Ronald Paquin is an artist whose mastery of a number of Indigenous art practices is well-known. Michigan State University has awarded him a Master Artist Grant nine times and the Ziibiwing Cultural Center of the Saginaw Chippewa Indian Tribe commissioned him to create over 70 items for the collection. His work has been recognized by two different artist awards from the First People’s Fund.
Poet Natalie Diaz attended Old Dominion University on a full athletic scholarship. After playing professional basketball in Austria, Portugal, Spain, Sweden, and Turkey she returned to ODU for an MFA in writing. Her publications include Prairie Schooner, Iowa Review, Crab Orchard Review, among others. Her work was selected by Natasha Trethewey, 2012 U.S. Poet Laureate, for Best New Poets. She has received the Nimrod/Hardman Pablo Neruda Prize for Poetry, and her debut book, When My Brother Was An Aztec, was published by the prestigious Copper Canyon Press.
Building from a renowned lineage of musicians with unique guitar tunings, including his father Gabby Pahinui, slack-key master Cyril Pahinui has developed a distinctive style that is instantly recognizable and imparts an intimate picture of his island home. His soulful baritone voice brings a deeply personal emotion to everything he sings.
Andrew Okpeaha MacLean is a film director and screenwriter creating works in international filmmaking arenas. His films are set in his homeland, shot on location in Barrow, Alaska, starring Iñupiat people. They are among the first feature films produced in the Iñupiaq language.
Alan Michelson lives and works in New York City. Through his conceptual work, he develops his pieces employing various mediums. “My understanding of place and history is shaped and conditioned by Haudenosaunee concepts and perspectives. The forms that I invent are often based on Haudenosaunee cultural models like wampum belts, blended with media or materials from the dominant culture such as video or glass,” said Michelson. “My work is grounded in place and informed by history, and therefore research is an integral part of my practice.”
Christen Marquez is a young filmmaker working to dispel the “Exotic Other” myths that surround indigenous peoples. “Through the fusion of cultures in my work, I intend to carry the message of non-indigenous and indigenous communities alike, that we refuse to be fossilized,” said Marquez.