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Nizhoni Ward, Feature Editor
Nizhoni Ward is a member of the Navajo Nation. She currently is the Feature Editor of her school newspaper the Voyager. Writing can come in many forms, languages, and context. One thing that’ll always be crucial is knowing what’s going on around you and in our world. Writing is a passion of mine and I look forward to sharing it with you all.
Darren James is a member of the Cote First Nation. He is an award-winning director, writer, and the head of Stop the Bomb Productions. An independent Native American filmmaker, with a background in music, he brings original storytelling and powerful visual communication to the screen. His most recent film, Altruist, won the Best Windy City Short Film award at the Chicago International Arthouse Film Festival/Blow Up Film Fest.
Patti Steuber – Custom Artwork Creations
Murals, painting on old antique windows, mirrors, or watercolors of your home, just a few things I create.
Ashley Houghton is a printmaker and founder of Language Tools Residency through her press, Player 1 Press. Language Tools Residency is a space for artists, writers, and educators who speak endangered languages to publish language tools, games, books and reimagine/question how we learn languages.
Ashley, a citizen of the Mvskoke Nation, was inspired to create such a space after beginning to learn the Mvskoke Language. The funds provided by CAC’s MAKER Grant will go towards the completion of a Mvskoke Word Game that she developed with the help of the Mvskoke Language Program.
Tribal Affiliation: Dakota
Robert Wapahi, a member of the Dakota Santee Nation grew up on the Santee Indian Reservation in Nebraska. He was a U.S. Army combat soldier in Vietnam. In the early 1990’s he moved to Chicago and discovered the American Indian Center Chicago where he felt at home and started painting murals in their three story building on Wilson Avenue in Chicago.
Wapahi’s drawings and paintings reflect on his Dakota Santee heritage and the roles of ancestors as story keepers and spiritual guides. His drawings and paintings have been exhibited at the Illinois State Museum galleries in Chicago and Lockport, Mitchell Museum of the American Indian, Trickster Gallery, and American Indian Center of Chicago.
Maria White Cedar Woman
Tribal Affiliation: White Earth Ojibwe
Call 773-715-6567 or Email [email protected]
Maria “White cedar woman” is an indigenous woman who is from the Arikara tribe of Fort Berthold reservation in North Dakota and Ojibwe from Red Lake, Minnesota. She was raised on the reservation in North Dakota and had big city dreams. She went on to college in Chicago, Il where she earned her bachelor’s degree in Early Childhood Education and English as a second language. She is married to her best friend Joel and has two daughters Aiyanna and Ayasha that keep her plenty busy. She teaches Preschool in Illinois where she seen the need for books that represent Native American children as people of today. She wrote this book based on her experiences as a child with her grandmother and her two daughter’s experiences with their adventurous grandmother Peggy as well. This is her story that she hopes to inspire more Native American children to dream big. Miigwetch (thank you)!
Performing Arts, Children’s Book Author and Culture
Tribal Affiliation: Keweenaw Bay Indian
Call 224-515-0057 or email [email protected]
Le’Ana Asher is an award-winning contemporary artist known for her powerful representations of Native American culture. With a profound connection to her Ojibwe heritage, she creates vibrant and evocative paintings that explore themes of memory, identity, and resiliency.
Fine art – contemporary, oil painting
Tribal Affiliation: Afro-indigenous, Citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag
Email [email protected]
Zoë Harris is a Community Health Sciences PhD student at the UIC School of Public Health. She is a citizen of the Mashpee Wampanoag Tribe and has worked with her own tribal community as well as urban Native populations in Boston and Chicago on topics of education, health promotion, and language preservation, specifically among youth populations. Zoë is also a Jamaican citizen and has family roots in Selma, Alabama. Therefore, she strives to educate people on the unique experiences of afro-indigenous people to shed light on the lateral oppression that exists in these communities. In addition to her work on indigenous wellness systems, she has also worked on projects related to suicide prevention, social determinants of health, and racism as a public health issue.
“I had never thought of myself as an artist. I picked up weaving in the summer of 2020 from my sister and have been doing it ever since. For me, it is not so much about the art but the connection that comes with weaving. Whether it is connecting with other Native art makers, following basket weavers from around Turtle Island on Instagram, or making baskets for friends and family, I have always enjoyed the camaraderie more than anything. The weaving is just a bonus.”
Tribal Affiliation: Klamath, Northern Paiute
Traditional Arts – techniques that reflect cultural traditions, such as beadwork, quillwork, basketry, pottery, drums, rattles, textiles, leatherwork, traditional jewelry, etc., Fine Arts – contemporary arts suchas paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, contemporary jewelry design, etc. I use painting, drawing, bead weaving to make narrative work that focuses on family relationships, loss, and the contemporary Native American experience. I am also a contracted teaching artist.
Felicia Peters (Menominee, Santo Domingo Pueblo)
Felicia is the Project Coordinator for the ISTEAM project and is a former middle school Math and Science teacher.
Filiberto Barajas-Lopez, Purépecha
Filiberto is an associate professor of Curriculum & Instruction and Learning Sciences & Human Development as well as the director of the Indigenous Education Initiative at the University of Washington
Forrest Bruce (Ojibwe)
Forrest is a PhD student in Learning Sciences at Northwestern University
Anna Lees (Little Traverse Bay Bands of Odawa)
Anna Lees is an associate professor and director of Early Childhood Education at Western Washington University.
Nikki McDaid-Barry (Shoshone-Bannock Tribes)
Nikki is a PhD Candidate in the Learning Sciences at Northwestern University, and will be an assistant professor of Environmental Justice Education at UCLA beginning Fall 2023.
Pamela Silas (Menominee, Oneida)
Pamala is an enrolled member of the Menominee Tribe of Wisconsin and a descendant of the Oneida Tribe. She holds a BS, Economics, DePaul University and is a Certified Association Executive. Pam is currently the Associate Director for outreach and engagement at the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University and Chair of Visionary Ventures NFP. Her former work as a national leader included Executive Director of the National American Indian Housing Council, Executive Director for Native American Journalist Association, CEO of American Indian Science and Engineering Society as well as volunteer leadership on numerous boards, councils and advisories spanning her long professional career. Since early adulthood, she and her family has been active in her tribal heritage as well as her intertribal community in Chicago. She is a grandmother, an auntie and continues to support a vision for a strong, healthy and thriving Chicago Native American community.
Jordan Gurneau (Ojibwe)
Jordan Gurneau is an enrolled member of the Anishinaabe in the federally recognized tribe St Croix Chippewas of Wisconsin. He was born and raised in Chicago, a survivor of the Chicago Public School system. He graduated high school at Flandreau Indian School in South Dakota, attended Haskell Indian Nations for a semester before returning to Chicago to continue his college education at City Colleges of Chicago. He earned his Associate of Science degree in 2017, and his Bachelor of Science degree in environmental science from Northeastern Illinois University in 2020. Jordan is currently a graduate student at Northwestern University in a PhD program for environmental engineering working under Dr. Aaron Packman (McCormick School of Engineering). Jordan’s research interests include wetland ecosystem monitoring using remote sensing methods. He also hopes to help aid tribal efforts to conserve and protect Manoomin, a traditional first food, using remote sensing techniques. Jordan is a father of two young children and a husband to a beautiful Oneida matriarch. His goal is to continue pursuing research after earning his PhD from Northwestern and hopefully become a faculty member himself all to reciprocate the knowledge and opportunities he received on his journey.
Dr. Megan Bang (Ojibwe)
Megan Bang (Ojibwe and Italian descent) is a Professor of the Learning Sciences and Director of the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research. Dr. Bang studies dynamics of culture, learning, and development broadly with a specific focus on the complexities of navigating multiple meaning systems in creating and implementing more effective and just learning environments in science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics education. She focuses on reasoning and decision-making about complex socio-ecological systems in ways that intersect with culture, power, and historicity. Central to this work are dimensions of identity, equity and community engagement. She works closely with Indigenous communities. She conducts research in both schools and informal settings across the life course. She has taught in and conducted research in teacher education as well as leadership preparation programs. Dr. Bang currently serves on the Board of Science Education at the National Academy of Sciences and is a member of the National Academy of Education.
Dr. Kimberly Suiseeya
Dr. Kimberly Marion Suiseeya, Assistant Professor of Political Science and Environmental Policy & Culture, Faculty Affiliate, Center for Native American and Indigenous Research, Northwestern University | Kimberly Marion Suiseeya is an environmental social scientist with expertise in environmental justice, global environmental politics, environmental governance, Indigenous politics, and interdisciplinary, community-driven research. Her research examines how Indigenous communities shape and are impacted by multilateral environmental agreements like the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. She is a Commission Member of the IUCN’s Commission on Environmental, Economic, and Social Policy, a Research Fellow with the Earth System Governance project, and a member of the Earth System Governance project’s Planetary Justice Taskforce. Dr. Marion Suiseeya is also an experienced policy practitioner who has worked and conducted research in Guyana, Laos, Thailand, Myanmar, and the US. She received a BA from Scripps College, a MA in International Environmental Policy from the Middlebury Institute of International Affairs, and a PhD in Environment from Duke University. She grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah.
Katherine (Kat) is a Research Administrator at the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University (NU). She grew up in Chicago and her parents are migrants from Guerrero and San Luis Potosi in Mexico. She has a B.S. in Human Communication Sciences from Northwestern and is also completing her M.S. in Higher Education Administration and Policy Program in the School of Education and Social Policy. She has worked on different types of research projects in psychology and education before coming to CNAIR. She also enjoys being part of the Indigenous Graduate Student Collective (IGSC) and the CNAIR community on campus! She is very excited to support the CNAIR team in a research capacity and serve as a resource for faculty and students!
Shannon Epplett (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa)
Shannon Epplett (Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa) is an Assistant Professor in the School of Theatre and Dance at Illinois State University, where he teaches theatre history, devised performance, and Native American popular culture. He received his Ph.D. from University of Illinois. His research focuses on the history of Chicago’s theatre community, and on Native American representation in contemporary culture. He is currently developing a performance piece based on the life of Anishinaabe poet Jane Johnston Schoolcraft.
Jennifer Michals is white and intertribal (Lac Courte Oreilles Ojibwe, Kickapoo and member of the Citizen Nation Potawatomi). She is the daughter of Adelle (Austin) and George Michals. Her maternal grandparents are Clara (Bissonette) and Thomas Austin, both survivors of Haskell Indian Boarding School. Jennifer earned her BA and MA in Sociology from DePaul University. She draws on over 25 years of experience in higher education (teaching, advising, administration) to support university-wide diversity and inclusion initiatives. Her involvement in Indigenous curriculum projects embraces Indigenous ways of knowing, being and healing.
Dr. Rose Miron is the Director of the D’Arcy McNickle Center for American Indian and Indigenous Studies at the Newberry Library in Chicago and Affiliate Faculty in the Center for Native American and Indigenous Research at Northwestern University. Her academic research explores Indigenous history and public memory within the Northeast and the Great Lakes regions She holds a BA in History and a Ph.D. in American Studies from the University of Minnesota.
Meredith McCoy (Turtle Mountain Ojibwe Descent)
Meredith McCoy is an Assistant Professor of American Studies and History at Carleton College. Meredith is of Turtle Mountain Ojibwe descent, and her father, David McCoy, is an enrolled Turtle Mountain citizen. She holds a Ph.D. in American Studies with a concentration in American Indian and Indigenous Studies from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where she was also graduated from the North Carolina Native Leadership Institute.
Grant Showalter-Swanson, non-native, is a Doctor of Philosophy student in Theological and Ethical Studies at Garrett Seminary focusing on Indigenous Theology, Decolonial Theory, and Theopoetics. Grant is also a Cultural Change Committee Member on the Dismantling the Doctrine of Discovery Coalition. He holds a Master of Divinity from Garrett Seminary, a Master of Arts in English from the Middlebury College, and a Bachelor of Arts in English from North Central College. Grant taught for four years at St Francis Indian School on the Rosebud Reservation in South Dakota and took teaching certification courses at Sinte Gleska University.
Jessica Hopkins (Choctaw Nation Oklahoma)
Jessica Hopkins is a member of the Choctaw Tribe of Oklahoma and a current student seeking a masters in Public Ministry. Her vocational calling is to pursue social justice through research, with interests in Indigenous identity and sovereignty with an intersecting focus on environmental justice.
Dr. Timothy Eberhart
Timothy Reinhold Eberhart is the Robert and Marilyn Degler McClean associate professor of ecological theology and practice at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, where he directs the Master of Arts in Public Ministry program and the Center for Ecological Regeneration.
Stephanie Perdew (Cherokee Nation Citizen)
I am a Cherokee Nation citizen, born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska. I serve as an affiliate professor of history at Garrett Seminary, and ordained minister in the United Church of Christ. I serve on the Board of Directors of the Mitchell Museum of the American Indian in Evanston, Illinois and I co-chair Garrett Seminary’s Indigenous Study Committee.
Lori Klein (Oneida Nation of Wisconsin)
Lori Klein is the Oneida language and culture teacher at the Indian Community School. She is a member of the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin, and grew up in and around the Milwaukee area. She lived and worked in the Chicago American Indian community in education for several years, which greatly influenced her practice as an educator.
Isabel St. Arnold (Keweenaw Bay Ojibwe)
Isabel St. Arnold is Keweenaw Bay Ojibwe and is from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. She recently graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Social Policy and Native American and Indigenous Studies. She is now the Ojibwe Language and Culture Apprentice at the Indian Community School where she also attended as a student.
Vincent G. Romero
Tribal Affiliation: Pueblo of Laguna
Call 505-659-1112 or email [email protected]
Stone’R Designs showcases my jewelry work that was inspired by the years working with my mother and siblings when I was a teenager. She would fill large orders of southwest style jewelry to galleries and we would help using a lazy susan pie plate for production. My designs are both traditional and contemporary styles with natural materials such as stone, bone, crystals, shells, leather and glass.
I also write poetry and do performance poetry, as well as storytelling. Stories range from history presentations to children’s stories. I coordinate poetry workshops for my community and other groups that cover issues of personal experience, traditional values and lessons, humor and horror. I’m from the Pueblo of Laguna and also I’m a Dine’ descendant, a Navy veteran and a longtime Chicago community member. You can visit Vince’s Etsy shop here.
Traditional Arts – techniques that reflect cultural traditions, such as beadwork, quillwork, basketry, pottery, drums, rattles, textiles, leatherwork, traditional jewelry, etc.
Tribal Affiliation: Dakota
Han. Norma Robertson emaciyapi. I’m an enrolled member of the Sisseton-Wahpeton Oyate, Lake Traverse Reservation, Sisseton, South Dakota. Beading has been a gift to me from my Kunsi, which I have passed on to my daughters and others.
As a teenager I became interested in learning how to bead and my Kunsi Ella Wanna taught be some basic techniques. She also told me “You learn to do this and you’ll never go hungry.” Today, I’ve beaded amulets for all my grandchildren that hold their umbilical cord, and then their first pair of moccasins.
Tradational Arts, Beadwork
Nora Moore Lloyd
Tribal Affiliation: Obwibwe
Call 773-508-5828 or email [email protected]
Nora Moore Lloyd creates artwork with an emphasis on indigenous cultures, nature, and documenting community and family history through traditional storytelling and photos.
Combining her interest in history with photography projects, her artistic focus is to tell first-voice stories through images. She has exhibited at Chicago museums and galleries, in Bolivia and Guatemala and Hungary and is represented in private collections. Nora’s website is nativepics.org.
Annabelle Two-Rivers Broeffle
Tribal Affiliation: Ojibwe and Menominee
Call 312-826-3204 or email [email protected]
Chicago-based designer, Annabelle Broeffle has been honing her graphic skills since 2016. Broeffle received her BFA from St. Norbert College in May of 2020. She creates various artworks like paintings, photography, animation, and multimedia collage work. The types of inspiration Broeffle finds tend to come from a mix of artists and designers that include Paula Scher, Francis Bacon, and Marshall McLuhan. Currently, Broeffle’s work is design-based, both graphically and physically. Combining an abstract and modern editorial feel, Annabelle creates work that inspires others and connects with her viewers through thought-provoking emotion.
Recently, she has been creating work that is based and focused on the indigenous peoples from around the world, it is creating a series of both graphic and fine art that revolves around the beauty and gracefulness of indigenous women. Annabelle’s evolution to graphic design has introduced her to new methods of art and allows her to express her messages in many more effective and bold ways. Her use of abstraction challenges viewers and invites them to look deeper into a new meaning of work. Visit Annabelle’s website for more of her work.
Fine Arts – contemporary arts such as paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, contemporary jewelry design, etc.,
Media Arts – technological arts, such as film, video, digital and audio works, documentary, experimental, animation, narrative works, etc.,
Multidisciplinary – mixed media
Tribal Affiliation: Citizen Potawatomi Nation
Call 773-486-3747 or email [email protected]
A member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation and professional photographer, Sharon Hoogstraten has spent a decade creating formal portraits of fellow Potawatomis. This legacy project spans all nine Potawatomi Nations and is our gift to the future seven generations. Focusing on both the traditional and contemporary aspects of regalia, it is also a declaration of continued existence.
WE ARE STILL HERE! Her nearly life-sized portraits have been widely exhibited and collected. A book, Dancing for Our Tribe: Potawatomi Tradition in the New Millennium is scheduled for 2021 publication. She lives in Chicago/Shikaakwa, homeland of her ancestors. Visit Sharon’s website for more of her photography.
Fine Arts – contemporary arts such as paintings, drawings, sculpture, photography, contemporary jewelry design, etc.
Joe Yazzie is a master artist who loves teaching community members to transfer knowledge from one generation to another generation. For the last 20 years he has worked to advance opportunities for Native peoples and people of color, through his art.
Joseph Podlasek is a citizen of the LCO Ojibwe Tribe in Northern WI and is also of Polish descent. He is the father of three great children. Mr. Podlasek (Joe P), a fellow of the Leadership of Greater Chicago and FBI Citizen Leadership Academy, moved in July 2012 full time to establish the Trickster Cultural Center, a 10,000 sq. ft. facility and nonprofit organization in Schaumburg IL.
He has produced 6 great films from the opening of the Smithsonian to five documentaries, and one full film on D-Day’s 75th Anniversary.