Dakota children authors read excerpts


Dakota children's book authors and illustrators at Bde Psín (Lake Hiawatha) on Sept. 23 from 9:30-11:30a.m. outside the recreation center.
Reading selections will be Katie Jo Bendickson, Tara Perron, and Marlena Myles. Maria Asp, from Speaking Out Collective, will lead the kids in a short craft activity based on the book.
Tara Perron, or Tanagidan To Win, is a Dakota and Ojibwe mother. She grew up in Saint Paul. She studied Dakota language and culture at Metro State University. She is the author of "Takoza: Walks With the Blue Moon Girl," "Animals of Khéya Wíta," and "Animals of Nimaamaa-Aki." Perron is inspired by the loving hearts of her sons: she is a creator, plant medicine enthusiast, and has always loved to write. She believes in the healing power of storytelling. More at www.bluehummingbirdwoman.com.
Marlena Myles is a self-taught Native American (Spirit Lake Dakota/Mohegan/Muscogee) artist located in St. Paul. Her art brings modernity to Indigenous history, languages and oral traditions while using the land as a teacher. Growing up on her traditional Dakota homelands here in the Twin Cities, she enjoys using her artwork to teach Minnesotans of all backgrounds the Indigenous history of this place we call home.
Her professional work includes children’s books, augmented reality, murals, fabrics, animations and has shown her work in fine art galleries such as the Minneapolis Institute of Art, The Museum of Russian Art, Red Cloud Heritage Center and the Minnesota Museum of American Art to name a few. Her first permanent site-specific augmented reality public art installation known as the Dakota Spirit Walk is available on the Revelo AR app. In 2021, she opened her own Dakota publishing company called Wíyounkihipi (We Are Capable) Productions to create a platform that educates and honors the culture, language and history of Dakota people. https://marlenamyl.es/
Katie Jo Bendickson, or Wóokiye Win, is Sisseton Wahpeton Dakhóta. She has received a Bachelor of Arts in American Indian Studies with a Language Track from the University of Minnesota, Minn. She has taught pre-school and high school in Saint Paul, as a Dakota language instructor. Her mentor for the Dakota language was the respected elder Caroline Schommer of Upper Sioux Community.
Currently, Win is a teacher and free-lance artist making jewelry, illustrating books, paintings and Dakota language curriculum . Her current hide painted earrings are featured at Indigenous First gallery in Duluth, MN. She uses both her Dakota and Ojibway background to influence her designs in her art. Much of her young life was spent on her mother’s reservation, Fond du Lac Reservation in northern Minnesota before her family moved to her fathers Reservation at Upper Sioux Community in southwest Minnesota.
Win lives in Saint Paul with her husband and children. Both her parents are artists, and she continues the artist tradition of her family. Find her work online at www.wookiyewin.com and books at www.dakhota.org.


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  • Pokoko

    I love that you are highlighting Dakota authors of children's books. I happen to know Katie Jo Bendickson and I'm so happy for her. On a side note, as a learner of Dakota language, I learned that Dakota names are not first and last names, so we cannot refer to Wóokiye Wiŋ as simply "Wiŋ". "Wiŋ" translates as "Woman." Basically in the last line you are saying "'Woman' lives in Saint Paul..." I hope this is helpful for similar future publication purposes.

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