Today, I am happy to announce as our new year begins as Anishinaabe people, the award of the 2023 Bush Fellowship. There is much to reflect on already, and the fellowship has not yet officially started.
I don’t know if it has truly sunk in to say, “I am a 2023 Bush Fellow.”
Last week, we went to the headquarters of the Bush Foundation, I was eager and nervous.
Though I am not a morning person, I found myself walking around St. Paul before the cohort began, and there I came across another Bush Fellow- a very familiar face. We made some small talk, and then stated who would have thought the two of us would be there in that moment, together? Once upon a time, we were just two little scrappy rez kids, unsure of our future. For me, uncertain if there was a future. I was going through traumas in my teen years, already losing faith in myself, and in society. Yet, there were so many loving elders, including my late Grandmother- who always left her door unlocked in case someone needed a safe place to rest their head for a night and a warm pot of soup on the stove to feed their soul. (Often seasoned heavily with broth and pepper, which I often long for.) My grandparents did not have a large home, and they lived on a modest budget, yet that did not prevent generosity and kindness. Despite all the adversities they had gone through in their lives, it did not harden them, it taught them empathy, and to do what they can within their capacities. I am thankful for those lessons taught, which some have taken time to really settle into.
Every step I have taken leading up to this specific junction in my life was influenced by many people. Some of the people have walked on into the spirit world. Some people walked alongside me or led me, which could have been for longer journeys, and some for very brief moments. There were also moments where I walked alone- but the point is, I continued forward. There were many moccasins worn on this journey, and I am thankful for that ability to adapt to what is needed. As I embark on this new endeavor, I am hoping I can continue to keep that pot of soup full and ready for whomever may need it.
I am eager for this fellowship- as I intend to further my studies and explore. I will continue my work as an Independent artist as well.
Miigwech, thank you, for all the continued support.
Gigi-waabamin, see you later,
Upcoming events (Schedule May Change)
Art in the Park, Watermark Art Center, Bemidji, MN July 15-16
Pollinator Festival, St. Paul, MN, August 6th
SWAIA Indian Market, Santa Fe, NM August 19-20
Phipps Center for the Arts, May-July 2024
North Dakota Human Rights Arts & Film Festival (Statewide)
GROUNDED - CARAVAN Arts (National and International)