In Native Lights, people in Native communities around Mni Sota Mkoce - a.k.a. Minnesota - tell their stories about finding their gifts and sharing them with the community. These are stories of joy, strength, history, and change from Native people who are shaping the future and honoring those who came before them.
Native Lights is also a weekly, half-hour radio program hosted by Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe members and siblings, Leah Lemm and Cole Premo. Native Lights is a space for people in Native communities.
Native Lights: Where Indigenous Voices Shine is produced by Minnesota Native News and Ampers, Diverse Radio for Minnesota’s Communities with support from the Minnesota Arts and Cultural Heritage fund. Online at https://minnesotanativenews.org/
Levi Brown’s Gift for Building Relationships Across the Table
Today we’re speaking with Levi Brown, Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe citizen and Director of Tribal Affairs at the Minnesota Department of Transportation (MnDot). Levi talks with Leah and Cole about acknowledgement on a person-to-person level and on an institutional level. In his current position at MnDot, Levi helped facilitate the highway signs marking the 1854 Treaty boundaries in Northern MN, a step toward acknowledgment and a point of education. Levi is also a part of the Tribal State Relationship Training Program that helps develop collaboration and understanding between tribes and Minnesota state departments.
Elaine Fleming: Celebrating and Sharing the Culture of Leech Lake
Today Leah and Cole chat with Elaine Fleming. She teaches and preserves Leech Lake Ojibwe culture, history, and language. Elaine proudly lives in Cass Lake, where she has been an instructor at Leech Lake Tribal College for 29 years.
Amber Annis: Nurturing & Protecting Authentic Narratives
Today Leah and Cole chat with Amber Annis, a Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe citizen who is currently the director of Native American Initiative at the Minnesota Historical Society. Amber has a long history not only as a public historian, but as an educator, tribal nation liaison, community engagement specialist and collaborator.
Jada Brown: Expression and Affirmation Through Singing
Today Leah and Cole have a conversation with Jada Brown. Jada is a Minneapolis-based singer, songwriter and spoken word poet who is affiliated with the Turtle Mountain Band of Ojibwe.
Karen Jones and Stephanie Longfield: Taking Initiative for Future Generations
Today Leah shares her conversations with Karen Jones and Stephanie Longfield from White Earth Nation’s cohort of Indigenous Parent Leadership Initiative (IPLI). As graduates of the initiative, they’ve begun projects to deepen connections between their communities and culture.
Jessica Glidden: Fostering Native Leadership
Today Leah and Cole chat with Jessica Glidden (Bois Forte). Jessica is the Program Manager at the Native Governance Center (NGC). She shares her thoughts about Native identity, moving away from colonized ways and the Native Rebuilders cohort. Native Rebuilders is a leadership development program for Indigenous changemakers. The program aims to strengthen Native leaders and changemakers and gives them the tools to better their communities.