Indigenous community artists’ work to show at Watermark

The "Spirit Garden" artist collective presents "What We Were Given" from Dec. 8 to Feb. 18, 2023 at the Watermark Art Center in Bemidji.

A member of Manidoo Ogitigaan weaves a cedarbark mat, one of the types of Indigenous cultural practices on display Dec. 8, 2022 through Feb. 18, 2023 at the Watermark Art Center in Bemidji.
Contributed / Watermark Art Center
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The exhibit Gaa-miinigowiziyang, “What We Were Given,” created by artists and allies of the Bemidji-based grassroots organization Manidoo Ogitigaan (Spirit Garden), opens Dec. 8 in Watermark Art Center’s Miikanan Gallery.

Together with Michigan’s Great Lakes Lifeways Institute, Manidoo Ogitigann works to revitalize art forms and cultural knowledge in a meaningful way to build cultural legacy. Their focus is to teach and relearn traditional Indigenous life skills rooted in Anishinaabe culture, including birch bark canoe building, basketry, woodworking and weaving.

The exhibit features work by community members from various backgrounds who have participated in the artist collective’s activities. Artists gather and process materials in a manner akin to the original inhabitants of the land, with the aim of protecting the land and its resources.

The exhibit runs through Feb. 18, 2023 and will include an open house to be announced. Watermark galleries are free and open to the public. For more information, visit .

Bemidji-based grassroots organization Manidoo Ogitigaan is helping revitalize Native art forms and cultural knowledge.

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