In Minneapolis, Native American youth boxing reached its peak during the 1970s. Experienced boxers committed their time and energy to start gyms and coach the youth. In the turmoil of the urban environment, boxing was a way for Native American boys like Lee Goodman Sr. to step into the ring, stay out of trouble and gain self confidence.
“In my experience in the Native youth boxing when I was a kid was not mainly what I gained from winning or losing,” says Goodman Sr. “It’s what I gained from it being a positive influence in my life being that young. And it was like that with a lot of us young Native boys. You know it gave us that self worth.”
Banner photo: The 1975 National All-Indian Boxing Team; Soundcloud Photo: Ricky Littlewolf, 1971.
First Person Plural on KFAI is supported by Migizi Communications. This work is funded in part by the Minnesota Humanities Center with money from the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund that was created with the vote of the people of Minnesota on November 4, 2008.
Singer songwriter Annie Mack does it all, from powerhouse blues to New Americana and beyond, highlighting her unique vocal presence and original songs. She released two new singles in 2020, “Shadows of a Kingdom” and “Judge and Jury.” Her new EP Testify dropped in January 2021. She is also featured in the book 50 Women in the Blues (Supernova Books, 2020). This story was produced by Dixie Treichel.
Minneapolis artist Deborah Foutch creates rich and complex work with fiber and mixed media that expresses her love of the natural world. Her Soil Horizon series portrays a living system using special layering techniques and honors her father who was a soil conservationist. This story was produced by Dixie Treichel.
“My work is about a living system in the world,” says Foutch. “I’m looking at a way that layers will show me qualities that I see when I stand and look at water. I take paint and I water it down a lot and I pour it through layers. I spreads on whatever material I’m using it on.”
Missy Whiteman is a Minneapolis-based Northern Arapaho and Kickapoo filmmaker exploring new ways of Indigenous storytelling with expanded cinema and new technology. The Coyote Way: Going Back Home is a two dimensional short sci-fi film that is transformed into The Coyote Way: X – Expanded Cinema Experience. It is shot in 360 degrees, uses virtual reality and includes video synthesizer, projection and audience participation.
“When you watch the film, you see that there’s actually two different realms that exist,” says Whiteman. “There’s this time period and then there’s also ancestral time line which dates back to the wild west time, to relocation at boarding school era. We’re so used to moving in a linear fashion when it comes to filmmaking and we’re afraid to really pull out those boundaries and say, ‘let’s just experiment with story line, let’s experiment with telling the story.’ “
KFAI’s Dixie Treichel spoke with Whiteman about the film. Listen below.
Poet Lisa Marie Brimmer writes with heartfelt expression, addressing personal and social issues.
“I just moved recently and I found a notebook of mine from when I was in high school. And I found some poems in there,” says Brimmer. “That fresh confusion of trying to grow up. I know we’re all feeling the effect of social and physical distancing. And we’re all feeling the loss of Mr. George Floyd.”
Brimmer is a co-editor of Queer Voices: Poetry, Prose, and Pride Anthology from the Minnesota Historical Society Press and currently teaches at Century College. Dixie Treichel produced this audio portrait. Listen below.
Minneapolis rapper Diane Miller, aka D Mills, creates thought-provoking hip-hop music that expresses her authentic self and engages the audience with a fusion of sonic flavors.
“You just really, as a female rapper, have to endure because there’s not a lot of you out there,” Miller says. “I mean I’ve had experience of being in Minneapolisbasically being bullied on stage. And I was on stage next to this other rapper and they basically put their arm out in front of me when I started rapping. And oh my gosh did that ever cause me some rage and anger and then I kinda took it out just back free styling and it felt really good. But, yah that was one of the most blatant displays I’ve ever felt of like the struggle of being a woman and being a rapper and being respected.”
“The more women we can get out there, the better.”
Audio portrait produced by Dixie Treichel. Listen below.