Spotlight on Indigenous Art and Artists: News and Upcoming Events

In this post, we highlight news and events around Indigenous art, artists and storytellers. Included are:

  • June 2 – August 18: “Hearts of Our People,” the Minneapolis Institute of Arts new exhibit of Native women artists
  • Saturday, June 8: Celebratee new public art and gathering space on Bde Maka Ska’s southeast shore
  • Tuesday, June 11: Čhaŋyáta uŋyákuŋpi – We exist in the woods, an event at Roberts Bird Sanctuary
  • Thursday, June 13: “ART IS…Creative Native Resilience”
  • Angela Two Stars appointed new director of All My Relations Gallery

Continue reading

No DAPL: Nov. 12 Local Anti-Pipeline Fundraisers; More Religious Leaders Support Standing Rock; Upcoming Events by Native Artists; This Day in History

p1010183A series of local events and fundraisers are planned Saturday, Nov. 12, noon – 5 p.m. along the American Indian Cultural Corridor as part of a National Day of Action in support of the Standing Rock Sioux Nation and opposing the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). The event is called “The Ave Stands with Standing Rock.” All proceeds are going to the Water Protectors.

  • Minneapolis American Indian Center, 1530 East Franklin Ave.: $8 Jucy Lucy, $7 Indian Tacos and $3 wild rice egg rolls sold all day. Entertainment will include: Blue Dog Band, Los Nativos, and Tall Paul. Healing Station with massage therapy, herbalists and acupuncturists. Two Rivers Gallery show: “Dakota Isanti: Reclaiming Identity” and Community Sewing Bee.
  • All My Relations Gallery/Pow Wow Grounds Coffee, 1414 East Franklin Ave., Traditional Ojibwe song and dance workshop (2-3 p.m.), comedy by the New Native Theater, silent art auction. and the gallery show in All My Relations Gallery: “On Fertile Ground: Native Artists in the Upper Midwest.” ($5 admission)
  • AIM Interpretive Center, 1113 East Franklin Ave., #103: Sign the tipi that will travel to Standing Rock, Gallery Show: Ledger art from Quinton Maldondo. ($5 admission)

Please come! Continue reading

Court Strikes Down ND Law that Restricted Native American Voting Rights; Other News

With the presidential election getting ever closer, time to look at efforts to restrict the voting rights of Native Americans and other people of color.

North Dakota had the strictest voter ID law in the country, according to the Native American Rights Fund (NARF). In order to vote, the law required North Dakota residents to show one of four types of IDs. According to a NARF media release:

On August 1, 2016, a federal district court enjoined North Dakota’s strict voter ID law and ruled that voters unable to obtain the necessary identification may vote in the upcoming election by completing a declaration or affidavit. The court agreed with the seven Native American voters that the new law disproportionately burdens Native Americans and denies qualified voters the right to vote.

Continue reading

Opportunities to Immerse Yourself in Local Native History and Culture

Here are upcoming events to experience Native American history and culture:

Thursday, July 28: Survival Schools: Education, Resilience, Resistance

The AIM Interpretive Center is hosting an Open House to listen to the experiences of Native American students, parents, and teachers who were on the leading edge of reclaiming Native culture and language in their education.

The event will be Thursday July 28th from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m. at the AIM Interpretive Center in the Ancient Traders Market, 1113 E. Franklin Ave. Suite 105. (Refreshments will be served, and music played, beginning at 6 p.m.)

The Open House will have a flexible program of speakers — parents, students and staff of the Heart of the Earth Survival School and the Red School House. AIM created both schools, Heart of the Earth Survival School in Minneapolis and the Red School House in St. Paul.

The two schools opened in 1972 after Congress passed Title IV of the Indian Education Act. It  reversed previous federal boarding school policies and allowed Native Americans to have more control over educating their children.

The Open House will have an open mic. The event is open to all. Alumni and former staff are especially invited to speak and share.

This Open House is part of the AIM Interpretive Center’s ongoing photographic exhibit “Survival Schools: Education, Resilience, Resistance.” Materials from the Interpretive Center’s archives will be on display.
Email inquires to info@aim-ic.com, call the center at 612-886-2107 and/or check out the Facebook Event!

Friday July 29: Well Red Series

The New Native Theater will be hosting a play reading Friday, July 29, at All My Relations Gallery, 1414 East Franklin Avenue, starting at 7:30 p.m. It is part of the Well Red Series, which features new and classic plays from the Native American canon. The series typically is held the last Friday of the month at All My Relations Gallery.

August 5-7: Upper Sioux Pow Wow in Granite Falls

The Pezihutazizi Oyate Traditional Wacipi (Upper Sioux Community Pow Wow) will be held August 5-7 in Granite Falls. Everyone is welcome. Admission is free. Here is the flyer.

A Successful Art Opening for ReFrame Minnesota: Art Beyond a Single Story!

Visitors check out art K-12 students have created as options for new art in the Minnesota State Capitol.
Visitors at Two Rivers Gallery check out art K-12 students have created as options for new art in the Minnesota State Capitol. It was part of the opening of “ReFrame Minnesota: Art Beyond a Single Story.”

All My Relations Gallery, 1414 East Franklin, and Two Rivers Gallery, 1530 East Franklin, had an immensely successful art opening on Friday for their new joint exhibit: ReFrame Minnesota: Art Beyond a Single Story. I’d guess there were at least 100 guests. Thank you to everyone who came. Thank you especially to Taylor Payer, assistant curator at All My Relations Gallery, and Maggie Thompson at Two Rivers Gallery who invited Healing Minnesota Stories to Participate..

All My Relations features work by professional artists and Two Rivers Gallery has student art that is part of Healing Minnesota Stories traveling art exhibit. Both galleries offer an alternative narrative to the current stories of Manifest Destiny told by the historic art in the Minnesota State Capitol. It is important for lawmakers to have a counter narrative in the art they see every day.

Taylor Payer checking out the art.
Taylor Payer checking out the art.

Consider the top painting in the photo to the right. It shows a tree with beautiful lilac-colored leaves flying off in the wind. It is the work of Pahoua Lee, an eighth-grade student at the American Indian Magnet School in St. Paul. Here is her artist statement:

This painting represents you and your fear. You are the tree and your fears are the leaves. You have to let your fears go. If you keep holding them, you might not learn anything. Keeping your fears are worse than letting them go. When you let your fears go you would feel more FREE, you won’t have to fear anything.

Now that would be a powerful painting and statement to hang in the Capitol!

If you missed the opening, there is still plenty of time to visit.  The hours at All My Relations Gallery are: Tuesday to Friday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. (While you are there, get a hot cup of coffee from Pow Wow Grounds Coffee, which shares the building with the gallery.) The hours at Two Rivers Gallery are Monday and Tuesday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Both galleries are free and open to the public.

For more pictures from the opening, click here. For more on the controversy surrounding art in the Minnesota State Capitol, see Healing Minnesota Stories webpage and blog.

“ReFrame Minnesota: Art Beyond a Single Story” Opens Tonight

Just a reminder that there is a great art show opening tonight: “ReFrame Minnesota: Art Beyond a Single Story.” A reception will be held from 6-8 p.m. at neighboring galleries, All My Relations Gallery, 1414 East Franklin Ave., and Two Rivers Gallery, 1530 East Franklin Avenue. The organizers were kind enough to include pieces from Healing Minnesota Stories traveling student art exhibit in the show.

Here is the announcement:

Reframe Minnesota, a group exhibition shown across two art galleries along the American Indian Cultural Corridor, uses a range of visual mediums to explore the future of public art at the Minnesota State Capitol. It features original works from 12 Minnesotan artists as well as student artwork from [Minnesota] schools.

In light of the ongoing State Capitol renovations and the discussions of its art Reframe Minnesota shares the diverse Minnesota stories that are too often unheard. Local artists, including painters, printmakers, photographers, and sculptors, respond to the Capitol artwork, its depictions of Native Americans, and its lack of representation for other communities of color.

Hope to see you there! (If you can’t make it, the show will run through Sept. 16.)

Reframe Minnesota: Art Beyond a Single Story

Mark your calendars for Friday, June 24, 6-8 p.m. for the new gallery show: Reframe Minnesota: Art Beyond a Single Story. It will be a joint show by neighboring galleries: All My Relations Gallery, 1414 East Franklin Ave.,and Two Rivers Gallery, 1530 East Franklin Ave.

The shows explore the future of public art at the Minnesota State Capitol. It features original works from 12 Minnesotan artists as well as student artwork from schools across the state. According to the announcement:

In light of the ongoing State Capitol renovations and the discussions of its art Reframe Minnesota shares the diverse Minnesota stories that are too often unheard.  Local artists, including painters, printmakers, photographers, and sculptors, respond to the Capitol artwork, its depictions of Native Americans, and its lack of representation for other communities of color.

Senate mural: "The Discoverers and Civilizers Led to the Source of the Mississippi," one of the more disturbing paintings for its image of forced conversion.
Senate mural: “The Discoverers and Civilizers Led to the Source of the Mississippi”. (Click on image to enlarge.)

Healing Minnesota Stories is very grateful to the exhibit organizers for including us in this project. For several years, we have been working to raise public awareness of the racist art in the Minnesota State Capitol, such as “The Discoverers and Civilizers Led to the Source of the Mississippi” in the Senate Chambers (shown at right). We have been making presentations to religious and civic groups and school classrooms. Continue reading

Opportunities to Learn and Get Involved

A blank slate
An artist’s blank slate

Here are a few upcoming opportunities to learn about, engage with, and support local Native American communities. They include a “Birch Bark Biting” Art Demonstration, an Ice Cream Social, a Sacred Medicines and Gardening Workshop, and a request for donations of sewing supplies to help with a shawl project for young students at the American Indian Magnet School in St. Paul. Continue reading

Tribes Tell State to Remove Racist Capitol Art; Native Art Galleries to Offer Alternative Vision

Shelly Buck, president of the Prairie Island Indian Community, has come out with a strongly worded statement about what should happen with the racist art in the state Capitol. In a March 16 opinion piece in the Star Tribune, the headline says it all: Minnesotans, it’s time to move offensive art out of the people’s house.

The article was written with support from the Lower Sioux Indian Community, the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community, the Upper Sioux Community and the Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa. Buck’s letter came in response to the anemic initial recommendations put forward by the Art Subcommittee of the Minnesota State Capitol Preservation Commission. Continue reading

This Day in History: John C. Calhoun Creates the BIA; New Exhibit at All My Relations Gallery, and More

John C. Calhoun
John C. Calhoun

On this day in history, March 11, 1824, Secretary of War John C. Calhoun created the Office of Indian Affairs, which would later be renamed the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA). Calhoun, who also served as a U.S. Senator from South Carolina, is the namesake of Lake Calhoun in Minneapolis. According to Wikipedia:

[The Office of Indian Affairs] became responsible for negotiating treaties and enforcing conditions, at least for Native Americans. In 1849 the bureau was transferred to the Department of the Interior as so many of its responsibilities were related to the holding and disposition of large land assets.

A separate Wikipedia entry on Calhoun adds that Calhoun “supervised the negotiation and ratification of 38 treaties with Indian tribes.”

This Day in History: Ojibwe Cede Minnesota Land, the United States Defines What it Means to be an Ojibwe “Chief”

Also on this day in history, March 11, 1863, several Ojibwe bands signed a treaty with the United States. The TreatiesMatter.org website explains the details:

During the Dakota War of 1862, there was some dissension among the Ojibwe on which side to support: the Dakota, or the U.S. The Mille Lacs band unequivocally sided with the U.S., actively protecting white settlers and military installations. As a result, in their treaty with the U.S. in 1863, the Mille Lacs band became “unmovable,” securing their reservation against future legal maneuverings. …

The direct payments to individuals who signed the 1863 treaty were one aspect of a larger U.S. role in internal Ojibwe politics and life ways. The treaty also defined for the time in U.S. terms what an Ojibwe “chief” would be: a leader of a band of at least 50 people, who would encourage “the pursuits of civilized life,” A “board of visitors” representing Christian religious denominations would report to the Commissioner of Indian Affairs on the “qualifications and deportment of all persons residing upon the reservation.”

Click on the link above for more details.

New Exhibit Opens at All My Relations Gallery

Synthesis, the debut solo exhibition by artist Aza Erdrich, will open Friday, March 18, at All My Relations Gallery, 1414 East Franklin Ave. According to the announcement:

Erdrich shares works that pull from her life as a young woman of mixed Native and non-Native ancestry growing up in Minneapolis.  She draws influence from Anishinaabe artistic traditions and personal experience to create uniquely coded works of self and familial narrative. Aza Erdrich is

The show is guest curated by Dyani Whitehawk. There is an opening reception on Friday the 18th from 5-8 p.m.

Grand Portage Band, state diverge on collaring moose

From MPR: Last year Gov. Mark Dayton ordered the state DNR to stop collaring moose, saying the stress of the research into the declining population was harmful to the animals. The Grand Portage Band of Chippewa came to a different conclusion. Click here for full story.