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
- Leah and Cole: Sharing Our Gifts and PurposeOn today’s show, we turn the microphone on each other! No guest today… instead, we ask each other some questions about our own purpose and passions, starting with music.
- Christina Wood’s Gift for Busting Bias Through ArtOn today’s show, we talk with Christina Woods (Bois Forte Tribal Nation) who is the first Anishinaabikwe to be the Executive Director of the Duluth Art Institute. Christina is also currently performing in the play The UnPlugging presented by New Native Theatre in Minneapolis.
- Cece Benimon’s Gift for Connecting Kids with Culture & ConservationOn today’s show, we talk with Cece Benimon (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa) who is the family liaison for Anishinaabe Academy, a Minneapolis school with a Native-centered curriculum. Cece shares some of the different ways the school is revitalizing and Indigenizing curriculum.
- Amber Buckanaga’s Gift for Art and Fashion DesignOn today’s show, we have a fun conversation with Amber Buckanaga (Leech Lake Band) who is an artist, fashion designer, and mother. Amber left her career in education, to follow her artistic dreams, which led to sewing, then designing fashions, and eventually the runways of NYC’s fashion week!
- How Visionaries Deb Foster and Mike Laverdure Create Healing SpacesWe meet Deb Foster (Ojibwe), the Executive Director of Ain Dah Yung, and Mike Laverdure (Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians in North Dakota), a partner with DSGW Architects. Deb Foster and Mike Laverdure both played leading roles in the creation of Mino Oski Ain Dah Yung, a beautiful new apartment building in St. Paul, where formerly homeless Native young adults can live, reconnect to culture, and get job skills. Mino Oski Ain Dah Yung opened in November of 2019.