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 Joseph Nayquonabe Jr. (Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe) who isthe CEO of Mille Lacs Corporate Ventures, a role where he uncovers new business opportunities as well as overseeing the band’s existing businesses. He is also an avid runner, basketball player, and Ojibwe language learner.
Joseph Nayquonabe Jr. shares how his career path went from lobbying to marketing at Grand Casino to his current role in leading economic development for his and other tribal nations. Joe explains how it’s a “cool time” to be in business in Indian Country right now.
We loved hearing about Joe’s passion for this new era of business in Indian county. He explains how Tribes are tackling problems with new perspectives, leveraging wealth attained through gaming, and bringing forward new and innovative economic opportunities. Miigwech Joe, for your commitment to sustainable and value-centered businesses that will make a positive impact in our community, long into the future.
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
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- 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.
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