First Voices


What students are saying...

Samuel Haugen, Senior, Lame Deer High School

"This project is a great way to promote our culture and show people that we are still here and our way is not lost... this is a great idea and I'm thankful that these artists are taking time out of their lives to do this because not everyone knows about us. Our creation stories are something that will be passed down for many generations to come."
What elders are saying...

Alaina Buffalo Spirit, Cheynne Elder

“It’s universal, in a way, the way that the tribes are related. We may have different designs, but we are all universal in the respect for mother earth, in our culture, our children, our ways of life. It’s all universal throughout America with Natives.”
What educators are saying...

Don Wetzel Jr., Tribal Relations Advisor & Blackfeet Tribal Member

“This is important for many of our traditional people and indigenous nations because it’s a voice that is often not heard. To do it in this way, provides an avenue for others to know a little bit more about us, to have some of the original elders of this continent share some of their knowledge is an excellent way to come together and move forward in a positive way.”
What artists are saying...

Sammy Jo Bird, Visual Artist

“This project is really important and I’m very proud to be a part of it… I’m really proud to be a part of a project that is helping students know their background and stories but also helping promote and encouraging students to express themselves, find their art form, and capitalize on it.”

Project Outcomes

  • Enhance social engagement & academic performance through visual arts, music, theater, movement, writing, film making, and more

  • Use storytelling as a healing tool to address trauma and loss, and inspire leadership

  • Increase confidence through group learning and team-building workshops

  • Mentor Indigenous youth towards a vocation in digital technology

  • Partner with both Native and non-Native artists to build better intercultural relationships