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.
This week on Native Lights, we speak to Vern Northrup (Fond du Lac Band of Ojibwe) who is a visual storyteller and a retired wildland firefighter. He shares his knowledge and cultural perspective of fire – from the spirit of fire to the practice of controlled burns. This is a timely conversation, as wildfires are impacting precious areas, air quality, and lives across North America.
We also talk deeply about how Vern Northrup shares his environment and what The Creator shows him through his photography. Additionally, Vern, who is one of his tribe’s Rice Chiefs, gives us an update on how the wild rice beds are doing in the Fond du Lac area.
Chi-miigwech, Vern, for taking time to share with us your words, your art, and your connection to fire.
Vern Northrup’s ‘Akinomaage’ exhibit is now showing at the Reif Gallery at the Reif Performing Arts Center.
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
- Wayne Somes: Growing Family and Cultural Bonds Through OjibwemowinToday Leah and Cole speak with Wayne Somes, a citizen of the Sault Ste Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians. Wayne shares how his passions for family, early childhood development, and Ojibwemowin have led him along a path to Northern Minnesota
- 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.