“Amikogaabawiikwe” Adrienne Benjamin Mille Lacs Band Member
During the week of May 14 – 18, photographers Rob Warren and Oli Alexander from the New Orleans-based company Gigsy visited the Mille Lacs area as part of a culture share project through the Ge-niigaanizijig program, which is funded by the Minnesota Indian Affairs Council.
Gigsy is a unique photography business in that it is socially invested in the city of New Orleans through their super successful apprenticeship program. They take on five to ten critical-age young adults between the ages of 18 and 25 to teach them the ins and outs of the media world, take them on professional shoots, help them build portfolios, and train them in critical job skills.
During their time in Mille Lacs they were paired with Mille Lacs Band photographer Dino Downwind to share their business knowledge and further both of their networks. They took video and photographed youth who were attending the “Recipes for Success” training in Chiminising. (See the July Inaajimowin for a story on the training.)
They then spent a full day at Nay Ah Shing School where they set up a mini headshot clinic for students and staff alike, photographed the NAS Royalty Powwow that was occurring that day, and did a short interview session with Tony Buckanaga about Nay Ah Shing’s regalia-making program. (Some of their photos of the powwow are shown below.)
The photographers will be back in June to record another string of community events in the Mille Lacs area. The end product will be a series of permanent gallery installations in many of the public buildings in the community, and each will include an accompanying descriptive translation in Ojibwemowin.