Culture Bearer

2018 Native Artist Fellowship Applications Now Open

2018 Native Artist Fellowship Applications Now Open

Through our Artists in Business Leadership and Cultural Capital Fellowships, First Peoples Fund partners with Native artists and culture bearers to strengthen their business skills and to ensure that art, culture and ancestral knowledge are passed from one generation to the next. 

Applications for 2018 fellowships are now open and are due October 31, 2017. Selection notification is by December 1, 2017 with fellowships starting January 2018.

MEET THE NEW STORY TRACKER

MEET THE NEW STORY TRACKER

Becky Monnens, previously a program officer at The McKnight Foundation, returned to her home state of South Dakota a few years ago and worked with the Black Hills Area Community Foundation before recently filling the Story Tracker/Data Analyst role at First Peoples Fund. Becky brings an understanding of the value of data and stories to nonprofits, foundations and the field.

ANCIENT TRADITIONS IN THE 21ST CENTURY

ANCIENT TRADITIONS IN THE 21ST CENTURY

Never forgetting the rights and rituals of intricate quillwork, Deborah Magee carries ancient traditions of her ancestors forward to the 21st century. She conducts every phase with respect and gratitude for those who perfected these techniques. “It was like I rediscovered my sense of tribal identity when I started doing traditional work,” Deborah said.

Anna Brown Ehlers - National Heritage Award

Anna Brown Ehlers - National Heritage Award

Anna Brown Ehlers remembers the moment when she first dreamed of becoming a Chilkat weaver. She was four, Alaska had just become a state, and her uncle was dancing in his traditional Chilkat blanket during a community celebration.

“I saw that beautiful design and those rich colors. I watched the fringe gracefully moving back and forth as my uncle danced, and I knew I hoped I could do that someday,” she said.

Fifty-eight years later, Anna has been recognized as among the country’s foremost artists by the National Endowment for the Arts through a National Heritage Fellowship. The awards were announced in June. In 2001, First Peoples Fund honored Anna through a Community Spirit Award for her work to revitalize and pass on Chilkat weaving, an art form that was nearly lost in her lifetime.

FIRST PEOPLES FUND 2017 FELLOWSHIP CONVENING

FIRST PEOPLES FUND 2017 FELLOWSHIP CONVENING

First Peoples Fund held our 2017 Fellowship Convening earlier this month in Minneapolis. The convening is an extended professional development opportunity, balanced with time for sharing, reflecting and creating new bonds. "My biggest takeaway from the convening were the connections I made with the staff and fellow artists. I got to know my support network there and met new collaborators,” said 2017 fellow Paul Wennell (Anishinaabe/Oneida), a hip-hop artist based in Minneapolis.

Help Us Honor Culture Bearers

Help Us Honor Culture Bearers

Do you know a Native artist who has dedicated his or her life and work to sustaining cultural traditions within their community? First Peoples Fund has opened nominations for the 2018 Community Spirit Awards, and we want to hear from you.

Introducing the 2017 Community Spirit Honorees

Introducing the 2017 Community Spirit Honorees

Through the Jennifer Easton Community Spirit Awards, we recognize the work of Native American, Alaska Native and Native Hawaiian culture bearers who uphold the Collective Spirit®. Through their work and their lifeways, these artists embody the traditional values of First Peoples Fund — generosity and wisdom, respect and integrity, strength and humility.

These culture bearers are sustaining the arts of Indigenous people within their communities, growing arts ecologies, and teaching the next generation of artists and culture bearers of their People.

In 2017, we honor four outstanding culture bearers as they join nearly 100 past recipients of this prestigious award.

Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) Launches

Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) Launches

The Intercultural Leadership Institute (ILI) launches today! Conceived of by non-profit regional and national arts organizations - Alternate ROOTSFirst Peoples FundNational Association of Latino Arts and Cultures (NALAC), and PA'I Foundation - ILI is a newly formed, paradigm-shifting personal and leadership development program for artists, culture bearers, and other arts professionals. 

First Peoples Fund is all about Weaving our Partnerships

First Peoples Fund is all about Weaving our Partnerships

Late last month, FPF president Lori Pourier traveled to Honolulu where she attended the PA’I Foundation’s 2017 Mo’olelo Storytelling Festival. The festival included mo’olelo, a form of Hawaiian storytelling and a hallmark of the pre-contact Native Hawaiian oral tradition, as well as Native American and Tex-Mex story-telling traditions.

Honoring a Legacy

Honoring a Legacy

Dana Tiger (Mvskoke) was only five years old when her father passed. She turned to his art as a way to get to know him. Under the guidance of her uncle — renowned painter Johnny Tiger, Jr. — she came to know the richness of her culture and the bounty of its artistic tradition. But she didn’t know if she had it in her to carry on her father’s legacy. Dana’s children could paint. Her uncle. But could she?