The weekend of August 23-25 is going to be a special weekend for Winona when Winona’s First Daughters from across the country converge for the Winona All Call, a weekend event in celebration of native activist Winona Betty LaDuke’s 60th birthday.
“Winona, the mother of Nanabozhoo — a Dakota princess who leapt from a cliff in sorrow, the first-born daughter of many Native families — she is here,” said LaDuke about the Winona community. “Today thousands of women are Winonas throughout Native communities and beyond, and we would like to celebrate this name for first-born daughters — celebrate the power of creating great beings and celebrate strong hearts and love.”
An array of events are planned for the Winonas attending the weekend but there are some events to which the public is invited, including an art exhibit and reception, a symposium, a Saturday evening Sioux Chef feast and a concert with Corey Medina & The Brothers on Saturday evening at the Winona Lake Park Band Shell. The film by Keri Pickett, “First Daughter and the Black Snake,” will be shown, as well.
The art exhibit is titled “Winona: The Legend, The Women, The Place,” and is being exhibited in Watkins Gallery on the campus of Winona State University. It features artwork by Winona’s mother, LaDuke, as well as Rabbett Before Horses Strickland.
LaDuke wishes to share the identity of the woman “Winona” with those who live in the town named after her. LaDuke is the daughter of an artist and grew up celebrating life through art, so works in the exhibition are spiritual, epic and emphasize Native female identity. As Honor the Earth’s director, LaDuke is grateful to share this artwork with the Winona community and thankful to the Watkins Gallery for including art as part of this fun, celebratory weekend.
The exhibit opens on Friday, August 23, with a reception from 5-6:30 p.m. in the gallery. The exhibit can be viewed until September 12.
The symposium will follow the reception from 7-9 p.m. in Stark Hall 103. “Winona: The Legends and the Narrative,” will feature scholarly and creative discussion of people’s collective ancestors.
The Frozen River Film Festival has partnered with Winona All Call to sponsor the screening of “First Daughter and the Black Snake” followed by a screening of “Line 3.” A question and answer session with director Keri Pickett will be included. The screenings are free to the public and will be shown at the Winona History Center, 160 Johnson Street.
LaDuke is hosting a feast with The Sioux Chef that will feature the fine foods of the Anishinaabe and Dakota people from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, August 24, in Wesley Method Church, 114 West Main Street. Tickets for the event are $40 for a single or $70 for a couple and may be purchased online at www.winona-all-call.com or in person at the Winona Visitor Center, 924 Huff Street.
Following the feast, Corey Medina & The Brothers will perform from 7:30-10 p.m. at the Winona Lake Park Band Shell, 85 Lake Park Drive. Medina is a Native blues artist from Shiprock, N.M., in the Navajo Tribal Nation where he was born and raised. He moved to Northern Minnesota in 2012 and collaborated with Incepticons Entertainment, through which he released his debut album “Old Dog Crying” in May 2015. Medina now plays, writes and produces full-time with the Incepticons team and also travels with his band, known as “The Brothers,” hence “Corey Medina & The Brothers.” Corey refers to “The Brothers” as a representation of the relationship he likes to keep with his fellow band mates as they set out to spread light to dark and hope to the hopeless with their raw, soulful, intimate music and stage presence. The event is free to the public.
“Winona is an epic location and beautiful town,” LaDuke said. “Many Winonas have passed through or lived in this territory. Ferries on the river stopped here, and the last operating hemp-fiber mill in the U.S. was in Winona. This is a city of great history and a great future. I would like to make sure that Winonas are present for our town.”