A new initiative focused on enhancing reporting on violence against native women and girls in the United States has chosen a new director. And the Minnesota Historical Society announces recipients for the 2021 Native American Artist-in-Residence Program.
Tara Gatewood, who is Isleta Pueblo and Dine’, will be stepping down as the regular host of Native America Calling from the Koahnic Broadcast Corporation. The familiar radio voice who’s been hosting the live call-in radio show for 16 years will soon be heading up a multifaceted program to grow the work around reporting on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls with the International Women’s Media Foundation.
Native America Calling announced on social media that there’ll be looking for a new host. Current staff will be hosting in the interim, and Tara Gatewood will continue to host select shows.
Next, the Minnesota Historical Society in St. Paul recently announced the three recipients for the 2021 Native American Artists-in-Residence program. The six month paid residency is designed to help revitalize traditional forms of native art.
The three artists are Jennie Kappenman, Matt Pendleton, and Laverne Whitebear.
Jennie Kappenman is a citizen of the Red Lake band of Chippewa and will study Ojibwe jingle dresses from the 1920s to now, including many aspects such as the evolution, style and construction. Jennie would like to instruct future learners on the etiquette, responsibility and process of making a jingle dress.
Matt Pendleton is a member of the Lower Sioux Indian community of the Mdewakanton Dakota Cansa’yapi. Matt plans to use his residency to construct a Dakota dugout canoe and a Birch bark canoe.
LaVerne Whitebear is a member of the Fort Peck Assiniboine and Sioux tribes. LaVerne will continue her work with telling stories through embroidery quillwork. Residents will share the knowledge they gain by developing programming in their home communities and for the public.
Next, the Native Lights Radio and Podcast Program recently had Vern Northrup on as a guest. He’s a retired wildland firefighter, and we talked about the fires in Canada and out west. Vern had great insights and perspectives into the significance of fire. Here’s a portion of the conversation.
Leah: We’ve talked before, Vern, that you have this kinship with fire. You’re a retired wildland firefighter. What are you thinking now with what’s happening with the fires in Canada and being able to smell that smoke where you are?
Vern Northrup: Fire, we’ve always considered it a spirit. It’s very a ancient, powerful spirit. Right now, with the way that the Earth has been drying out with the higher temperatures where the trees are stressed out, I’d like to think of it as a cleansing fire, but it is pretty destructive. There’s people in homes in the way. This is going to continue like this for a while until we change a lot of things, but this is going to accelerate. The spirit itself, fire, we need to respect it for what it is. It is a spirit and we need also to honor it.
For more of the conversation with retired wildland firefighter and visual artist, Vern Northrup, head to MinnesotaNativeNews.org.
Leah Lemm Reporting for Minnesota Native News