LEECH LAKE BAND OF OJIBWE AND PRAIRIE ISLAND BAND OF SIOUX
My name is Leland, I’m 18, and I am ojibwe. I’m two spirit as well. An integral part of my story and my life has been my identity of being Native American. It has defined who I am, who I could be and who I will be. I’m very proud of the fact that I am Native. I create art for many reasons such as therapeutic purposes, simply boredom and to express my feelings on my identity as a two spirited person. I am also an activist who uses my art as a form of protest.
As I grew up in North Minneapolis, I had grown to know a world of concrete, tall buildings that were higher than my mind could imagine, and a broken home with windows I couldn’t see my future through. Sometimes these windows were larger than I, and other days those windows were smaller than a pinhole. It changed on how the people around me decided to treat me that day, on whether or not my mother would be my mother. I had grown up in a world where we, natives, didn’t exist despite living in abundance in the cities.