A new alliance for Native arts addresses community needs in Minnesota. And, the Interior Department will collaborate with the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition. Here’s reporter Leah Lemm with more.
The Mnisota Native Artists Alliance launched earlier this year and seeks to advance artistic expression, support equity in the Native arts economy, and more. Graci Horne is the curator and story keeper for Mnisota Native Artists Alliance.
“We were initially kind of the brainchild of many artists, they had asked many different artists to participate in this discussion to kind of figure out what the community needs, the whole state of Minnesota. We want to unify the Native arts across Mnisota Makoce Minnesota land and strengthen the Native economy,” said Horne.
Graci Horne explains how they seek to unify artists across the state
“We are trying to make sure that we strengthen the Native art community and Native art economy by making sure that there’s more connections between the Native artists and the Native art community, and as well as the advocate for Native artists as well. We decided that we were going to bring more visibility by creating an online catalog so that people can come and view our online directory to see who was doing what and how to reach them, websites and everything,” said Horne.
The latest winter artist catalog features several artists that the public can connect with and purchase art from. Visibility is enhanced through other resources as well, like.
“A photoshoot for artists in Minnesota. We started Zoom Talks and Tea, and that is interviewing Native artists to talk about different issues that are going on kind of in our little world and our winter giving art box that we just launched,” said Horne.
The Mnisota Native Artists Alliance was formed with support from the Minnesota Indigenous Business Alliance.
Next, the Interior Department and the National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition have signed a memorandum of understanding to collaborate and share records and information in support of the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative.
The National Native American Boarding School Healing Coalition is located in Minneapolis and its goal is to work towards and implement a national strategy that increases awareness and supports healing for the trauma experienced by the many affected by the boarding school policy of 1869 in the US.
For over 150 years, hundreds of thousands of indigenous children were taken from their communities and brought to these locations where languages and beliefs were forcibly suppressed. In June Secretary Haaland announced the Federal Boarding School Initiative. Here’s Interior Secretary, Deb Haaland at the National Congress of American Indians’ mid-year conference in June.
“The department will launch the Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative. At no time in history, have the records or documentation of this policy been compiled or analyzed to determine the full scope of its reaches and effects. We must uncover the truth about the loss of human life and the lasting consequences of these schools. This investigation will identify passporting school facilities and sites, the location of known and possible burial sites located at or near school facilities and the identities and tribal affiliations of children who were taken there. I know that this process will be long and difficult,” said Haaland.
The initiative directs the Interior Department under the supervision of Assistant Secretary Bryan Newland to prepare a report by April 1st, 2022.
Leah Lemm reporting for Minnesota Native News
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