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 Leya Hale (Sisseton Wahpeton Dakota and Diné Nations), a producer for Twin Cities PBS, who is known for her feature documentary, The People’s Protectors, a Vision Maker Media grant production, and winner of the 2019 Upper Midwest Emmy Award for Outstanding Cultural Documentary.
In 2020, Leya was awarded the Sundance Institute Merata Mita Fellowship for Indigenous Artists and attended the 2020 Berlinale European Film Market as a NATIVe Fellow.
Most recently, Leya Hale completed her second feature, Bring Her Home, a powerful and hopeful documentary that highlights the stories of three women fighting to vindicate and honor their missing and murdered relatives, while shining a light on this growing epidemic across Indian country.
We loved hearing how Leya carved her path to becoming a Director/Producer, how she uncovered her unique voice and vision, and how she shares her gifts by encouraging and mentoring other young Indigenous filmmakers.
Bring Her Home premiered at the 2022 Big Sky Documentary Film Festival and is now being distributed nationally by PBS. Find out how you can watch the film here: https://www.tpt.org/bring-her-home/video/bring-her-home-hf8spa/
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
- Thomasina TopBear: Empowering Community Through ArtShe specializes in large-scale murals; her work can be seen on the sides of buildings throughout the Twin Cities and the country.
- Tabitha Chilton’s Gift for Building Access & Trust in Healthcare SystemsLeah and Cole chat with Tabitha Chilton, a White Earth Nation member who serves as Sanford Health’s Native American patient advocate in Bemidji, Minnesota. Tabitha’s focus on outpatient care at the Joe Lueken Cancer Center helps Native communities access healthcare throughout Northern Minnesota
- Jewell Arcoren: Healing With Language and The Next GenerationJewell is a community activist and the Executive Director for Wicoie Nandagikendan, an Ojibwe and Dakota language immersion preschool in Minneapolis. There, she pursues her commitments to early childhood education, language revitalization and addressing intergenerational historical trauma.
- Sasheen Goslin & Deanna Reder Bring Their Distinct Abilities to the Team at AICHOSasheen Goslin and Deanna Reder from the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO) in Duluth. They are two members of the small team at AICHO that is dedicated to all aspects of wellness for the Indigenous communities in Duluth.
- Annie Humphrey’s Gift for Living With Care and EmpathyAnnie talks about her latest album Eat What You Kill, building a hemp house, and the upcoming benefit show for the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO)’s Dabinoo’Igan Domestic Violence Shelter expansion.