My name is Marshall McKay and I am honored to lend my support as the Chairman of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation Board of Directors. As the son of renowned healer and basket weaver Mabel McKay, I understand and respect artistic vision and practice.
Through our artforms, Native people have described our agonies, mobilized for our struggles, talked of our cosmologies and world-views, transmitted our histories and celebrated our joys and our hopes. Our arts and cultural expressions are the key to the very survival of American Indian, Alaska Native, Native Hawaiian and in fact, all cultures.
For me, the significance of keeping our stories, art, language and culture alive is personal, because it is central to our own survival as a people. It reflects the promise we have made to generations of storytellers and culture keepers – the promise that we will carry the knowledge of our traditions on into perpetuity – to preserve the core of who we are as Native people.
The leadership of my nation agrees that if we are to continue as indigenous people, we need a living culture and a thriving arts scene. That’s why the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation was among the first Native Nations to donate and help this foundation get started. From those early years to now, the foundation has become a vital source of support for Native artists, communities and organizations. I am grateful for your interest in the work of the Native Arts and Cultures Foundation, and invite you to participate with us in our mission however you may.
NACF Board Chairman Marshall McKay
Tribal Chairman of the Yocha Dehe Wintun Nation