Anishinaabe Arts Initiative awards 2022-23 fellowships

Recipients are a singer-songwriter and an Ojibwe artist who plans to design a clothing line.

Grace “Waawaate Ikwe” Roberts and Doyle Turner
Contributed / Region 2 Arts Council
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The Region 2 Arts Council’s Anishinaabe Arts Initiative (AAI) Council awarded two $5,000 fellowships on April 13. The recipients are Doyle Turner and Grace “Waawaate Ikwe” Roberts.

Turner is a northern Minnesotan singer-songwriter who mixes folk, rock and Americana elements into songs that seek connection. Growing up in Naytahwaush, he is a proud Anishinaabe person and a member of the White Earth Nation.

Rooted in Johnny Cash and Kris Kristofferson, Turner’s songs feature lyrics that find where you are with a warm voice that guides you back home. He has produced or performed on over nine recordings and collaborates with artists statewide. His latest single, “Star Gazing,” was released on March 7. Turner is working on a new album for release on Sept. 17.

Roberts was born during “Waatebagaa-Giizis,” the Leaves Changing Color Moon on the west bank of the Mississippi River in Gakaabikaang (Minneapolis) with her eyes wide open and subtle strands of white in her hair. Her father, a member of the White Earth Band of Ojibwe, and her mother, of the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, raised her and her older brother in the Twin Cities.

Roberts has been artistic since her early years, helping draw pictures for school newsletters and taking on many roles in theater classes. She began practicing Ojibwe arts in 2012 at the White Earth Tribal and Community College. In 2015, she received her Associate Degree with a focus on Native studies. In 2017, she enrolled at Bemidji State University in the Indigenous studies program, with a focus on Ojibwe culture and language.


Roberts is a multidisciplinary artist and designer, mainly known for her beadwork and quillwork. She has taught numerous theater workshops around White Earth, and quillwork workshops around Minnesota. She enjoys old-style jingle dress dancing and working on regalia. Roberts aspires to design her own clothing line.

The AAI fellowship program is funded by the McKnight Foundation, aiming to help the region’s most talented Indigenous artists by funding creative time and/or arts experiences. The award is for Indigenous artists residing in Beltrami, Clearwater, Hubbard, Mahnomen, Lake of the Woods, Becker, Roseau, Cass and Itasca counties.

The free show features work by 27 west central Minnesota artists, including Jerry Mevissen’s “When the Work Is Done,” Dawn Rossbach’s “It Just Never Stops,” and Laura Grisamore’s “Asclepias Incarnata/Swamp Milkweed.”

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