Each year, American Indian and Indigenous Studies strives to bring local, regional, national, and international Indigenous artists and artisans to Michigan State University. If you have ideas for artists, please contact Prof. Dylan Miner.
Lee Sprague works extensively on Manoomin (Wild Rice) restoration efforts and holds a degree in International Indigenous Law from San Francisco State University. He has served as Ogema or Leader of the Little River Band of Ottawa Indians. As an elected Tribal Leader, Lee represented his nation’s interests on national and regional environmental policy issues. Lee is a recipient of the Glenn Miller Tribal Leader Award for Environmental Advocacy and Treaty Rights, and the Bunyan Bryant, Environmental Justice Award by the Sierra Club.
Wikuki Kingi (Māori and Hawaiian) is a recognised Tohunga Whakairo/Master Carver. He is the grandson of Inia Te Wiata, creator of the Pou Ihi that stands in New Zealand House, London, United Kingdom and the son of Te Uranga O Te Rā Kingi, Tohunga Whakairo. Wikuki studied anthropology and Pacific studies at Waikato University and has a Post Graduate Diploma from the University of Auckland. He is currently completing a Masters in Indigenous Studies – focusing on design and development. Wikuki is a founding crew member of Haunui Waka of Pacific Voyagers, currently located at the Maritime Museum Auckland NZ. He is a board member of the American Native Science Academy and the International Indigenous Education Institute (IEI) based in the USA, and on an advisory member of the Cultural Conservancy.
Kelly Church is a member of the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians in Michigan. She comes from an unbroken line of Black ash basket weavers that goes back for centuries. She graduated from the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe, NM with my AFA in Fine Art and the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor with my BFA in Fine Art. She has participated in juried art shows around the US and as an Artist-In-Residence at the Eiteljorg Museum. She represented the Great Lakes area for Black Ash basketry at the Smithsonian Folklife Festival in 2006, and has receieved numerous Fellowships from the National Museum of the American Indian Artist Leadership Program.