Current Beat: Host Of “Rise” On VICELAND and creating art that reflects and reclaims ourselves as Indigenous peoples.
Heritage: Ojibway with the luck of the Irish.
Current location: Indian Country by way of Toronto, ON.
Describe yourself in 1 word or sentence: AnishinaabeKwe // Free Spirit
You’re an unstoppable powerhouse. How do you balance all your talents and interests? Balance is something that’s very much in motion. In dance, I find balance in the fierce, visceral bursts of movement and solace in the moments of stillness. I’ve always been told to concentrate on one thing at a time but I like to focus on whatever is most important in the moment; I constantly utilize different mediums to tell stories. I have a lot of energy, so this way of life is just my natural rhythm.
Which aspect of your work is most challenging?
Balancing my role within my community, ceremony, and my visible artistic work. When I was a young child I made a commitment to my people, my lodge and our traditional ways. Now that I am older, that commitment has become even more important as we’ve begun to lose the last of the oldest elders, stories and songs. That being said, I’m at a pivotal point in my career and it’s vital for me to be on the road, creating awareness. I am naturally nomadic, and being on the road gives me the opportunity to meet new people from all walks of life. These interactions fuel my artistic practice and world views.
How can creativity support good health?
Creativity is active. It is creation in motion. The very act of creating makes your heart rate increase with excitement. It is because of this physical reaction to creating that I believe art is the ultimate motivator. If we see our bodies as works of art then we inherently want to protect them and treat them well.
Your favorite quote or teaching:
“You were given two ears and two eyes, but only one mouth. So listen and watch, twice as much as you speak.”
How do you manage stress and painful emotions?
Ceremony and time spent in nature. When the stress of life is too much to handle or I am in pain, I go to the elders. I go to the waters, the rivers and the streams. I put sema/tobacco in my left hand and I speak with creation. I ask for help and I give my gratitude, my hurt, and my tears to the water. The waters can hold those things for us. Whenever something feels too big or too heavy, I ask for help.
A quality you most admire in others: Integrity
What does "the good life" mean to you?
Mino Bimadzawin // Walking the way our ancestors walked, free from substance abuse and a colonized mind. The good life is walking in harmony with our mother the earth and all of her creations. The good life is kindness.