WEBINAR: Native Artists as Leaders


Please join Native Arts and Cultures Foundation for a conversation between Native artists whose practices reimagine a better world and inspire and empower others to do the same. Artists offer us a platform to see the world and possibilities through a new lens, to challenge dominant power structures, to create connection and healing. Audiences will have the opportunity to explore the lives and work of Native artists and culture bearers who, through their practices, are creating positive social change, educating and uplifting others, and strengthening communities. Moderator Christopher Morgan (Native Hawaiian) will be joined by speakers Tiokasin Ghosthorse (Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota), Lani Hotch (Chilkat-Tlingit), and Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio (Kanaka Maoili).

Registration for this event is closed!

If you missed the live version of the webinar you can still watch the recording of the panel discussion below!

Tiokasin Ghosthorse (Cheyenne River Lakota Nation of South Dakota) is an author, international speaker on Peace, Indigenous and Mother Earth perspective. A survivor of the “Reign of Terror” from 1972 to 1976 on the Pine Ridge,  Cheyenne River and Rosebud Lakota Reservations in South Dakota and the US Bureau of Indian Affairs Boarding and Church Missionary School systems designed to “kill the Indian and save the man,” Tiokasin has a long history of Indigenous activism and advocacy. He spoke as a 15 year-old at the United Nations – Lake Geneva, Switzerland. He is a board member of Simply Smiles, and Restorative Practices Alliance. Tiokasin speaks frequently at venues such as Yale University’s School of Divinity, Ecology and Forestry, Union Theological Seminary focusing on the cosmology, diversity and perspectives on the relational/egalitarian vs. rational/hierarchal thinking processes of Western society. Tiokasin was a 2016 Nominee for a Nobel Peace Prize from the International Institute of Peace Studies and Global Philosophy. He was selected for a 2016 Native Arts and Cultures Foundation National Artist Fellowship in Music, and was a Nominee for a National Endowment for the Arts National Heritage Fellowship in 2017, National Native American Hall of Fame Nominee 2018 and 2019, He also was recently nominated for “Nominee for the 2020 Americans for the Arts Johnson Fellowship for Artists Transforming Communities” and 2019 Indigenous Music Award Nominee for “Best Instrumental Album” for “From the Continuum.”  He was also awarded New York City’s Peacemaker of the Year in 2013.

Tiokasin is the Founder, Host and Executive Producer of the 29 year-old award-winning “First Voices Radio” (formerly “First Voices Indigenous Radio”), a weekly one-hour live program syndicated to over 110 public, community and commercial radio stations in the US and Canada.

A master musician and a teacher of magical, ancient and modern sounds, Tiokasin performs worldwide (over 50 countries) and has been featured at the Cathedral of Saint John the Divine, Lincoln Center, Madison Square Garden, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Ruben Museum, Morgan Library, The Apollo Theatre, and the United Nations, and uncountable universities and concert venues. Tiokasin serves on boards of several charitable organizations dedicated to bringing non-western education to Native and non-Native children. Tiokasin is “a perfectly flawed human being” and a Sundancer in the cosmology of the Lakota Nation.

Learn more about Tiokasin: firstvoicesindigenousradio.org

Lani Hotch (Chilkat-Tlingit) was born in Klukwan, Alaska in 1956 and comes from a line of weavers that spans five generations. She is committed to keeping the weaving tradition alive in Klukwan and has worked hard to teach others through group projects and two apprenticeships.

Lani has helped to weave three group projects and has done many solo projects including six robes and one dance tunic. Her work is in several museums including the Alaska State Museum (Juneau AK), Sheldon Museum (Haines AK), and the Jilkaat Kwaan Heritage Center (Klukwan AK). Her weavings have also been in several international art exhibits— two in Vancouver BC- the Manawa Pacific Heartbeat exhibit 2005, and the Time Warp exhibit 2010-2011, and the Spirit Wraps Around YouChilkat and Ravenstail Weaving Exhibit at the (Juneau) Alaska State Museum 2021. Awards/Recognition include: Community Spirit Award from the First Peoples Fund in 2011, the Alaska Governor’s Award for the Arts in 2017, Native Arts and Cultures Foundation’s Mentor Artist Fellowship in 2017, and a United States Artist Fellowship in 2020. In 2017 the Chilkat Indian Village proclaimed Lani as a Culture Bearer for her tribe.

Learn more about Lani: lanihotch-northwestcoasttextilearts.com/

Dr. Jamaica Heolimeleikalani Osorio (Kanaka Maoili) is a Kanaka Maoli wahine artist / activist / scholar / storyteller born and raised in Pālolo Valley to parents Jonathan and Mary Osorio. Heoli earned her PhD in English (Hawaiian literature) in 2018 from the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Currently, Heoli is an Assistant Professor of Indigenous and Native Hawaiian Politics at the University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa. Heoli is a three-time national poetry champion, poetry mentor and a published author. In 2020 her poetry and activism were the subject of an award-winning film, This is the Way we Rise (directed by Ciara Lacey)which was featured in Vogue.com and at Sundance Film Festival.  She is a proud past Kaiāpuni student, Ford fellow, and a graduate of Kamehameha, Stanford University (BA) and New York University (MA). Her book Remembering our Intimacies: Moʻolelo, Aloha ʻĀina, and Ea was published in  2021 by The University of Minnesota Press.

Learn more about Jamaica: jamaicaosorio.wordpress.com/

MODERATOR: Christopher Kaui Morgan (Native Hawaiian) 
Director of NACF’s Center for Native Arts and Cultures

Christopher Kaui Morgan (Native Hawaiian) joined Native Arts and Cultures Foundation in 2021 as the first Director of The Center for Native Arts and Cultures. A choreographer, educator, facilitator, curator, and arts administrator, Christopher served as Executive Artistic Director of Dance Place in Washington, D.C., from 2017-2021. From 2006-2021 he directed Art Omi: Dance, an annual collaborative residency for international choreographers in Ghent, New York. Teaching credits include American University (2011-14) and the BA and MFA programs at the University of Maryland (2014-17). Christopher continues to direct his eponymous dance focused multi-disciplinary performance company Christopher K. Morgan & Artists, which he founded in 2011. Christopher is on the board of the National Performance Network, the Advisory Council for the America 250 Commemoration, and has been nominated by President Joseph Biden to join the National Council on the Arts. Known as a thoughtful advocate for cultural integrity, inclusivity, and diverse representation in the studio and on stage, his Native Hawaiian ancestry and wide-ranging international performance career influence all aspects of his work.