SAULT STE. MARIE TRIBE OF CHIPPEWA INDIANS
Shayla French is an Ojibwe artist from Plymouth, Michigan. She will graduate from high school in June 2018 with special recognition as an Arts Academy Graduate. She is looking forward to attending Michigan State University in Fall 2018. She has always enjoyed creating art since a very young age. Shayla was chosen by the National Congress of American Indians as the first-place winner in the 2010 Student Art Competition entitled Indian Country Counts.
“Ajijaak” is a colored pencil drawing created to represent the artist’s pride in being a Native American youth. Ajijaak is the Ojibwe word for crane, which is a symbol of leadership in the artist’s tribe. The natural setting displays the connection between Native people and the world around them. The imagery is a call to action for all people to protect the environment for future generations.