Oyate Leadership Network
Past Project Participants
Sammie Ardito Rivera “Indigenous Reproductive Health and Birth Learning Project”
Nancy Cain-Kouri “Sacred Circle Project”
Melissa Olson “We Are All Connected: A Digital and Visual Storytelling Project”
Arlana Omaha “Gathering of Sacred Voices IV: Annual Youth Leadership Summit”
Felicia Wesaw “Four Sisters Urban Garden”
Missy Whiteman “The Coyote Way: Going Back Home Film Project”
David Cournoyer, Jennifer Cross, Justin Beaulieu and Susan Beaulieu “Indigenous Resilience and Relationships Gathering”
Melissa Olson “We Are All Connected” audio documentary
Sharon Day Fundraising Event for IPTF’s Mikwanedun Audiosookon Art and Wellness Center
Bradley Harrington, Travis Zimmerman, Deanna StandingCloud “Gagiiginindizodaa! Ojibwe Language Gathering
Chari LaDuke-Clark “Comprehensive Civil Legal Needs Assessment of Northern Minnesota Reservation Communities through Anishinabe Legal Services, Inc.”
Missy Whiteman “The Coyote Way: Going Back Home” Website launch
Linsey McMurrin “Building the Bridge: Courageous Action on Racial Reconciliation Community Event”
Mary LaGarde “Minneapolis American Indian Center Redesign Process for Staff and Board Engagement”
Darren Landgren “Ojiibik Mashkiki Root Medicine Project”
Neil McKay “Dakota Language Home Kit”
John Boyd ““Urban Tribal Exchange Youth Project”
Sterling Knox “Food is Medicine”
Ryan Dixon “Cansayapi Dakota Iapi Bowl”
Joy Annette “Ginan Zoongitaagozi – We Have a Strong Voice”
Wesley May “Healing Through Art”
Dustin Goslin “Nookomis Zaagi”
Elliot Christensen “Thanagidan Táŋka (Big Hummingbird)”
Sharon Bellcourt and Lenore Barsness “The Crisis at the Wall of Forgetten Natives”
Awanewquay Rendon “Blood Quantum Strong”
Sylvia Fred and Nate Taylor “Ojibwemotadidaa”
Janice Badmoccasin “Medicine Horse Nation”
Miskwa-Mukwa Desjarlait “Ogichidaa Oyate Youth Council Retreat”
James Lussier “Cohort Coffeehouse”
LeAnnLittlewolf “The Akaawe Anishinaabe Akiing Community Project”
Payton Counts “Indigenous Peoples Task Force Youth Retreat”
Comanche Fairbanks “Sexual Violence Prevention Video Campaign”
Brook LaFloe, Janice LaFloe, and Ben Spears “Niniijaanis Discovery”
Oyate Network Goals
Fund community projects.
Support leaders through experiential learning, peer sharing, and networking grounded in Native culture.
Connect leaders across the state using technology and face-to-face strategies.
Foster sustainability by building relationships, increasing cultural practice,
and nurturing a circle of mutual support.
Provide a space to build connections between and among participants in the network.
Move participants toward a grant-focused action plan.
Engage in leadership activities in tribal communities that lead toward equity and a greater social and economic stability.
Connect with Oyate Network community leaders throughout the state of Minnesota by creating your profile on the Oyate Network online work space at OyateNetwork.com
In 2015, Melissa was a part of the Oyate Network. She describes her project, “We Are All Connected” as a collaboration of four women with an idea to document multiple intergenerational stories of Indigenous women displaced by transcultural adoption. In creating more opportunities for belonging and storytelling, I believe we can begin to create a healthier community.
In 2016, she was part of Tiwahe Foundation’s Oyate Network of alumni of various leadership programs. “Before…I sometimes felt as if I was working in isolation. The network is not only valuable, but it is also a necessity. This is how indigenous communities traditionally operate, supporting one another to support sustainability.”