“In Our Own Words: Native Impressions,” an exhibit of portraits and interviews of North Dakota Native people, will be on display November 2-28, 2017 at the Northwest Art Center’s Hartnett Hall Gallery. The exhibit is one of a number of November events at Minot State University in observance of the Native American Cultural Celebration sponsored by the MSU Native American Center. The exhibit is the product of a collaboration among Princeton University artist Daniel Heyman; printmaker and retired UND art professor Kim Fink; graphic designer Lucy Ganje; and Leigh Jeanotte, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa and Director of UND’s American Indian Student Services. The team worked with a range of Native people living on North Dakota’s four reservations including business people, farmers, ranchers, teachers, politicians, tribal leaders, and community members. Heyman produced woodcut portraits of each participant, while Ganje interviewed the sitters, collecting their oral histories to develop into accompanying text panels. Fink oversaw printing of the project. Jeanotte served as liaison with community colleges on the reservations to help select and work with participants. The individual prints tell the story of a people whose historic cultures were challenged and sometimes overrun by others. In the latter years of the twentieth century, younger generations began the work of reclaiming what had been. It is their stories that fly under banners of sadness, of determination, of loss, to reverberate through the text accompanying the portraits. The words of one of the interviewees express the contemporary Native quest to retain and regain their culture: “When you’re given language, you speak language. You’re not lost. It touches you. It connects you to something else. It’s a powerful tool.” The exhibit is free and open to the public. Gallery hours are 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and by appointment. The North Dakota Art Gallery Association in partnership with the North Dakota Museum of Art sponsored this exhibition that is supported in part by a grant from the North Dakota Council on the Arts, which receives funding from the state legislature and the National Endowment for the Arts.