Native Lights is a weekly, half-hour radio program hosted by Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe members and siblings, Leah Lemm and Cole Premo. Native Lights is a space for people in Native communities around Mni Sota Mkoce — a.k.a. Minnesota — to tell their stories about finding their gifts and sharing them with the community.
On today’s show, we talk with Christina Woods (Bois Forte Tribal Nation) who is the first Anishinaabikwe to be the Executive Director of the Duluth Art Institute. Christina is also currently performing in the play The UnPlugging presented by New Native Theatre in Minneapolis.
We caught up with Christina during a break in the rehearsal of the play, which will be performed on the site of the old Migizi building and the Gandhi Mahal restaurant, both of which were destroyed by fire and water in the uprising following the murder of George Floyd.
Christina shares her path as a teacher, media-maker, and diversity/inclusion consultant and explains how visual arts and advocacy all can work together for positive change and learning. Christina’s enthusiasm for all her cools projects is contagious. Christina was awarded an AARP 50 over 50 most influential people in MN award as a bias buster. Enjoy this fun and hilarious conversation!
More information about the Chesley Antoinette exhibition that Christina mentioned is here: https://www.duluthartinstitute.org/Steffl
Check out the play that Christina is in – The UnPlugging, by Yvette Nolan and presented by New Native Theatre at https://newnativetheatre.org/ Outdoor performances run through Sept 19th.
Native Lights: Where Indigenous Voices Shine is produced by Minnesota Native News and Ampers, Diverse Radio for Minnesota’s Communities with support from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage fund.
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More from Native Lights
- Leah and Cole: Sharing Our Gifts and PurposeOn today’s show, we turn the microphone on each other! No guest today… instead, we ask each other some questions about our own purpose and passions, starting with music.
- Christina Wood’s Gift for Busting Bias Through ArtOn today’s show, we talk with Christina Woods (Bois Forte Tribal Nation) who is the first Anishinaabikwe to be the Executive Director of the Duluth Art Institute. Christina is also currently performing in the play The UnPlugging presented by New Native Theatre in Minneapolis.
- Cece Benimon’s Gift for Connecting Kids with Culture & ConservationOn today’s show, we talk with Cece Benimon (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa) who is the family liaison for Anishinaabe Academy, a Minneapolis school with a Native-centered curriculum. Cece shares some of the different ways the school is revitalizing and Indigenizing curriculum.
- Amber Buckanaga’s Gift for Art and Fashion DesignOn today’s show, we have a fun conversation with Amber Buckanaga (Leech Lake Band) who is an artist, fashion designer, and mother. Amber left her career in education, to follow her artistic dreams, which led to sewing, then designing fashions, and eventually the runways of NYC’s fashion week!
- How Visionaries Deb Foster and Mike Laverdure Create Healing SpacesWe meet Deb Foster (Ojibwe), the Executive Director of Ain Dah Yung, and Mike Laverdure (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota), a partner with DSGW Architects. Deb Foster and Mike Laverdure both played leading roles in the creation of Mino Oski Ain Dah Yung, a beautiful new apartment building in St. Paul, where formerly homeless Native young adults can live, reconnect to culture, and get job skills. Mino Oski Ain Dah Yung opened in November of 2019.