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Canku Ota

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(Many Paths)

An Online Newsletter Celebrating Native America


January 24, 2004 - Issue 105


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First People’s Fund Announces its 2004 Community Spirit Awards Recipients

credits: Quilt by: Ollie Napesni, Sicangu Lakota

The First People’s Fund is pleased to announce its 2004 Community Spirit Awards recipients. Five American Indian artists from throughout the United States have been selected based on their commitment to sustaining the artistic and cultural traditions in their communities.

Adeline Miller
(Pauite,Wasco, Sahaptin)
Warm Springs, Oregon Fiber arts/weaving, beadwork, traditional songs
Ollie Napesni
(Sicangu Lakota)
St. Francis, South Dakota Beadwork, quilting, dolls
Pete Peterson, Sr.
Hoodsport, Washington Coast Salish Carver; bentwood boxes/masks
Lyn Risling
McKinleyville, California Ceremonial Regalia, painter
Donald and Mary Sanipass
(Aroostook Band of Micmacs)
Presque Isle, Maine Brown Ash Basketry

Quilt by: Ollie Napesni, Sicangu LakotaThe First People’s Fund first established this prestigious national award in 1999 to recognize five artists who selflessly teach their art to others. The artists are nominated first by members of their communities and then an independent panel of American Indian reviewers selects those that most exemplify the idea of community spirit. What sets the Community Spirit Awards apart from other national awards is that the recipients are not selected based on a long resume of art shows, exhibitions and awards. Rather, these artists are recognized because of mentoring and teaching efforts.

“We believe that artists play an important role in sustaining Indian communities. Through their artistic creations, they help the people to know who they are, where they come from and where they are going. Whether these artists are producing items for ceremonial, decorative or utilitarian use, they are carrying on the spirituality, life ways, histories and traditions of their tribes,” says Lori Pourier, Executive Director. “The First People’s Fund is honored to be able to recognize these talented people who are living examples of generosity, responsibility and strength.”

The 2004 recipients will each receive a $5,000 award to help them practice their art, and will be presented with their awards at a special ceremony at the Journey Museum in Rapid City, South Dakota on December 4, 2003. Special guest performers include Ulali (a trio, Pura Fe, 1999 CSA recipient, Jennifer and Soni) and Vanessa Short Bull, dancer and former Miss South Dakota. The ceremony is being held in conjunction with an exhibit entitled Deep Roots at the Sioux Indian Museum (located in the Journey Museum) of the 2001-2002 CSA recipients. Hulleah Tsinhnahjinnie (1999 Recipient) photographer traveled to the homelands of each artists photographing them in their environment. Her photos will accompany their art.

Sponsors are the Rapid City Mayor’s Office, the Journey Museum, Sioux Indian Museum, The Dahl Arts Center, the Radisson, Enigma Restaurant, Simpson’s Printing, Native Voice, Alex Johnson Hotel, Nakota Designs, Solider Woman Gallery and Wells Fargo Bank.

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