First Peoples Fund celebrates community spirit

 Lori Pourier, Anna Huntington, Kristol McKee
Lori Pourier, Anna Huntington, Kristol McKee (KOTA)
Published: Oct. 5, 2016 at 6:58 PM CDT
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Preserving their culture. Making sure the next generation of Native Americans is singing and dancing and producing traditional forms of art.

A Rapid City non–profit, the First Peoples Fund, is recognizing those who carry on these traditions all over the country.

Six artists, or culture bearers, will be honored for their contributions to keeping the Native culture alive—from Alaska to Hawaii and everywhere in between. Rapid City's Lynette Two Bulls and her husband Phillip White Man Junior will be recognized.

"Traditional artists are doing everything from teaching the language to restoring a lot of the cultural practices," explains Lori Pourier, president of the First Peoples Fund.

Pourier says the goal is, "To restore culture in tribal communities and sustain it over the long haul." She says they also do a lot of professional development for Native artists around the country. "It's also to build that economic engine that once existed in our tribal communities."

"Often times they're the unsung heroes in their communities who are quietly restoring, restoring, restoring the culture fabric of their communities. Many of us had so much taken from our communities. Our grandparents went to boarding schools. We had a whole generation or two where language was lost. So these are those in their in 50s and 60s who are teaching that generation," says Pourier.

Groups will be performing at the event --hip hop, a Capella, the Get Home Dancers from Alaska and more. It's Saturday, October 8, 2016, at 7 pm at the Performing Arts Center. General admission is $25.

An art auction and reception is at 5:30 reception. They hope to fill the seats and celebrate native arts and culture in indigenous America