As we reflect on 2017, it was a year in which people of this country gathered and championed issues they cared about with strength and determination. Discussions occurred in classrooms and boardrooms, in neighborhoods and corporate offices while citizens raised their voices in solidarity. From the efforts at Standing Rock and Mauna Kea to Honor Native Land, the Women’s March and #MeToo, there were movements seeking restitution and healing for those who justice has long alluded.
At the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, we focused on our mission and vision, and were reminded how important the values of courage, respect, gratitude, and cultural responsibility are to our work. We moved forward by providing opportunities for artists to explore their creativity, mentor apprentices, and work in communities. We brought artists and organizations together to strengthen relationships and build future partnerships. There was emphasis on illuminating the strengths and possibilities among indigenous peoples. As we move into 2018, we have never felt better. Mahalo (thank you) to all of our supporters, friends, and funders. We are grateful.
Native peoples are uncovering and reclaiming our innate Native Intelligence that has been with us for generations. Art has this special capacity to challenge us, wake us up, shift imagery, inspire powerful emotions, and point directly at social ills. Our Native communities have a wealth of cultural assets through which we can claim space and reconnect. Artists, dancers, musicians and storytellers help keep the momentum alive: a testament to the creativity and resilience of First Peoples. The 21st century is calling for a more equitable humane existence, greater sharing of resources, and a deeper appreciation of cultural differences. We appreciate all people in this country who are standing up and making a constructive difference. Let’s keep the crusade going.