Collective Spirit® Conversation Series
September 20, 2023

Collective Spirit® Conversation Series

Celebrating Indigenous Art and Identity

First Peoples Fund has recently launched an exciting and long-awaited initiative:

the Collective Spirit® Conversation Series with the support of the Association of Tribal Archives and Libraries (ATALM). This ongoing series of virtual discussions shines a spotlight on the incredible work of Native American and Native Hawaiian artists while tackling timely and relevant issues facing our communities. We were thrilled to start this series with our first two conversations exploring the intersection of art, healing, and identity.

Harmonizing Identities: Indigenous Queer Artists on Art

Our inaugural conversation, "Harmonizing Identities: Indigenous Queer Artists on Art," brought together a remarkable panel of artists: Golga Oscar (Traditional Council - Yup'ik Nation), Penny Kagigebi (Anishinaabe), and Kenny Ramos (Barona Band of Mission Indians). Our host and First Peoples Fund staff member, Keana Gorman (Diné), joined them. This engaging discussion celebrated art as a powerful catalyst for communal healing and understanding of identity.

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Screenshot of the Harmonizing Identities: Indigenous Queer Artists on Art panel

Art has a unique ability to help us express and communicate our complex emotions and experiences with the world around us, and queer Native art is no exception. The panel delved into thought-provoking questions surrounding queer identities and experiences within the art world, shedding light on the transformative potential of artistic expression.

Indigenous Futurism: Bridging Ancestral Roots and Contemporary Art

Our second conversation explored the intriguing concept of "Indigenous Futurism." Distinguished artists Jordan Poorman Cocker (Kiowa, Tongan) and Chris Pappan (Kaw, Osage, Cheyenne River Sioux) took center stage alongside our host, First Peoples Fund staff member Heidi K. Brandow (Diné, Kanaka Maoli).

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Screenshot from the Indigenous Futurism: Bridging Ancestral Roots and Contemporary Art panel

During this conversation, the audience gained deeper insights into how these contemporary artists pay homage to their ancestral roots while actively engaging with the Indigenous present. The discussion also touched upon how their artistic practices envision an Indigenous presence now and in the future.

Through these live-streamed events, we explored the profound ways in which art intersects with identity, healing, and the preservation of cultural heritage.

Looking Ahead

We are excited about the future of the Collective Spirit® Conversation Series and the opportunity to bring you more timely and insightful discussions featuring leading artists and culture bearers of our time. These conversations celebrate the rich diversity of Indigenous artistry and provide a platform for meaningful dialogues that can inspire and educate.

We invite you to join us in this ongoing journey of exploration and celebration of Indigenous art and identity. Together, we can continue spotlighting the remarkable work of Indigenous artists and their vital contributions to our shared cultural tapestry.

We welcome you to view these events on our YouTube Channel:

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