Jewell Arcoren and Justin Kurta on FIRST PERSON RADIO 10.11.17

Join Laura Waterman Wittstock today  as she talks with Jewell Arcoren about the importance of learning tribal languages. Two specialists in teaching the very young native languages: Jewell and Justin Kurta of Wicoie Nandagikendan will talk about teaching very young children. This program, nestled in the middle of busy South Minneapolis teaches Dakota and Ojibwe to children as young as 18 months. The 4-year olds in the classes are prepared for kindergarten, where they have shown to be not only ready for school but also equipped with two languages.

Jewell, (Dakhota and Lakhota is an enrolled member of the Sisseton Whapeton Nation) and has been in non-profits for well over 20 years in the Twin Cities serving in American Indian sector.  Jewell has worked as a curator at Two Rivers Gallery.  She has done video work specific to the Dakota Oyate of Minnesota and telling their story along with media Artist Mona Smith of Allies media art.  She has worked with national music makers  and composers such as R. Carlos, Nakai, Joy Harjo, Gabriel Ayala and Georgia Wettlin Larsen to name a few.  She has initiated Women’s groups and organized workshops related to traditional and pre-contact Life-Ways.  She has produced a radio show called “Winyan Dowanpi”  (The Women Are Singing) that ran consecutively for 5 years for international women’s day at KFAI radio station and featured American Indian Women Music Makers from around the nation.  Most Recently she has been part of a collaboration that begin with First Nations Composers Initiative, the Minneapolis Park Board and the Saint Anthony Falls Heritage Board to create a venue that celebrates our indigenous communities by showcasing the work of American Indian Music Makers, film producers, artists and performers and now called Owa’mni - Falling Waters Festival.  Currently she is a core partner through Wicoie Nandagikendan with Healing Place Collaborative – a multidisciplinary Indigenous artist led project that explores and expresses the connections among people and place as it relates to Healing, Place and Water. She is currently serving as a program director for Wicoie Nandagikendan and is committed to language revitalization.  She is also looking more closely at the correlations between language revitalization , historical trauma and community well being. 



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