A Young, Emerging, Anishinaabe Video Artist, A Hidden Message to Obama, and More!

Cecelia Martinez of Nett Lake has been producing videos since she was 7. Her work is dedicated to honoring her Anishinaabe culture and speaking to issues that impact the young people of her home town, a community of 100 people on the Bois Forte Reservation in northeastern Minnesota.

Now 13, Cecelia’s latest work is called “Amazing,” and it is “a call out to young Anishinaabe people to remind them that they are amazing and that they are capable of doing anything – despite the barriers others might place in front of them.”

We learned about Cecelia and her video from our friend Rachel Latuff, an art teacher at North Woods School in Cook, MN (the school Cecilia attends). Rachel wrote to tell us that Cecilia’s Anti-Bullying video was entered in the Adobe Youth Voices Contest.  She is one of 50 finalists 1,500 total submissions.

Click on the link to watch the video and vote for Cecilia!

P.S. in a Star Quilt

Just passing along a media release we read from the Indigenous Environmental Network:

Watertown, SD – On May 8th, 2015 President Obama visited Watertown, South Dakota to deliver the commencement speech for the graduating class at Lake Area Technical Institute. During the President’s visit he was given a star quilt blanket made by Dakota artist DeVon Burshiem, a citizen of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate. The blanket was commissioned by the school to be given as a gift in part of the graduation ceremony and to express gratitude for the president of the United States.

Unknown to the school and White House staffers, Mrs. Burshiem sewed the phrase “NOKXL” onto the back of the blanket before giving it to college staff. This subtle act was a means of demonstrating her opposition to the proposed Keystone XL pipeline,  that is set  to bully its way through Indigenous territory. The pipeline is currently waiting for a national permit decision by President Obama.

Full release here.

This Day in History: May 16, 2012: The Presiding Bishop of the Episcopal Church issues a pastoral letter on the Doctrine of Discovery and Indigenous Peoples. The letter from the Most Rev. Katharine Jefferts Schori said in part:

The dispossession of First Peoples continues to wreak havoc on basic human dignity.  These principles give the lie to biblical understandings that all human beings reflect the image of God, for those who have been thrown out of their homeland, had their cultures largely erased, and sent into exile, are still grieving their loss of identity, lifeways, and territory.  All humanity should be grieving, for our sisters and brothers are suffering the injustice of generations.  The sins of our forebears are being visited on the children of indigenous peoples, even to the seventh generation. There will be no peace or healing until we attend to that injustice.

So this is a good to remind people about the upcoming symposium two weeks from today: “The Doctrine of Christian Discovery & Boarding School Trauma: Toward Reconciliation and Healing.”

  • The event is Saturday, May 30, 1-5 p.m. at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral Church, 519 Oak Grove Street, Minneapolis.

It is free and open to the public, co-sponsored by the Episcopal Church in Minnesota and Erma Vizenor, Chairwoman of the White Earth Nation. For more details, see the Episcopal Church announcement.




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