. Her stirring accounts of survivors, whom she's interviewed with empathy and diligence, urge us to listen to the whispers of history long ignored. Denise weaves her personal voyage with her cultural roots to unravel the stories that have scarred Indigenous communities. Her poetry is a testament to her healing journey, while her research casts light on the dark corridors of institutions such as Chimawa and Fort Totten. Through her artistic lens, Denise's mission to document these tales encompasses both the personal and the collective, ensuring that the echoes of the past will not fade into silence.

2023 Cultural Capital Fellow Delbert Anderson (Diné) is an accomplished musician creating jazz intertwined with the soul-stirring melodies of Native American music. Delbert Anderson takes us on an auditory journey that melds the rich narratives of the Dineé culture with the intricate improvisations of jazz. He shares his story of cultural exploration and musical innovation, from the formation of the Delbert Anderson Trio to its crescendo into a dynamic quartet. Celebrating the heritage of influential Native American musicians like Jacob C. Morgan and "Big Chief" Moore, Delbert unfolds a musical saga that honors his ancestors while forging new paths in the music world.

2023 Cultural Capital Fellow April Matson (Sicangu Lakota, Athabascan) takes us on a melodic journey that harmonizes the power of music with the vibrancy of LGBTQ and gender-diverse youth. She unravels her own story of rediscovery, embracing her Lakota and Atabascan roots and intertwining them with the cultural tapestry of the two-spirit identity. April’s conviction resonates in her work, where leadership is not just taught but is a melody passed through generations and where each chord struck is a reminder of the strength found in tradition and identity.

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