Oyate Hotanin

Project Details by Fiscal Year
2021 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Fund Source
Arts & Cultural Heritage Fund
Oyate Hotanin
Recipient Type
Non-Profit Business/Entity
In Progress
Start Date
January 2021
End Date
December 2021
Activity Type
Counties Affected
Project Overview

We will lift up Minnesota American Indian arts, culture, and heritage and increase our audience through five new activities: presenting “Reunion of the Buffalo Herd”; staging a full production of Tatanka for video recording; establishing an annual RedTalks Symposium; creating a live interview series featuring American Indian elders and traditional healers; and creating an American Indian Artists Hub to promote our artists.

Competitive Grant Making Body
Advisory Group Members and Qualifications

Shirley Sneve (St. Paul, MN) – Shirley was Director of the Tiwahe Foundation and works in the arts and humanities largely focusing on American Indian and Alaska Native cultures. She is Lakota.

Travis Zimmerman (Mille Lacs, MN) – Travis works at the Mille Lacs Indian Museum and has worked with MHC in a variety of programs, including as a panelist for the Veterans Voices Awards. He is Ojibwe.

Cheyanne St. John (Morton, MN) – Cheyanne works in the Tribal Historical Preservation Office for the Lower Sioux Indian Reservation.  She is Dakota.

Conflict of Interest Disclosed
Conflict of Interest Contact

Laura Benson

Minnesota Humanities Center



Legal Citation / Subdivision
Minn. State Legislature Article 4, Section 2, Subdivision 8, (d)
Appropriation Language

$850,000 the first year and $850,000 the second year are for a competitive grants program to provide grants to preserve and promote the cultural heritage of Minnesota.
The Minnesota Humanities Center must operate a competitive grants program to provide grants to programs that preserve and honor the cultural heritage of Minnesota or that provide education and student outreach on cultural diversity or to programs that empower communities to build their identity and culture. Priority must be given to grants for individuals and organizations working to create, celebrate, and teach indigenous arts and cultural activities and arts organizations and programs preserving, sharing, and educating on the arts and cultural heritage of immigrant communities in Minnesota.

2021 Fiscal Year Funding Amount
Number of full time equivalents funded
Proposed Measurable Outcome(s)

The measurable outcomes each of the core activities in our Amplifying Minnesota American Indian Voices in the Arts project are described below.

    1. “Reunion of the Buffalo Herd” CD Release Party Special Event.

The key measurable outcomes for this activity will be the number of CDs sold, the total dollar value of CD sales, and the number of people who attend the event.

Our original plan was to draw a live audience of 250 people and we have scheduled this event later in calendar year 2021 in the hope of being able to host this event live. However, we are also making plans to livestream the event if restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic are still in place. If the event is virtual, we anticipate that the audience could be far larger than our initial estimate of 250 people. Even if we host the event live, we may put some segments online, enabling us to reach a larger audience even for a live show.

This staged release of our CD, using a live event as a promotional vehicle, is intended to become a model for future revenue-generating work, helping us create a reliable income stream for artistic investments.


    1. Video Production of Tatanka.

The key measurable outcomes for this activity will be the completed video of the production and our documented outreach to at least one government or community-based organization and at least one tribal entity by the end of the calendar year, with the intent of gaining a commitment from the organization to present our production to an identified audience for educational purposes in 2022 and beyond.

In addition, once the video is completed, we will upload a link to our Oyate Hotanin YouTube channel and make the video available to our community network through Facebook and an “Opening Night” online event, track the number of people who access the video online.


    1. RedTalks Facebook Live/Zoom Symposium Series.

The key measurable outcomes for this activity will be the size of the live or virtual audience.

Our original plan was to draw a live audience of 125 people at Metro State. However, we are making plans instead to livestream the event because the COVID-19 pandemic

We will also conduct a survey of participants, and track the number of respondents who report that, in watching the RedTalks, they encountered ideas that are new to them and that impact their thinking or make them want to learn more about American Indian perspectives, values, worldviews, and experiences.


    1. Voice of the People Series.

The key measurable outcomes for this activity will be the six completed interview sessions, which we anticipate will reach total audience of at least 10,000 people.

We will also explore ways to determine what attracted the audience to the interviews: Were they most drawn to the conversation topic? The interviewee? The format? We will track the audience for each interview in the series in an attempt to determine if there is a pattern to participation: does each interview reach a similar-sized audience or are differences evident across interviews?


    1. American Indian Artists Hub (Customer Relationship Management Platform).

The key measurable outcome for this activity will be the number of profile materials created for artists, with at least 10 completed and featured on the hub by the end of the calendar year.

Another measurable outcome, which spans all of these projects, is more than 50 artists, performers, designers, and thought leaders will be given respectfully paid work opportunities.

Measurable Outcome(s)

In progress

Recipient Board Members
Crystal Norcross, Mat Pendleton, Laura LaBlanc, Tom LaBlanc, Al Gross, Dipankar Mukherjee, Damon Drake, Cindy Killion, Nick Metcalf
Project Manager
First Name
Last Name
Organization Name
Oyate Hotanin
Administered By
Administered by

987 Ivy Avenue East
St. Paul, MN 55106

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