The mural in downtown Duluth, Minnesota, was created by Mayan artist Votan Ik with the assistance of Derek Brown of the Navajo Nation. Photo: American Indian Community Housing Organization
Arts & Entertainment | National

Mary Annette Pember: New mural is a symbol of Native resilience in Minnesota





The American Indian Community Housing Organization and Honor the Earth unveiled a mural in Duluth, Minnesota, that demonstrates the resilience of Native women. Independent journalist Mary Annette Pember has more in a report for Rewire:
A colorful new mural in downtown Duluth, Minnesota, is a potent declaration of the issues facing Native American women such as violence, sex trafficking, and environmental racism. Primarily, however, the enormous portrait of an Ojibwe woman is a symbol of resilience, according to supporters.

Painted on an exterior wall of the American Indian Community Housing Organization (AICHO), and completed in August, the mural depicts an Ojibwe woman dressed in a red jingle dress and wearing a red bandana covering part of her face. AICHO is the only Native American shelter providing services to battered women and their children in the seven-county area surrounding Duluth. The organization also provides housing services for people suffering from long-term homelessness and transitional housing for survivors of domestic abuse.

Although vibrant and beautiful, the mural is far more than mere decoration. Titled “Ganawenjiige Onigam” (“Caring for Duluth” in the Ojibwe language), the painting is the first piece of public art in Duluth for and by indigenous people, according to AICHO Arts and Cultural Program Coordinator Moira Villiard.

A collaboration between AICHO and Honor the Earth, a nonprofit environmental conservation organization based in Callaway, Minnesota, the mural was created by Mayan artist Votan Ik with the assistance of Derek Brown of the Diné or Navajo tribe.

Read More on the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: ‘Ganawenjiige Onigam’: A New Symbol of Resilience in Duluth, Minnesota (Rewire September 21, 2017)